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New to Tableau? Here are 5 tips to get started!

Key Takeaways (TL;DR)

  • Make use of free resources provided by the Tableau community

  • Participate in Tableau community initiatives

  • Share your visuals on Tableau Public

  • Visualize data that interests you

  • Experiment with different visual types


Are you a student or early career professional looking to learn Tableau? If so, you’re in luck! There are so many resources available to you to get started and level up your data visualization skills today!



What is Tableau?

Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that allows you to create visually appealing graphs, charts, and maps. Tableau is used in many industries, from finance and business intelligence to healthcare and research, making it a great tool for any profession.



Why Tableau?


Data analytics is an emerging field that is becoming more and more important as businesses become more and more data driven. You can learn more about Data Analytics in my past blog post here. Having strong data visualization skills is a key component of data analytics as it can help you make informed decisions, gain insights into data, and effectively communicate your findings to stakeholders.


If you're coming from a coding background you may know how tedious building a visual in a programming language can be. Packages like 'matplotlib' in python or 'ggplot2' in R are great for customizing and giving the user control over the visualization process, but requires more technical knowledge and may take longer to create visualizations. This is where software applications designed to speed up the analytical process come in. These are often called business intelligence platforms.


Now, there are many business intelligence platforms out there, but what makes Tableau stand out? It's really simple, the community. The Tableau community is filled with people passionate about all aspects of data, offering resources through blogs, tutorials, and initiatives to make it easy for people to learn at little to no cost.


With so many resources available, it can be difficult to know where to start your Tableau journey. Here are some tips to help get you started:


1. Make use of free resources provided by the Tableau community. The Tableau website offers free tutorials that cover the basics of the platform. Other places to find helpful resources include:


2. Participate in Tableau community initiatives. There are a number of community initiatives like Makeover Monday and Back 2 Viz Basics that allow you to participate in the community and build up your portfolio for potential employers. Additionally, these initiatives allow you to build networking connections with other Tableau users and learn from their experiences. Here is where you can find other projects led by the community.


3. Share your visuals on Tableau Public. Tableau Public is a free online platform that allows users to share their Tableau creations with the world. This is where you can showcase your work and is a great way to stay up to date with the latest Tableau trends.


4. Visualize data that interests you. One of the best ways to learn Tableau is to visualize data that interests you. By visualizing data that you are passionate about, you will stay motivated to learn and keep practicing. It also allows you to research topics that you are genuinely curious about and share with others.


5. Experiment with different visual types. Tableau offers a wide range of visual types, from bar charts and line graphs to maps and dashboards. Experimenting with different visual types will help you expand your data visualization skills and may come in handy in a future project. It will also allow you to discover new ways of visualizing data and think outside the box.


It goes without saying that the most important thing is to have fun! Learning Tableau can be a daunting task, but with the right resources and motivation, it can be a rewarding experience.


Make use of the resources and initiatives provided by the Tableau community, share on Tableau Public to showcase your work, visualize data that you enjoy learning more about, and experiment with different visual types to get the most out of your Tableau journey.


Good luck!



By Michael Dunphy

Published Dec. 5, 2022

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