Tips for Tableau Beginners

June 25, 2015


Dashboard Design with Tableau Desktop

For Tableau Beginners

Learn fundamental techniques and best practices to turn critical data into meaningful insights in a matter of hours using Tableau.

In this webinar, we demonstrate how to use Tableau to take raw data, both from the desktop as well as from a typical enterprise data warehouse, to quickly create engaging, actionable visuals.

Demonstrations highlight the following:

  • Connecting to various data sources (flat file and database)
  • Core techniques for visualizing data using the Tableau canvas
  • Enhancing visualizations with filters, calculations, summaries, and palette selection
  • Combining visualizations to construct dashboards

Learn more about what the Tableau platform and philosophy, and how self-service solutions can complement a traditional, centrally managed BI initiative.

For a free, 14-day full version trial of Tableau, click here.


Albert Valdez
Vice President of Learning Solutions
Senturus, Inc.

Michael Weinhauer
Practice Area Director and Solutions Architect
Senturus, Inc.


  • Making the Case for Data Visualization and Agile, Self-Service Business Analytics: Why It’s Important and How It’s Done
    • What is Tableau?
      • Mission: “Tableau helps people see and understand their data.”
      • Software for anyone and everyone
        • Fast access to data, wherever it lives: desktop, database, cloud (liberate data)
        • Not constrained by IT (empower people)
        • Easy-to-use user experience (UX) that is designed for optimal visualization from the ground up (design for people)
  • Why is Data Visualization Such a Big Deal?
    • When our eyes are open, our vision accounts for two-thirds of the electrical activity of the brain — a full 2 billion of the 3 billion firings per second, and…
    • 50% of our neural tissue is directly or indirectly related to vision (Source: Neuroanatomist R.S. Fixot, 1957)
    • More of our neurons are dedicated to vision than the other four senses combined, and…
    • Olfactory cortex is losing ground to the visual cortex – about 60 percent of our smell-related genes have been permanently damaged in this neural arbitrage(Source: John Medina, Brain Rules, 2015)
  • User Experience and Time to Decision
  • Why is Data Visualization Such a Big Deal?
    • How do we take raw data and make it visual?
    • Traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide strong visualization capabilities, why don’t we just use those?
      • Go ahead! This is always going to be a critical solution, but we have to understand that the world is changing
      • The variety, volume, and velocity of data are all accelerating
      • Our time to decision window is shrinking
    • Agile (or Self-Service) BI complements our traditional BI solution to address this changing requirement
  • Traditional BI vs. Agile (Self-Service)
    • The Traditional model is based on highly-governed, centralized data sources and models that are rigid and not designed to be changed in real-time
      • There always have been, and always will be significant benefits of this model:
        • Data governance
        • Crucial business rules and logic are centrally managed, providing a single version of the truth
        • Enterprise-scale, central administration for security
        • Strengths in operational (managed) reporting
      • But what happens when:
        • You need to analyze data that is not available in the centralized data source?
        • You need to perform self-service analytics in real-time, without assistance from IT?
      • Agile BI complements this model with one that delivers information to decision makers much more quickly
  • Traditional BI vs. Agile (Visual/Interactive)
  • The Importance of an Analytical Approach
  • Tips for Tableau Beginners: Demonstration of Dashboard Design with Tableau Desktop