Learn Tableau: The Best Courses and Resources
Data is king, and it drives decisions at large companies and small businesses alike. So how can you become a master data analyst? How can you be one of the go-to employees at big companies like Verizon and Charles Schwab? By learning Tableau, you can be well on your way to helping businesses make important decisions.
Let’s see why you should learn Tableau and the steps you need to take to master it. But first, let’s explore the basics behind this powerful data analysis program.
What Is Tableau?
Tableau is an intuitive and useful software product used for data blending, real-time analysis, and data collaboration. If you are determined to become a data scientist or big data expert, learning Tableau is a great idea. It can be your one-way ticket to a great career.
Before you do anything else, you should download Tableau Desktop so you can jump right into using it. Let’s take a closer look at the suite of products that Tableau offers.
- Tableau Desktop. Tableau Desktop Personal and Tableau Desktop Professional are probably the most robust and useful versions of Tableau. Desktop has many features that make data exploration easier than ever.
- Tableau Public. If you’re just starting with Tableau or data visualization, Tableau Public might be your best choice. Keep in mind though, the downside of Tableau Public is that it uses a public cloud server and there is no privacy. It’s great for beginners, but not ideal for fundamental business analysis or corporate strategies.
- Tableau Online. This version of Tableau is shared to a public cloud server at Tableau HQ. It’s a great way to collaborate on data sets, create dashboards, and more.
- Tableau Server. Perfect for remote work, Tableau Server uses a mixture of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Online. The user creates dashboards, data sets, and more in Tableau Desktop. This content can then be uploaded to the server, and anyone with a license can view the content.
- Tableau Reader. Tableau Reader is a tool used to view workbooks and data sets. This product is used to share projects without anyone being able to modify them via the public cloud. If you’re looking to edit someone’s data analysis, this is not the product for you.
What Jobs Use Tableau Skills?
Having adequate Tableau training can give you a significant edge in the job market. The ability to analyze and parse data for effective solutions is an essential skill to have, especially when crafting your data analyst resume. Below are some of the jobs that require Tableau-associated skills.
- Financial Analyst. Possibly one of the most important uses of Tableau and data analysis is in the financial sector. The big wigs on Wall Street use data analysis to predict the next big financial move. Is a recession on the horizon, or is the stock market trending upward? Either way, people and companies want to know what’s going to happen next. With Tableau training, you can join the financial community.
- Data Analyst. Data analytics is, by far, the most relevant job for those with Tableau training. The great thing about data analysis is that it’s a diverse field. This means that Verizon, Amazon, Google all use Tableau skills in some capacity.
- Tableau Consultant. After completing your Tableau training, what better way to use these specific skills than as a Tableau consultant? Tableau consultants contact clients, help them understand data, and create various solutions using the latest version of Tableau products. Using industry-standard practices and Tableau training, these professionals know a lot about data sources and how to master them.
- Business Intelligence Analyst. A subset of data analysis is business analysis. Companies need skilled business intelligence experts to help them make sense of business forecasts. Will the latest model of a product sell well in Q4? Becoming a business analyst can help you make sense of these business strategies.
Steps to Learn Tableau
Now that you know a little more about the program, including its benefits and possibilities, how can you learn how to use Tableau? Let’s examine the crucial steps to becoming more adept with this excellent data analysis tool.
1. Learn Data Science
While it may be easier said than done, learning effective methods of data analysis first requires you to familiarize yourself with data science. Since data science is a rather broad discipline, you could choose to focus on either data visualization or data analysis.
While anyone can use Tableau, you are going to need knowledge of the basics of data science to help you learn Tableau. You can do this by enrolling in data science courses, joining a data science bootcamp, or earning an online degree in computer science.
2. Connect with the Tableau Community
This is the Internet, so it’s safe to say there are communities for basically everything, including Tableau. A great way to learn some of the basics is to get involved with various online Tableau communities.
There are many communities available, including subreddits, official forums, and more. Some of the best advice comes from expert users. While documentation and tutorials can help, sometimes all you need is someone to answer a specific question in detail.
3. Check Out the Settings and User Interface
If you plan on using Tableau in your everyday work, there are some things you need to know. Specifically, you will need a firm grasp of the user interface. The last thing you need is to mix up data sets on your first day of work. Before reading up on Tableau, make sure to take a tour of the product and explore the different settings. You can tweak them as you see fit for a better user experience.
4. Read about Tableau
You won’t learn Tableau by just interacting with the program. While it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the user interface, you need to do more. You need that extra push to understand how the software works.
That’s why you need to read up on the Tableau basics. This could be official documentation from Tableau itself, books, or unofficial forum topics. Either way, reading about Tableau, along with experimentation, can help you learn more quickly.
5. Practice with Data Sets
Extensive practice with anything always helps you get better. This goes for Tableau as well. The best way to practice with the program is to find different data sets and experiment with them. By dragging and dropping these various practice data sets, you can get better at data analysis.
There are numerous practice data sets out there to choose from. Whether it’s election results from a particular year or a corporation’s financial reports, there are many options.
The Best Courses to Learn Tableau
Sure, reading the official manuals, documentation, and tutorials can help. But what happens if an online forum can’t guide you to mastery? Chances are you will need a little help. You can find this help in the form of online Tableau courses and classes.
Here are some of the most unique Tableau courses available.
While not technically a course, these training videos are the perfect introductory material. There are 11 sections, each with multiple videos ranging from 20 minutes to over three hours. If you don’t want to pay for a course, learning from the developers themselves can be a great way to learn Tableau.
Courtesy of Coursera and the University of California, these specialized courses are perhaps the best group of courses to take. Split into four different courses, the focus is on data visualization and Tableau.
With classes covering topics like fundamentals of visualization with Tableau, essential design principles for Tableau, visual analytics with Tableau, and creating dashboards and storytelling with Tableau, any user will be comfortable learning Tableau.
Facilitated by expert professor Daniel Egger from the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, this course teaches you everything you need to know about data visualization.
It’s a mixed course, too, so it’s perfect for everyone. Even if you’re already familiar with data analysis, you can learn a lot about Tableau. While the focus is on mastering Tableau software, Professor Egger emphasizes being able to analyze data.
Another great course from UC Davis, this beginner’s course is the perfect place to start. As the name implies, this course teaches the building blocks of data analysis with the latest version of Tableau.
This is perfect for students who don’t have a tech background. You will learn the basics of big data and how it can affect multiple variables. More importantly, you’ll scour every feature of Tableau and master the program to understand data.
Although this course is quite specific, it provides a better learning experience because of it. Students will take on this focused learning project, using Citibikes data analysis to understand the intricacies of Tableau.
Instead of focusing on a broad subject, this specific niche allows users to focus intently on the program itself. The course is an hour long and is perfect for beginners.
While not focusing exclusively on Tableau, this course will teach you the basics of data sets, data analysis, and more. Eventually, students will delve into Excel, Tableau, and other programs to bolster their knowledge of big data.
Users will even learn how to utilize programming languages like Python to assist in creating comprehensive data visualizations.
If you are an absolute beginner, this Udemy course can work wonders. After nine hours of HD video lectures, even beginners will have a better grasp of Tableau as a data visualization tool. You will create bar charts, pie graphs, dashboards, and more.
Lynda.com, via LinkedIn Learning, offers curious individuals the opportunity to learn exactly what they need to know about this data visualization tool. With this four-and-a-half-hour course, you will learn some of the best strategies and gain a fundamental knowledge of Tableau from instructor Curt Frye.
If you feel more experienced with Tableau, there are always more advanced courses to test your skills. In this course, intermediate and expert users will learn more nuanced skills and concepts that make the latest version of Tableau so influential in the world of big data.
Instructor Rob Davis takes you step-by-step, in excruciating detail, through every aspect of Tableau Desktop. The course is perfect for any level of Tableau experience. Whether you are an absolute beginner or simply want to brush up on your skills, this is the course to take.
Why Learn Tableau?
Receiving adequate Tableau training can mean the difference between a high-paying job and an average salary. Many Fortune 500 companies depend on business intelligence experts and data analysts to help make decisions.
With Tableau, getting a job as a data scientist has never been easier. Having Tableau skills on your resume will impress any hiring manager. It will also give you a huge advantage in the job market and just might push you over the finish line in the job hiring process.
Make sure you have a good grasp of the literature, user interface, and data basics. Once you understand how Tableau works, take a few courses to enhance your skills. Remember, it’s also a good idea to have a background in computer science.