Tableau? What’s that?

If you stumbled here by mistake (or out of curiosity or both), then you might be wondering what IS Tableau.

Tableau is a product made by Tableau Software which allows people to visualize their data. This means putting the data on charts; all kind of charts; and to interact with the data. It’s fast, fun to use, can analyze any kind of data (you can even build your own connectors!), interact with the data, share your insights instantly, and even connect to real time data.

If you wish to learn more about the product itself, I recommend you to start there.

There are a few pieces to the whole thing:

  • Tableau Desktop is the tool to build workbooks (content)
  • Tableau Server is the server to host these workbooks
  • Tableau Public is a desktop/server combo that is public, you can host your workbook there (think cloud), but it’s also visible by everyone, so no confidential data there.
  • There’s a mobile version (ipad and Android) which allows you to view /edit server content.
  • There’s also another version in development, called “Elastik”, which is a tool meant to allow users to analyze anything quickly on mobile devices.


I am involved and interested in Tableau products because I integrate an OEM verison of these tools with the flagship product of the company where I work.