Tableau is a powerful and fastest growing data visualization tool used in the Business Intelligence Industry. It helps in simplifying raw data into the very easily understandable format.
Data analysis is very fast with Tableau and the visualizations created are in the form of dashboards and worksheets. The data that is created using Tableau can be understood by professional at any level in an organization. It even allows a non-technical user to create a customized dashboard.
The great thing about Tableau software is that it doesn't require any technical or any kind of programming skills to operate. The tool has garnered interest among the people from all sectors such as business, researchers, different industries, etc.
Tableau connects and extracts the data stored in various places. It can pull data from any platform imaginable. A simple database such as an excel, pdf, to a complex database like Oracle, a database in the cloud such as Amazon webs services, Microsoft Azure SQL database, Google Cloud SQL and various other data sources can be extracted by Tableau.
When Tableau is launched, ready data connectors are available which allows you to connect to any database. Depending on the version of Tableau that you have purchased the number of data connectors supported by Tableau will vary.
The pulled data can be either connected live or extracted to the Tableau's data engine, Tableau Desktop. This is where the Data analyst, data engineer work with the data that was pulled up and develop visualizations. The created dashboards are shared with the users as a static file. The users who receive the dashboards views the file using Tableau Reader.
The data from the Tableau Desktop can be published to the Tableau server. This is an enterprise platform where collaboration, distribution, governance, security model, automation features are supported. With the Tableau server, the end users have a better experience in accessing the files from all locations be it a desktop, mobile or email.
As the name suggests, it is an online sharing tool of Tableau. Its functionalities are similar to Tableau Server, but the data is stored on servers hosted in the cloud which are maintained by the Tableau group.
There is no storage limit on the data that can be published in the Tableau Online. Tableau Online creates a direct link to over 40 data sources that are hosted in the cloud such as the MySQL, Hive, Amazon Aurora, Spark SQL and many more.
To publish, both Tableau Online and Server require the workbooks created by Tableau Desktop. Data that is streamed from the web applications say Google Analytics, Salesforce.com are also supported by Tableau Server and Tableau Online.
The software is specifically used to share the workbooks, visualizations that are created in the Tableau Desktop application across the organization. To share dashboards in the Tableau Server, you must first publish your work in the Tableau Desktop. Once the work has been uploaded to the server, it will be accessible only to the licensed users.
However, It's not necessary that the licensed users need to have the Tableau Server installed on their machine. They just require the login credentials with which they can check reports via a web browser. The security is high in Tableau server, and it is much suited for quick and effective sharing of data in an organization.
The admin of the organization will always have full control over the server. The hardware and the software are maintained by the organization.