Congratulations!!! your dream came true and you have been hired as a Tableau developer.
Now you need to know things to be successful and to provide value to your client.
a. Get a licensed copy of Tableau desktop
Tableau desktop is used for developing sheets,dashboards and data story. Tableau offers two weeks of trail version, after that you will need to provide a license key.
Your organization should be able to provide you with a valid license key.
b. Gather requirements from the user.
- Before designing any fancy visualizations, understand the user requirements. Understand what users are trying to achieve from the dashboards, what critical questions they are trying to answer.
- Create mockups of the dashboards in Tableau using the sample datasource and explain different charts to the users.
- After gaining good understanding of the requirements,gather info on the data sources available. Datasource can be file based(excel,csv),databases or any other.
- Look for credentials to access the data sources. Verify if all the data elements are present in the data sources provided.
- Create a requirement document working in association with the users.
- Create a mapping document, if required, to map the datasource fields to Tableau visualizations.
c. Creating DataSource
- Identify the Dimensions and measures in the data. Understand the relationships. To understand more about dimensions and facts, visit Dimensions and Facts
- Work on data preparation. Tableau has limited data transformation functionality, data preparation should be done outside of Tableau.
- Load data into Tableau desktop. Want to learn more visit Tableau connects to data.
- Look at the size of the data and decide on the connection type – Live or Extract. Tableau Data Extract(TDE) files are usually faster as compared to live data connection.
- Work on data transformations as per the requirements.
- Look at the fields required in the visualizations, hide the fields which are not required.
- Rename fields from datasource specific to business friendly.
- Create hierarchies.
- Create calculations as required.
- Organize your data elements in folders for ease of development.
- Save or publish the datasource for other developers to use. DataSource can be saved as a TDS file.
d. Building Dashboards
- Create dashboards which give data insights to the users. Refer your requirement document.
- In Tableau, a single visualization is created in a WorkSheet and Dashboards are a combination of sheets. You can create multiple sheets, color the related sheets so that it is easier to identify the related sheets.
- Use muted colors in your visualizations so that the user’s focus is on the data not on the colors.
- Provide Actions to create interactive dashboards. Learn how to create interactive dashboards, visit How to dynamically create a chart.
- To learn more about creating charts in Tableau visit, Charts in Tableau
e. Server Deployment
- Tableau Server is a central repository for all the visualizations.
- Understand your role in Tableau server. Depending on the team structure, your role may be of Server Admin,Site Admin or publisher.
- Understand the security requirements of your organization. Assign users and permissions to specific dashboards.
- Create Projects with meaningful business friendly names. These projects will be business specific and will hold the visualizations.
- Visualizations can be published as twb and twbx.
- Make sure that you specify the UNC path to your data sources.
- Publish sheets,dashboards and stories using your Tableau desktop. Grant necessary permissions to the users.
- Schedule the TDE files for data refresh.
Tableau is an amazing application,with tons of options. You will learn as you will go along.