Tableau developer – First few days at work

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Create mockups of the dashboards in Tableau using the sample datasource and explain different charts to the users.
  3. 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.
  4. Look for credentials to access the data sources. Verify if all the data elements are present in the data sources provided.
  5. Create a requirement document working in association with the users.
  6. Create a mapping document, if required, to map the datasource fields to Tableau visualizations.

c. Creating DataSource

  1. Identify the Dimensions and measures in the data. Understand the relationships. To understand more about dimensions and facts, visit Dimensions and Facts
  2. Work on data preparation. Tableau has limited data transformation functionality, data preparation should be done outside of Tableau.
  3. Load data into Tableau desktop. Want to learn more visit Tableau connects to data.
  4. 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.
  5.  Work on data transformations as per the requirements.
    1. Look at the fields required in the visualizations, hide the fields which are not required.
    2. Rename fields from datasource specific to business friendly.
    3. Create hierarchies.
    4. Create calculations as required.
    5.  Organize your data elements in folders for ease of development.
  6. Save or publish the datasource for other developers to use. DataSource can be saved as a TDS file.

d. Building Dashboards

  1. Create dashboards which give data insights to the users. Refer your requirement document.
  2. 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.
  3. Use muted colors in your visualizations so that the user’s focus is on the data not on the colors.
  4. Provide Actions to create interactive dashboards. Learn how to create interactive dashboards, visit How to dynamically create a chart.
  5. To learn more about creating charts in Tableau visit, Charts in Tableau

e. Server Deployment

  1. Tableau Server is a central repository for all the visualizations.
  2. Understand your role in Tableau server. Depending on the team structure, your role may be of Server Admin,Site Admin or publisher.
  3. Understand the security requirements of your organization. Assign users and permissions to specific dashboards.
  4. Create Projects with meaningful business friendly names. These projects will be business specific and will hold the visualizations.
  5. Visualizations can be published as twb and twbx.
  6. Make sure that you specify the UNC path to your data sources.
  7. Publish sheets,dashboards and stories using your Tableau desktop. Grant necessary permissions to the users.
  8. Schedule the TDE files for data refresh.

Tableau is an amazing application,with tons of options. You will learn as you will go along.

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