Tableau is a data visualization program created by Tableau Software. It is capable of querying a variety of datasets including relational databases, spreadsheets, and cloud-based sources to produce graphs, interactive visualizations, and other tools for visual analytics. Tableau can also connect with spatial datasets such as Seri Shapefiles and GeoJSON to create maps at county, state, or country level, as well as customized geographic areas.
As one of the most popular data visualization programs in the business world, Tableau is important to learn to create professional-quality, high-impact graphics for presentations and reports. In today’s era of big data, businesses of all kinds are seeking to harness data-driven insights to guide their decision-making. Compelling visual analytics can be a critical tool for successful data storytelling, allowing you to capture research findings in a more memorable way than text and drive home key insights.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and data visualizations are increasingly expected as a way to convey information in a wide variety of jobs. Strong Tableau skills can help your work stand out whether you’re a business analyst, a government public relations specialist, a data journalist, or an academic researcher.
Management analysts and consultants also depend on compelling visualizations in presentations and reports to convince executives to make changes to improve their operations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management analysts earned a median annual salary of $85,260 in 2019, and these roles are expected to grow much faster than average due to growing demand for data-driven organizational insights. These consultants typically have at least a bachelor’s degree, but jobs at top consulting firms may require a master’s in business administration (MBA).
Absolutely! Coursera offers individual courses and multi-course Specializations covering Tableau and other data visualization techniques. These courses let you learn remotely from top-ranked schools like the University of California, Davis and Duke University, and the ability to complete coursework on a flexible schedule makes online learning a great fit for mid-career professionals looking to add to their skill set. You can also get familiar with Tableau with a Guided Project, which helps you build skills by completing a step-by-step tutorial alongside experienced instructors.
Before learning Tableau, it helps to have a basic grasp on the fundamentals of data warehousing, data visualization, and SQL. Familiarity with these concepts and skills can make learning Tableau smoother, although it's not a strict requirement. If you take beginner-level courses or a Specialization geared toward beginners, you might not need specific skills, but you should be comfortable working with data and data sets. As you progress, you'll cultivate skills such as visual analytics, interactive visualization, and storyboarding as you become accustomed to using Tableau software.
Ideal candidates for Tableau professional roles are passionate about using data as a foundation for creating innovative solutions to business problems. They’re inquisitive, curious by nature, and interested in using data to create actionable insights to drive business decisions. They also may have expertise working with storage tools and online analytics, writing test queries, and conducting tests. Tableau is meant to be used as a tool to provide visuals that enhance users' existing ability to identify patterns. This is a useful and necessary skill for anyone interested in working in a role using Tableau.
If you're looking to work in an in-demand field and you want to work within business intelligence and data visualization, learning Tableau could be a great path forward for you. Over the past few years, organizations have been wrangling an ever-increasing amount of data, which can be used to inform a variety of decisions to drive the business forward. Being able to maintain and analyze that data is critical, which is a key benefit to learning Tableau. This research, analysis, and data visualization tool has been ranked among the technical skills with the biggest increases in demand according to Forbes, which noted an increase of more than 1,500% in demand for people with Tableau skills. Beyond the career potential, if you want to be able to create advanced charts and graphs without the need for coding, learning Tableau can help you do just that.
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