Key Benefits Of Tableau Explained

Taylor Karl
/ Categories: Resources, Data & Analytics
Key Benefits Of Tableau Explained 3039 0

Maximizing Your Data's Potential with Tableau: A Comprehensive Guide

The rapid proliferation of big data means there is now an unprecedented amount of information available to businesses. Market trends, customer behaviors, sales performance, and inventory levels are just a few types of data that businesses commonly track. The specific data tracked by a business will vary depending on its industry, size, objectives, and the nature of its operations, but one thing that is consistent in the digital age is that everyone is trying to extract value from this information.

Big data is high volume, high velocity, and high variety. Mobile and cloud computing traffic exploding alongside the use of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving up the volume and complexity of data sets. Business intelligence tools are now an operational imperative, allowing humans to contextualize this data so it is easier to understand and pull insights from.

Fortunately, we have Tableau to do just that.

On this page:

Key Benefits of Tableau

This platform is well known for taking all kinds of data from just about any system and quickly turning it into actionable insights. This leading data visualization tool puts data at the forefront of collaboration and decision-making so users can find new opportunities to innovate. If you’re looking for a business intelligence tool to help you derive value from data, here are a few reasons why Tableau is a great option:

User-Friendly Interface

The intuitive, easy-to-use design means creating data visualizations doesn’t require complex coding or SQL queries. Because of this, Tableau is accessible for users of all levels, and you don’t have to have a technical background to create customized dashboards.

Robust Data Visualization Capabilities

The Dashboards feature uses text, graphic objects, visualizations, and other elements, all within a simple drag-and-drop interface that is very easy to learn. Dashboards allow users to analyze multiple views together to identify patterns they might not otherwise have seen by looking at views independently.

Benefits Of Tableau

Advanced Data Analysis Features

Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of the analysis features that helps Tableau stand out:

  • Tableau visualizations use live data connections or data extracts that often refresh on a schedule with the frequency based on business needs.
  • The Data Guide, available in both the Desktop and Cloud versions, gives decision-makers more information about the data used in the view, but also helps to identify outliers and offer explanations as to why those marks are anomalous using statistical analysis.
  • Cloud users can create alerts on visualizations based on certain criteria they configure so they are informed when thresholds are reached. They can also subscribe to views, receiving a PDF or image via email at a frequency they specify.
  • Tableau Pulse is a new feature in Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud that generates and packages insights that answer common questions users may have about the visualizations they are viewing. It uses natural language enhanced with AI to deliver answers in summaries and guided conversations.
  • The Metrics Layer is a way for organizations to standardize metrics that matter most to users. It also identifies what those metrics represent and how different metrics relate to one another. It allows the Tableau Pulse Insight platform to answer the why behind the questions business users ask. Metrics are then presented in tiles, much like many of the personal apps people use to get quick snippets of information. Users can add metric definitions and follow metrics to keep informed on a regular basis. People who do not regularly access Tableau can also use this to understand the data without the need to learn a whole new tool.

Option to Combine Data

Tableau offers several ways to blend data from multiple tables/sheets as well as from multiple sources. Users can employ table joins, relationships, and data blending to work with data from more than one source.

  • Relationships are the default method for combining data. They are flexible and adapt from worksheet to worksheet as users create visualizations. You can even use relationships on multiple tables or sheets that have different levels of detail.
  • Joins combine tables much like a database query, creating a set of data that combines columns from two or more tables into a single data source. If data is at different levels of detail, duplication can be a problem. You can’t use a published data source in a join.

Data blending does not combine the data into a single data source, but rather combines the data separately on each worksheet where a blend is used. Users first build the individual data sources they want to use in the blend, then build the worksheet and use the fields they want from the two data sources they want to combine. Data blends cannot be saved as independent data sources – they only exist on the worksheet where they were created as the visualization was built.

Tableau blends offer two main benefits. First, blends can handle different levels of detail. If data is transactional in one table but summarized in another, blending data is one solution when data from both tables needs to be combined. I think the main reason to use blends would be to work with published data sources. Since users cannot use joins or relationships to combine data between already published data sources, a data blend would be the best way to handle that situation.

Seamless Integration with Multiple Data Sources

No matter where your data lives, Tableau can reach it. That includes such data sources as regular text files (.txt, .csv), Microsoft Excel (.xlsx), Microsoft Access (.accdb), Tableau workbook (.tbm), and Tableau Table data Extract (.tds). The platform also supports cloud-based data storage and integrations with popular cloud platforms like Azure, AWS, Mulesoft, Oracle, and others. 

Collaboration and Sharing

Tableau gives multiple users access to shared data sources so they can work on the same project in real time. Teams can divide and conquer by working on different sheets or dashboards within the same workbook simultaneously.

Tableau in Action: Case Studies

If you’re still wondering whether Tableau can help you and your company, take a look at how some of the world’s leading brands have benefitted from using this tool:

Case Study #1: Bentley Motors

Tableau’s dashboards helped overhaul process management on the company’s factory floors by enabling quick identification and resolution of issues, subsequently increasing production line efficiency.

Case Study #2: Airbnb

The leading online marketplace for lodging and hospitality services implemented Tableau to analyze booking patterns, track user behavior, and optimize pricing strategies. Visualizations helped Airbnb identify trends, understand customer preferences, and make data-driven decisions to enhance the user experience and increase revenue.

Case Study #3: Empower Physical Therapy

With dozens of locations across the United States, the company struggled to manage and present financial data to investors as it grew while remaining HIPAA-compliant. Because Tableau dashboards are HIPAA-compliant, the company was able to use them to automatically source and integrate all of their data and quickly create visual reports that effectively demonstrated the company’s value.

Comparing Tableau with Other BI Tools

The strength of Tableau really lies in its visualization capabilities. It does not limit the number of data points in a visualization like some other tools do, and there are no row or size limitations for the datasets you connect to. Tableau’s fast data engine can handle billions of rows of data. Some tools have a limit on the datasets you can store without combining with a cloud service, which sets Tableau apart.

Tableau gives users the option to connect to live data but also provides the option to create extracts so they can take advantage of the fast data engine while developing workbooks and when views and dashboards are shared on Tableau Cloud and Tableau Server. A Tableau extract is optimized for query performance and results in faster analysis and visualizations. Tableau extracts allow for offline access to data in Tableau Desktop. They are snapshots of data, but when stored online, refresh schedules can be set up to keep the data up to date.

Tableau also offers built-in tools for optimizing workbooks. The Workbook Optimizer helps to identify issues in Desktop usage and Performance Recording can help diagnose performance issues.

Additional considerations for businesses comparing Tableau to Power BI might include:



Power BI


Generally higher cost, especially for enterprise

Lower cost, often more affordable for small to medium-sized businesses

Ease of Use

Intuitive interface, easy for beginners to grasp

User-friendly interface, designed for ease of use


Offers advanced visualization options

Rich visualization options, with frequent updates and additions

Data Connectivity

Supports a wide range of data sources

Extensive data connectivity, including cloud and on-premises sources

Learning Curve

Steeper learning curve for advanced features

Relatively shorter learning curve, especially for basic functionality


Highly customizable with extensive options

Customizable with a variety of options, though slightly less than Tableau


Collaboration features available, including sharing and commenting

Strong collaboration features, including real-time collaboration and sharing


Integrates well with other tools and platforms

Seamless integration with Microsoft ecosystem and other tools


Offers mobile applications for data access and exploration

Mobile apps available for data viewing and exploration


Provides comprehensive customer support

Strong customer support with extensive resources



Big data is inundating businesses with an unprecedented volume of information. But where there are challenges, there are also opportunities, and Tabluea can help you take advantage of your data sources. With this tool, you can make the most of the digital landscape and drive growth innovation at your company.

Eager to add Tableau proficiency to your resume? New Horizons is proud to be a Tableau trusted training partner. With our Tableau Desktop Courses, you can learn to connect the platform to a wide range of data sources and quickly gain valuable insights, show trends, and create reports.