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I’ll never forget my first task as a Data Analyst Intern. It was about building a dashboard in Tableau – a dashboard that was supposed to contribute to reducing costs and errors within the company I worked for.
It was such a huge responsibility.
I was ready for a smooth & slow onboarding process, but on my first day at work this is what I heard:
“In the next three weeks, we need you to build a live dashboard for our Continuous Improvement Department to track logistics, suppliers, and internal errors along with its costs and other data points.”
At that time, I had NEVER heard of Tableau in my life and even the word “dashboard” was not really familiar to me.
I only had experience with Python and SQL, plus some of the basics of data visualization, but that was all.
However, without any previous practical experience, I did it: I taught myself Tableau and in a few weeks I built “an extremely impressive dashboard” (according to my manager) that is still used today, and my model was expanded at a global level.
I had little to no support, cause everyone on my team was busy with their own stuff.
I followed online tutorials and simply learned by doing.
From data connections, pulling data from multiple sources, joining tables, to finally managing to manipulate, make sense of the information, and put together interactive and clean visualizations that in the end, really had a positive impact on the company.
Is Tableau easy to learn?
So to answer the question, yes, from my experience, the basics of Tableau are easy to learn.
But if you want to dive deeper into advanced features, then you’ll need a few months to explore it with at least 40+ hours of following tutorials.
It’s one of those tools that’s easy to learn, but hard to master.
The software is intuitive, user-friendly with lots of drag-and-drop features, and comes with a clean/minimal interface. This means the design won’t stay in your way, and that’s a thing I find super valuable.
Does Tableau require coding?
No, at its core Tableau does not require coding but it does require you to have a strong analytical mind and at least some basic knowledge of a querying language like SQL.
If you work with multiple data sources that you need to combine, you will need some knowledge of SQL to connect, pre-clean, and prepare your data before pouring it into Tableau.
You will also use Tableau formulas to make adjustments and advanced filtering to your data. But that’s not coding, it’s just a mix of Tableau “language”
However, coding knowledge won’t hurt, it will only get you further as Tableau is implementing more and more advanced features (eg. ML models into Tableau).
Can I teach myself Tableau?
Yes, for sure, you can teach yourself Tableau.
There are tons of good courses and tutorials out there that you can follow along. Tableau has a large community and a nice forum where you can find answers to very specific questions or bugs you encounter.
Can beginners learn Tableau?
Yes, absolute beginners can learn Tableau really easily with the help of the dozens of tutorials available on the web.
You don’t need any previous experience in Tableau before you start with it.
I was a 100% newbie to data visualization and Tableau and managed to learn the basics of the tool in a few weeks.
Is tableau worth learning?
Tableau is a strong data visualization tool that appears more and more in job descriptions for important roles like Data Analysts, Business Intelligence Analysts, and Data Scientists.
Certified Tableau professionals have higher chances of getting hired in these roles and therefore, we strongly believe Tableau is worth learning.
Plus, it is a tool of the future as well. Data jobs are on the rise. More and more data is collected every single second. This means more data to analyze and more data to visualize.
What is the best way to learn Tableau?
The best way to learn Tableau is by doing, which is mainly the case with most of the software tools out there.
Learning the theory, the basics, and data terms are also important, of course.
Don’t overlook learning about what are the best ways to visualize your data to get the most out of it.
The colors and the types of charts you choose are very important as well.
A rule of thumb for example is to avoid pie charts by any means – especially when you have to feature more than 2 data segments.
But it’s always essential to apply in a practical manner what you read about.
There are lots of good courses that teach you step-by-step how to use Tableau, with over-the-shoulder tutorials where you work on projects that you can immediately add to your portfolio.
These are our favorite Tableau courses:
Having a portfolio in data visualization is what will put you ahead of the competition when you’ll apply for jobs, and will give you a great advantage.
Employees want to see how you think, and how you approach a project from A-Z and they value practical experience.
If you don’t want to take a course, you can teach yourself tableau by following Tutorials from youtube and reading the Help / Community section on the Tableau website.
No matter how you choose to learn Tableau, the first thing you’ll always need is access to a dataset that you can download as a .csv, and then import into Tableau. From then on, you have data to work with and something to analyze and create visualizations from.
Tableau is a tool of the future, that is 100% worth learning and its basics are fairly easy to learn. To master it, you will need a few months and hours of practice and following tutorials.
But once you do it, you’ll love its advanced features and the freedom you will have in exploring and creating interactive beautiful dashboards that are able to track granular data.