When you interact with people about your career plans strange opinions may surface without any amount of in depth thinking and proper market study. These innocent opinions can often be harmful. One such opinion is that learning Tableau is beneath a data analyst who can write code in R or Python. It is all about pretty graphs and colorful tables. Well, it is time to contest that opinion.
Pretty graphs are important but there is more to it
Tableau is essentially a visualization tool first and anything else after that. One must realize the value of a good visualization in order to comprehend the importance and purpose of using Tableau. The colorful graphs and neat tables are not to be mentioned sarcastically when the decisions made by the company executives depend on them.
As a data analyst your end goal is to drive profit and reduce risk by influencing the decision making. You can storm through an ocean of data using your analytical brain and supreme skills but it is all in vain if the executive body is not convinced about your findings. This is where visualization comes into play. You have to tell a story and Tableau gives you the best language to convey the story.
You all are on the same page
Let us suppose your superior does not know how to read R or Python code; what difference would it make to him whether you code your brains off to get a certain presentation done or use the default modules to get the same effect? None right? Tableau being based on simple drag drop mechanism becomes easy to handle in a shared atmosphere. Your dashboards are interactive and the stakeholders communicate his or her queries or suggestions more easily.
Tableau course has a short learning curve, and it takes only few weeks to become an expert from an absolute beginner if you have a foundation in Excel. Working on Tableau gives your client an upper hand which he is going to enjoy very much. He can read exactly what you are trying to make him read – you both win.
Flexibility is power
Tableau lets you download, install and work with data sets from various sources and environments. You can work with huge data sets and even perform some basic analytics.
Your data from R can be loaded on Tableau which means you an analyze the data on R and then visualize it through Tableau.
Things you cannot do with Tableau
As said earlier, it is essentially a visualization tool with basic analytical abilities. You cannot expect to use Tableau for procedural computation. In fact it is unwise to perform any sort of heavy analytics on tableau. It is better to use the more potent tools like R, Python or Spark to do your analysis and use Tableau to frame the story out of your insights. However, a Tableau course does enable you to use the tool to some effect in entry level business analysis.
Your most precious gain is time
If you are a busy business analyst or data analyst, time is what you are running after. With stakeholders reaching up your neck for presentations, incessant data influx, insane deadlines, Tableau is going to save your life for sure. If you are fluent with the tool and its function, you will save the time which you had to spend in writing a line of code. Those few minutes will add up to your breathing space.
Think before you invest
In the course of the article you have had an idea of what you can and cannot accomplish with Tableau. Now, think what your immediate tasks and long term goals are. Does your job require any degree of visualization, if not then do you want to enter a job role that necessitates convincing your stakeholders about your findings? If the answers to both the questions are no, then you might not want to invest yourself into a Tableau course but if the answer is yes then you are going to regret not having Tableau training.
A lot of companies have actually kept Tableau training one of the essential criteria of eligibility. This is simply because tableau makes it possible for the non-programmers or Non-IT professionals to land on the same page with the data professionals, which is essential for a business to really grow. An inexpensive course with a short learning curve does not hurt anybody and once mastered it can be a true friend at the workplace.