With the awesome growth, and availability of data today, businesses have a wealth of information for analysis. Websites and web shops generate clickstream data about pageviews and customer preferences. When we add this massive amount of ‘web data’ to the mix, it creates a challenge to find the right analytics tool to leverage all this data being produced and make [business] sense of it.
Data Visualization and Self-service data discovery are the hot topics for analytics right now. And a tool that addresses this growing need for data discovery is Tableau.
Whether you’ve heard of Tableau or not, here’s what you need to know:
Tableau helps people see and understand data
Using its own proprietary Visual Query Language (VizQL), Tableau is able to translate the user’s actions into database queries and expresses them graphically. This means data is visualized for fast analytics and helps you gain important insight into your data.
It’s super easy to use
Tableau requires no programming know-how to use, and focuses on data exploration using its drag & drop functionalities.
Once you’ve connected to a data source, it’s a matter of dragging dimensions and key figures onto the canvas, and Tableau does the rest.
For advanced calculations, Tableau supports Level Of Detail (LOD) expressions; an elegant and powerful way of answering questions through multiple levels of aggregation.
Have lots of different types of data sources? No problem-o
Tableau connects to tons of different data sources and allows you to blend data for analysis, without scripting or difficult data prep.
To connect Tableau to a data source, you just need the connection details and login information of your data source, and you’re good to go.
Just out of interest, we connected Tableau to the bilot.fi Google Analytics account to visualize our web traffic. Connecting to the service only took a few minutes and we had the previous year’s page views on screen. Our average unique pageviews are just under 1200 per day! We can also see that traffic is significantly lower during June and July, which are very popular summer vacation months in Finland.
Joining data from different data sources is also easy with Tableau’s graphical interface. Select a table from the data source and drag ‘n’ drop it to join with another data source’s table. Different join clauses and relations can be selected, as well as the connection type — Tableau supports Live or Extract connections natively to all data sources!
Best Practices sewn-in
Data visualization best practices are sewn into Tableau, allowing you to gain richer insight from your data.
Depending on the data being displayed, Tableau recognizes the best way to visualize the data and automatically highlights appropriate chart types for the user.
This is a fantastic feature, since a very common problem with visualizing data is that data is constantly being displayed incorrectly or badly using the wrong types of charts.
Data updates automatically
Tableau can be set to connect to your data via a live connection or get automatic updates on a schedule, regardless of the data source — there’s even a hybrid alternative which lets you schedule a subset of the data and call a live connection later!
If this has whet your appetite for data discovery, download a free trial of Tableau by clicking the link below.
Bilot is also hosting a Breakfast Club event about TABLEAU DATA VISUALIZATION