If you’re looking for software to effectively arrange data insights, Tableau is the perfect way to perform different kinds of data visualization functions. You can easily download the installation setup of Tableau online. This software is also useful because of its drag and drop feature because it makes accessing different sorting, comparing and analysing tasks very quick and easy.
This guide will take you through some beginner level data visualisation techniques and you can then decide which presentation suits your dataset the most. Another huge advantage of using Tableau software is that it can import data from Excel, SQL Server, and cloud-based data repositories.
Why is data visualisation so important?
What is data visualisation? All the numbers and text data that a researcher or surveyor has collected does not represent any pictorial evidence through trends and patterns. It is not possible to make decisions without being able to see what the variable relationship is and this is what Tableau is used for. Some examples of basic data visualisation are:
- Tree maps
- Bar charts
- Line graphs
- Pie charts
- Scatter plots
How to open datasets
To begin the data visualisation, you need a dataset to be imported into Tableau. On the left side there is a menu that says ‘Connect’- there are options in it to connect to either a file or a server.
Create a bar graph
For this example, a spreadsheet containing data about the monthly rainfall measurement of several countries is imported. You want to create a bar graph with month along the x-axis and average rainfall along the y-axis. After importing the data, Tableau automatically detects the predictors and responses variables and they appear on the left under the ‘Tables’ and ‘Measures’ labels. Now you just have to drag the variables you want to use (they are called ‘pills’) for the bar graph into the Columns and Rows sections on the top of the screen.
Upon right clicking the ‘Sum’ pill, you can change it to Average rainfall, maximum rainfall, minimum rainfall, etc. depending upon your need. If you only want one country to be shown in the graph, drag the ‘Country’ filter from the left and in the ‘Filter’ section (you will be guided to choose the country you want). The Marks, Color, Size and Label options can be used to further edit the bar graphs.
Create a line graph
A line graph is the perfect way to see the trend between two variables and will be required when prediction needs to be made about the temperatures of a country recorded every month. Drag the variables you want on the x and y axis into the columns and rows sections. These pills will create the line.
If you want multiple countries’ temperatures to be shown, just go to filters section and choose the countries you want to be displayed.
The data for this line graph was obtained by going to ‘Obtain New data Source’ and then choosing the relevant sheet and then by clicking the icon next to ‘Sheet 1’, you can start creating the new visualisation.
Create a scatter plot
After importing the data, you will see all the variables on the left. Now you need to find where the scatter plot option is hidden. To do this, press Ctrl on the keyboard and click ‘Grants’ and ‘Years of experience’ variable, then click on the ‘Show me’ tab on the right. This will give you the option to create a scatter plot from these two variables.
This creates a scatter plot for the data about different universities’ grants against the years of experience of the authors.
Now it is important to see the trend from this scatter and to create the best fit line, right click on the centre of the graph, drag the mouse to ‘Trend Lines’ and then choose the one ‘Show trend lines’. The following line will be created.
Compiling all the results: The dashboard
Next to the ‘new worksheet’ icon on the bottom, is the ‘new dashboard’ icon.
You will be taken to a screen with several data sets on the left menu. You can drag these to the dashboard area to create something like this
To enable the users of the dashboard to see only one country’s data at a time, Right-click on the title of the filter, Country, select Apply to Worksheets, and then pick All Using Related Data Sources. Then click filters, country and ‘Single Value (list)’ again.
Power BI vs. Tableau
Both BI and Tableau are business intelligence tools. They both allow you to analyse data and visualise it so it can create confusion for you when deciding which software to use for your data analysis. They both have almost the same features regarding data visualisation but Tableau is more expensive. This expense makes sense because Tableau is capable of handling large amounts of data and can import from a large variety of databases. Python machine learning is also available in Tableau and that is why it is more popular.
With all these advantages and ease of use, anyone can use Tableau for their data analysis needs and it does not require writing and learning commands so it should be quick to learn and explore the options on your own for any big data visualisation. Learn more about our research tutoring services here if you are feeling stuck regarding your research plan.