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Getting Started with Tableau: Introduction

An introduction to data analysis and visualization using Tableau.

Tableau Overview

Tableau is a suite of software tools for data analysis and visualization. It simplifies raw data into an easily understood consumable format. Tableau enables you to import numeric or categorical data to produce a range of graphs with end user interactivity. With the drag and drop interface you can easily create charts, maps, dashboards and stories which can be published or embedded into a website. 

Why Should Students Learn to Use Tableau?

No matter what discipline or career you are interested in, data analysis has become increasingly important. In a recent list published by Indeed, Tableau was one of the fastest rising technical skills in demand by employers.  Data is everywhere and employers have a greater need for employees who understand how to manage data. 

With an working knowledge of Tableau students can:

  • Create visualizations for course work and presentations
  • Develop an online portfolio of your work which can be linked to your LinkedIn profile
  • Create an interactive, online resume
  • Make visualizations to promote a cause or event
  • Become a Tableau Student Ambassador to teach and share while fostering a supportive space within our community
  • Develop valuable, in-demand technical skills that enable you to pull insights from data and present them in an easily understood format

How to Get Tableau

Tableau Public - This is the free version of the Tableau platform.  It allows access to everything that Tableau offers, but it publishes the visualizations to the Tableau Public website. This is a good option for learning how to use the product if data privacy is not a concern. 

Tableau Desktop - This is the paid version and is the most commonly used Tableau product in the academic environment. The Desktop version allows you to keep your data private. Students and faculty can apply for a free one-year license for Tableau Desktop.

  • Students: go to to request a free student license. Typically, Tableau will provide students an immediate free 14-day trial version. You will need to apply to get a one-year free student license and that process may take a few days. Each year students enrolled full-time can request a new one-year key.
  • Faculty: instructors using Tableau in their coursework can apply for a free one-year instructor license here:

Research and Data Librarian

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Lori Looney
Shain Library
Connecticut College
(860) 439-2668