What Type of Data Does Tableau Use?


Scott Campbell

Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that allows you to analyze and present your data in a visually appealing manner. But before you can use Tableau, it’s important to understand the types of data that it can work with.

Structured Data

Tableau primarily works with structured data, which is organized and stored in a predefined format. Structured data is typically found in databases, spreadsheets, and other tabular formats.

Examples of structured data:

  • A customer database with columns for name, age, email, and purchase history
  • A sales spreadsheet with columns for product name, quantity sold, and revenue
  • A stock market dataset with columns for date, ticker symbol, open price, high price, low price, close price

Unstructured Data

In addition to structured data, Tableau can also handle unstructured data. Unstructured data refers to information that does not have a predefined format or organization. This type of data can be more challenging to work with as it often requires additional processing before it can be analyzed.

Examples of unstructured data:

  • Emails and chat logs
  • Social media posts
  • Images and videos
  • Webpage content

Semi-Structured Data

Semi-structured data is a combination of structured and unstructured data. It has some organization or structure but does not adhere to a strict schema like structured data.

Examples of semi-structured data:

  • XML files
  • JSON data
  • HTML documents

Connecting to Data Sources in Tableau

Tableau provides a variety of options for connecting to different data sources. Some of the commonly used data sources include:

  • Databases: Tableau can connect to popular databases like MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, and more.
  • Spreadsheets: You can import data from Excel files or Google Sheets directly into Tableau.
  • Cloud Services: Tableau integrates with cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • Data Warehouses: You can connect Tableau to data warehouses such as Amazon Redshift or Snowflake.
  • Web Data Connectors: Tableau supports web connectors that allow you to extract data from web pages and APIs.

In Conclusion

In summary, Tableau is capable of working with structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data. Whether you’re analyzing sales figures in a spreadsheet or visualizing social media sentiment, Tableau provides a versatile platform for exploring and presenting your data. By understanding the types of data that Tableau can handle and leveraging its wide range of connectivity options, you can unlock the full potential of this powerful tool.

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