When we think of recording data, collating numbers for reporting or financial modeling, Microsoft Excel comes to mind almost immediately. Most of us know that we can use Excel to organise our data and present it in a more visually pleasing format.

But what if we told you that you could bring your data visualisation game to the next level with this software called Tableau?

Tableau, according to its website, is a business intelligence software to “help people see and understand data”.

Many companies swear by Tableau and it has grown to become one of the most popular data visualisation software over the years.

If you’re still using Excel to represent your data, here’s our take on why you should switch to Tableau instead:

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Applications in Data Science

If you are planning to venture into Data Science, you should definitely consider switching to Tableau for your data visualisation needs. In fact, Tableau is listed as one of the top 20 skills a graduate should have on their resume if they want to pursue a career in data science.

Tableau is the 8th most in-demand technology skill for Data Scientists
Tableau is the 8th most in-demand technology skill for Data Scientists. Image: towardsdatascience.com

Excel is a spreadsheet software designed for calculations and manipulations of data whereas Tableau is a data visualisation software with built-in capabilities to analyse data as well. In terms of purpose (visualising data), Tableau is already scoring more points than Excel. Building dashboards with multiple types of charts to communicate your findings is much more easily done in Tableau than Excel.

You know what’s even better? If you’ve already mastered Excel and a good part of the hundreds of functions they have available and are related to your job, Tableau uses much of the same syntax, which means that you’ll have no problems diving in whenever you’re ready.

Tableau is also highly compatible with programming tools that data scientists often use, such as R, Python and MATLAB. This means that you can easily deploy your existing data models prepared with MATLAB into Tableau to gain predictive insights. Or if you need to do some data cleaning, the TabPy server allows Tableau to remotely execute your Python code.

Career development

In our highly competitive society, it is becoming more important to make yourself stand out from the rest. When interviewing for jobs, what skills do you have that will make an employer want to hire you? Being adept at Excel does not make you that much different from other interviewees—everyone applying for a data-related job should be able to use Excel to a decent extent.

A resume being presented at an interview.
A resume being presented at an interview. Image: Ijeab via Freepik.com

What will make you stand out though, is being skilled at a business intelligence software like Tableau. All companies have to work with data and using Tableau to analyse the important numbers could potentially increase your company’s revenue just like how China Eastern Airlines did.

If you are already employed, picking up Tableau could be a great boost to the team, especially if your company is still growing and does not have sufficient resources to hire data scientists. In fact, we believe that using Tableau for your business will help accelerate its growth.

Community support

When it comes to learning a new skill, it is common to stumble upon roadblocks which may challenge your learning process. This is where the power of community support comes in!

In addition to its data visualisation capabilities, Tableau has a great network of online communities that you can reach out to for any queries you may have while using the software. Furthermore, a wide range of articles are frequently published on Tableau’s blog which gives you a better idea on how others are using Tableau for their business needs.

Tableau Conference
Tableau Conference. Image: tc17.tableau.com

For those who prefer offline interactions, Tableau also organises regular events around the world to gather the community of Tableau lovers together. Their biggest event of the year, Tableau Conference, is an annual conference that features keynote speakers, hands-on learning sessions and even networking opportunities!

UpCode Academy’s very first Data Visualization (Tableau) course is now launched! Sign up for the course here; limited slots are available.

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