On 29 September last year, the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) and business analytics software Tableau signed a memorandum of intent, indicating that the software company will help to equip at least 1500 government officers with skillsets in data analysis and visualisation over the next three years.

For those of you who are surprised that the government is collaborating with a software firm that you’ve never heard of, Tableau is actually quite a widely used business intelligence software that simplifies data analytics and visualisation.

The Tableau Logo
The Tableau Logo. (Image: Tableau.com)

As to why the partnership is necessary, then-Chief Executive of GovTech, Jacqueline Poh, cited the need to help government officers “understand and make use of data” in a push towards digitalising government processes and moving towards being a Smart Nation.

Does this mean that Tableau is only useful if you hope to be a public officer or wish to work for the civil service?

Certainly not (and we’ll tell you why, too)!

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I. It is in high demand in data science.

While it’s clear that the public sector wants to equip its workers with skills in data analysis and visualisation, the demand for Tableau is apparent in the private sector as well.

If you’re looking to be a data scientist, or to pursue a career that deals with large quantities of numbers, Tableau is ranked 8th in the top 20 technology skills listed for a data scientist in job listings.

Of course, Tableau’s popularity cannot compare with that of programming languages Python, R and SQL, but knowing Tableau in addition to those languages is likely to set you apart from the competition.

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)

If you’re still not convinced that Tableau is a skill in high demand, take a look at some of the job listings (for jobs in Singapore) that indicate Tableau as one of the preferred skills.

Screenshot of Monster jobs website
3 of 41 job listings on Monster that indicate Tableau as a key skill. (Image: Monster.com – click to see all job listings)
Screenshot of Indeed.com.sg
4 of 525 job listings on Indeed that indicate Tableau as a desired skill. (Image: Indeed.com.sg – click to see all job listings)

II. It can be used in a variety of industries.

Tableau software is very versatile, allowing users to import data from a variety of sources to build custom dashboards with information that is most relevant to them. This means that the software can be used to wrangle data in all sorts of industries and departments.

A quick scan of the job listings above show that Tableau is used in banking, management consulting, recruitment and more. It can be used by the sales and marketing department to analyse ROI and can also be used by investment bankers for predictive analysis.

This means that your Tableau knowledge will not go to waste even if you decide to do a mid-career switch to a different industry, or to join a different department in the same company.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Learning Tableau Will Help Your Business Grow 

III. You can deal with big data without knowing how to code.

If you work in a data-driven company that doesn’t quite have the budget to hire a full-time data scientist, Tableau is here to save the day. While most career data scientists have mastered at least one or two programming languages, chances are that the average marketing manager hasn’t.

Thankfully, most of Tableau’s functions can be accessed via simple drag-and-drop and requires no knowledge of Python, R or any of the other programming languages that are data science-optimised.

Generate sales forecasts with a simple drag and drop.
Generate sales forecasts with a simple drag-and-drop. (Image: Tableau.com)

On the other hand, if you do know how to code, Tableau offers integrations with many programming tools used by data scientists such as MATLAB for predictive analysis. The TabPy server also allows you to execute Python code to present data on Tableau. This means that learning how to operate Tableau can still value-add to your data analytics and visualisation prowess.

IV. The tool is useful for beginners and advanced users.

Unlike learning a programming language, which usually requires a significant level of mastery before one is able to wrangle data and create dashboards that are helpful for data analysis, Tableau can be useful to its learners from the very beginning.

While the beginner can make use of line graphs, pie and bar charts to help them in their analysis, more advanced users can use the same data to create waterfall charts, bump charts and more.

Tableau bump chart
Creating advanced bump charts in Tableau, which are useful for indicating rank changes among a number of items. (Image: Tableau.com)

Instead of learning how to operate two (or more) products in order to create a variety of charts and graphs for your data visualisation and analytical needs, Tableau has all of this in one place, ready to be used if you’re ready to learn how.


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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Featured image: M.B.M. via Unsplash