10 Features of Tableau to Smoothen your Data Visualization Tasks

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In this tutorial, we are going to check out some of the very important and interesting features of Tableau. It is this bundle of unique features that make Tableau a popular and widely accepted Business Intelligence tool. So, get a better understanding of Tableau and its potential by going through the list of features provided to you in the next section.

Features of Tableau

tableau features

Tableau is considered as one of the best Business Intelligence and data visualization tools and has managed to top the charts quite a few times since its launch. The most important quality of this tool is that it makes organizing, managing, visualizing and understanding data extremely easy for its users.

Data can be as complex and mysterious as we can imagine and requires proper tools to extract meaning from it. Such tools enable us to dig deep into the data so that we can discover patterns and get meaningful insights. Tableau provides us with a set of tools that equip us to do data discovery, data visualization and insight sharing at a detailed level.

One interesting aspect of Tableau that has been a key player in making it everyone’s favorite BI tool, is its easy drag-and-drop functionality. You do not need to come from a technical background or know a lot of coding to be able to work on Tableau. You can easily master this tool by understanding and learning its UI-based features and functionalities to create dashboards and analyze reports.

Given below are the top features of Tableau:

1. Tableau Dashboard

Tableau Dashboards provide a wholesome view of your data by the means of visualizations, visual objects, text, etc. Dashboards are very informative as they can present data in the form of stories, enable the addition of multiple views and objects, provide a variety of layouts and formats, enable the users to deploy suitable filters. You even have the option to copy a dashboard or its specific elements from one workbook to another easily.

2. Collaboration and Sharing

Tableau provides convenient options to collaborate with other users and instantly share data in the form of visualizations, sheets, dashboards, etc. in real-time. It allows you to securely share data from various data sources such as on-premise, on-cloud, hybrid, etc. Instant and easy collaboration and data sharing help in getting quick reviews or feedback on the data leading to a better overall analysis of it.

3. Live and In-memory Data

Tableau ensures connectivity to both live data sources or data extraction from external data sources as in-memory data. This gives the user the flexibility to use data from more than one type of data source without any restrictions. You can use data directly from the data source by establishing live data connections or keep that data in-memory by extracting data from a data source as per their requirement. Tableau provides additional features to support data connectivity such as automatic extract refreshes, notifying the user upon a live connection fail, etc.

4. Data Sources in Tableau

Tableau offers a myriad of data source options you can connect to and fetch data from. Data sources ranging from on-premise files, spreadsheets, relational databases, non-relational databases, data warehouses, big data, to on-cloud data are all available on Tableau. One can easily establish a secure connection to any of the data sources from Tableau and use that data along with data from other sources to create a combinatorial view of data in the form of visualizations. Tableau also supports different kinds of data connectors such as Presto, MemSQL, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, Cloudera, Hadoop, Amazon Athena, Salesforce, SQL Server, Dropbox and many more.

5. Advanced Visualizations (Chart Types)

One of the key features of Tableau and the one that got its popularity is its wide range of visualizations. In Tableau, you can make visualizations as basic as a:

and as advanced as a:

and many more. You can select and create any kind of visualization easily by selecting the visualization type from the Show Me tab.

6. Maps

Yet another important feature of Tableau is the map. Tableau has a lot of pre-installed information on maps such as cities, postal codes, administrative boundaries, etc. This makes the maps created on Tableau very detailed and informative. You can add different layers of geology on the map as per your requirements and create informative maps in Tableau with your data. The different kinds of maps available in Tableau are Heat map, Flow map, Choropleth maps, Point distribution map, etc.

7. Robust Security

Tableau takes special care of data and user security. It has a fool-proof security system based on authentication and permission systems for data connections and user access. Tableau also gives you the freedom to integrate with other security protocols such as Active Directory, Kerberos, etc. An important point to note here is that Tableau practices row-level filtering which helps in keeping the data secure.

8. Mobile View

Tableau acknowledges the importance of mobile phones in today’s world and provides a mobile version of the Tableau app. One can create their dashboards and reports in such a manner that it is also compatible with mobile. Tableau has the option of creating customized mobile layouts for your dashboard specific to your mobile device. The customization option gives the option for adding new phone layouts, interactive offline previews, etc. Hence, the mobile view gives Tableau users a lot of flexibility and convenience in handling their data on the go.

9. Ask Data

The Ask data feature of Tableau makes it even more favored by the users globally. This feature makes playing with data just a matter of simple searches as we do on Google. You just need to type a query about your data in natural language and Tableau will present you with the most relevant answers. The answers are not only in the form of text but also as visuals. For instance, if what you searched for is already present in a bar graph, the Ask data option will search and open the bar graph for you instantly. Such features make data more accessible to users who can easily dig deep into data and find new insights and patterns.

10. Trend Lines and Predictive Analysis

Another extremely useful feature of Tableau is the use of time series and forecasting. Easy creation of trend lines and forecasting is possible due to Tableau’s powerful backend and dynamic front end. You can easily get data predictions such as a forecast or a trend line by simply selecting some options and drag-and-drop operations using your concerned fields.

Learn the Steps to Create Forecast in Tableau

Miscellaneous Features of Tableau

Along with the list of key features that we just covered, Tableau is loaded with a lot of other important as well as useful features listed below:

  • Cross database join
  • Nested sorting
  • Drag-and-drop integration
  • Data connectors
  • Prep conductor
  • Text editor
  • Revision history
  • Licensing views
  • ETL refresh
  • Web Data connector
  • External service integration
  • Split function

Features of Latest Tableau Version: Tableau 2019.4

As of now, Tableau 2019.4 is the latest version out on the roll. This version of Tableau brings with it some new features. Have a look at the list of features included in the new Tableau 2019.4.

  • Improved tables (Tables up to 50 columns, horizontal scrolling, sorting by dimensions and measures)
  • Webhooks support
  • View recommendations
  • Sandboxed extensions
  • LinkedIn sales navigator connector
  • Improved maps, activity feed, Ask data, SAP HANA connectors
  • Tooltip editing in the browser

Tableau Features: Quick view

Given below is a quick overview of Tableau features:

  • API
  • Access Control
  • Active Directory Integration
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Ad hoc Analysis
  • Ad hoc Query
  • Ad hoc Reporting
  • Categorization
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Content Library
  • Custom Fields
  • Customizable Reporting
  • Dashboard Creation
  • Data filtering, import/export, mapping, storage management, visualization.
  • Database Integration
  • Drag & Drop Interface
  • Email Integration
  • Email Notifications
  • Filtered Views
  • Gantt Charts
  • Geographic Maps
  • Geolocation
  • Interactive Content
  • Metadata Management
  • Multiple Projects
  • Offline Access
  • Permission Management, Role-Based Permissions
  • Real-Time Analytics, Real-Time Data
  • Self Service Portal
  • Task Management
  • Third-Party Integration
  • Trend Analysis
  • Usage Tracking
  • User Management
  • Visual Analytics


In this way, we complete our discussion on the features of Tableau. We hope you got enough information on Tableau and its wide range of features. Tableau is a very useful tool loaded with user-friendly features and functionalities which helps us extract valuable information from raw data and analyze it using visualizations.

If you have any suggestions or queries, please leave a comment in the comment box below.

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8 Responses

  1. Pat Shughrou says:

    I have some questions regarding the functionality of Tableau:

    1. What data types are supported by Tableau
    2. What data types are not supported
    3. How scale able is Tableau
    4. Is in memory supported
    5. Does the tool support user management

    • DataFlair Team says:

      Hi Pat Shughrou,
      We are glad our readers are taking interest in Tableau Features. So, let’s discuss your queries-
      – Tableau supports only Boolean, String, Number, and Date & Time types (refer Tableau data types article from the sidebar)
      – Refer our Tableau tutorial for scalability, in-memory and user management support.

      • Chris says:

        Where is the data that are used in all the tutorials? How can I follow along if I don’t have the data? Great tutorials, but without the data less people will find this useful.

  2. Vikas says:

    Tableau makes it easy for users to use on a regular basis.

  3. Sarbeswar Nayak says:

    Tableau is a good tool for visualization

  4. madhu krishna says:

    your tableau blog is very good

  5. madhu Krishna says:

    your tableau training blog is very good

  6. Kipkorir Festus says:

    Is tableau a free downloadable database that is free to used without monthly subscription. Where do one get tutorial and practical to learn tableau . Can someone learn tableau within one month

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