Tableau is an exceptionally popular and powerful point-and-click tool for creating interactive dashboards and storyboards - it is particularly popular in the "business intelligence" community. The primary benefit of using Tableau over other tools is its ability to automatically suggest charts and maps from your data, and the ease with which the data can be filtered and grouped interactively.
Tableau has a large portfolio of tools available, it's worth disambiguating these:
- Tableau Desktop: Software installed locally that allows Tableau visualisations to be created and saved on your computer, University of Oxford does not have a site-wide license for this software.
- Tableau Reader: Software installed locally that allows Tableau visualisations to be viewed on your machine, this is available as a free download.
- Tableau Public: Software installed locally that allows Tableau visualisations to be created and saved into the Cloud (the Tableau Cloud), this is available as a free download.
The only one of these tools that allows users to create visualisations that can be shared with others and embedded into websites is Tableau Public.
Tableau Public allows users to create interactive visualisations using the easy-to-learn Tableau interface and share these publicly on the cloud, and embed the visualisations in websites. Much like the example to the right.
However, the documents stored on Tableau Public are not able to pull data from external sources - all data must be saved into the Tableau Public document. Furthermore, the data licensing of the service is extremely permissive. Others may reuse your visualisations and code without attributing you or the funding agency for your work.
For this reason, the IDN does NOT endorse using Tableau Public for sharing visualisations of research datasets without thoroughly documenting in the application where the canonical data may be accessed (via a DOI).