Pragmatic Works Blog

Translating Your SQL and Excel Skills to Tableau

Written by Pragmatic Works | Nov 07, 2017

Are you doing data analytics with SQL or Excel? Would you like to gain more knowledge about using Tableau, or how to translate your SQL or Excel skills to Tableau?

Tableau’s mission is to help people see and understand their data. It was fundamentally designed to support interactive visual analytics. When doing analytics with data, whether it’s interactive dashboards, generating reports, or creating a full demonstration, people generally ask two questions: How do I get the task done? How do I know I’m getting accurate results? These are especially true when working with a new tool.

People with Excel or SQL backgrounds working with Tableau will think:

“I don’t know what Tableau is doing, so I’m going to build it in Excel and point and click in Tableau until it looks the same (I think).”

“I don’t know what Tableau is doing; just let me write my own SQL.”  

Don’t give up on Tableau and its capabilities. Tableau’s strength is that it was built for the cycle of visual analysis; helping you, and your end users, to see and understand your data with its ability to create awesome charts, graphs and interactive dashboards. And to deliver these to your end users via the web and mobile devices.

What is the cycle of visual analysis? Using Tableau, you start with a task (or question) and you can drag/drop to swap pills to answer that question; all without even touching your keyboard. Once you get the data, Tableau will automatically generate queries and when you choose visual mapping, it will automatically generate charts. Within a few seconds, you’ll be able to view your data and develop insight, at the speed of thought, and be able to act and/or share these insights.

Sure, there are some things Tableau is not good at. As far as data prep or ETL cycle, there are other tools that do this better. And as Tableau was designed for visual analysis, the traditional Tabular reporting side is better done with SQL Server Reporting Services. Different tools are designed for different use cases.

Want to learn more about transferring your SQL or Excel skills to Tableau and take advantage of the ease and ability of Tableau to create fantastic reports that can give you more visibility? In a recent Pragmatic Works webinar, presented by Jonathan Drummey, you can learn more about transferring these skills, as well as view some demos.

If you really want to delve into Tableau and all its built-in capabilities, our new comprehensive On-Demand course, Introduction to Tableau is for you. You’ll come out of the course with an understanding of Tableau terminology, be able to create visualizations, and build dashboards. As with all our courses, Intro to Tableau will dig deep into the topic and is designed to help you master the technology anywhere, anytime and on any device. Visit our website to register today!