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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Nebster

Tableau Guide: Data Visualization Basics, Essential Tips & Tricks

Big data is powerful but challenging. Before, only professionals could visualize the information in the data, but now we have visualization, and the ability to make complex ideas simple and understandable. Data visualization helps businesses detect hidden patterns and insights in raw and unprocessed data much faster.

In this Article:


"Tableau is the visual catalyst to help employees have that a-ha data moment. That flicker of data cognition that turns into deeper data understanding is what our company needed for success in a digital world. Today, everyone can do data. Talking the same data language and collaborating in entirely new ways, regardless of the department that they sit in."

If Business Intelligence (BI) is the future, data visualization tools are the key to its encoding. The better your BI tool visualizes data, the sooner you can identify future opportunities, which is why the team chose Tableau for projects’ data analytics.

Why we chose Tableau for Big Data Analytics Visualization

BI and Data Analysis are some of the services that XME. offers. We love completing big data projects for business because:

  • Every time you work with data, you are learning something new and fascinating.

  • $79 is the average hourly rate of the BI Developer in the USA according to, in Ukraine it’s roughly $1500 month.

  • 80% of the world data lacks structuring, so there is substantial work ahead to make it clear and useful for decision-making.

  • 2,5 bln GB of data generated every day (2017,, so its value doesn’t decrease.

  • says that BI's global business market is projected to increase from its 2016 value of 17 KKK $ to 27 KKK $ by 2021.

Tableau is a big data visualization tool that ensures our customers are receiving the highest level of professionalism.

Tableau is an interactive set of data visualization tools that helps Data Analytics, IT specialists, CEOs, CFOs, CIOs transform information into visuals like graphics, dashboards, and worksheets to facilitate business analysis and company development decisions using the best available data.

Tableau product offering 2019

Tableau offers a variety of product options (see above image), which allows non-technical users to create customized visuals of their data like a professional.

In the Business Intelligence industry Tableau is also used for:

  • Metadata management

  • No-code data queries creation

  • All sizes and of range of data imports

Previously data analysis reports looked like the tables below, columns of numbers that are nearly impossible to visualize.

Data analysis reports examples

Thanks to Tableau and its tools, big data can be simplified and visualized with ease, allowing the significant findings to be identified (see image below).

Data analysis reports examples

We use Tableau to gain a better understating of markets, to evaluate customer’s needs, and to help our clients enhance their companies by designing strategies based on informed decisions.

Tableau is the best for BI & Data Visualization projects

Tableau is perfect for data visualization because it offers:

  • Drag-and-drop formatting features

  • High workflow speed

  • Dynamic widgets and reports

  • High level of user’s data protection

  • Ability to connect to a variety of data sources, including Oracle, Teradata, SAP HANA, MongoDB, Excel, Text files, JSON, Google Cloud, SQL, Hadoop, Amazon Redshift, etc.

The image below highlights aspects of Tableau that Data Analytics operators praise.

Tableau advantages

The variety of Tableau’s options makes it a universal tool for solving a variety of tasks. For example, we use both its online and server versions:

The principle and architecture of Tableau workflow

There are three major steps to data visualization in Tableau:

  1. Connecting to one of the numerous data sources offered in a program, which could be local files or servers.

  2. Extracting the data you need by filtering and limiting the types of information from the data source.

  3. Processing of the extracted data by its blending, joining and creating the visual performance (generating graphics, formatting, adding backgrounds, colours, etc. into the one dashboard)

  4. Saving the results and sharing the dashboards with users in the form of static files that can be viewed and analyzed in Tableau Reader.

The first three steps are critical for ensuring high-quality analysis results. Understanding the data hinges upon how thoroughly you evaluated the produced data and how carefully you sorted its sources and transformed the data into graphics.

The success of the high-quality BI report lies in Tableau Architecture understanding

To use any tool to its optimum capacity, you should know everything it has to offer. Thus, to speed up your Data Visualization workflow in Tableau, you need to understand the details of completing a workflow.

The components of the Tableau Server — the heart of the tool:

Components of Tebleau Server

Tableau Server Components

For an example regarding data sources’ choice, Amazon Web Services is one of the leaders among all public cloud spaces integrated with Tableau Online.

Depending on your knowledge of Tableau, you can visualize and answer any analytics question, from science or business tasks like local Real Estate Market analysis up to societal issues like global climate change.

To keep your data safely secured, you should control the user access to this information after integration with Tableau Online.

How to set up SAML for Tableau Online and your website

You can easily find how to configure the single sign-on by purchasing SAML for Tableau, but it’s challenging to find free solutions for this task. To manage access to the Tableau website independently, we choose Keycloak.

To save you time, we created the guideline below on how to connect with the online server:

1. Enter Tableau Online website as an administrator and click on “Settings > Authentication.”

2. On the “Authentication” tab, check the box “Enable an additional authentication method,” choose SAML, and follow Edit connection.

Authentication method in Tableau

3. Press “Export Metadata.”

Tableau authentication method

4. Find the “Realm” tab in the Keycloak console. Here you should type a new realm name, click “ON,” and start its creation.

Keycloak console

5. Create a new Keycloak client for Tableau Online by choosing “Clients” from the left sidebar menu and clicking “Create.”

Keycloak client

6. Fill in the “Client ID,” “Name,” “Description,” and “Client Protocol” fields. Click “ON” in the “Enabled” section.

Keycloak client

7. Then mark “Client Signature Required” as OFF and fill in the “Name ID Format,” “Root URL,” “Valid Redirect URLs,” and “Master SAML Processing URL” fields.

Keycloak settings

8. Under Keycloak SAML Metadata Export, in the left sidebar menu, select “Realm Settings” and set “SAML 2.0 Identity Provider Metadata” in the “Endpoints” field.

Keycloak settings

9. Import Keycloak Metadata into Tableau. Go to Tableau Online site and in the “Settings” sidebar menu tab browse for your .xml file and click “Test Connection.”

Tableau Keycloak Metadata Import

10. Check Tableau configurations.

Tableau configurations

11. Return to the “Authentication” tab to match the Keycloak attributes in Tableau by identifying the IdP email and name.

Tableau configurations

12. At the next step, choose “Authenticate using an inline frame” and “” SAML as the default authentication type for embedded views.

13. Create one more Keycloak client for a web app. Fill in all the fields according to the screen. Check if its information matches the previously entered during Step #6.

Keycloak client

Keycloak client

14. To finish Keycloak integration, go to the passport-saml configuration file and enter the code displayed on the screen:

Keycloak integration

15. Go to the and check the IdP certificate for passport-saml.



Tableau is a powerful tool for Data Visualization that will help you craft new insights for your project based on past and current market trends. Thanks for your interest in XME's utilization of Tableau, and we hope this guide improves your mastery of the technology.

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