If you’ve wanted to try Tableau data visualization software, now’s your chance! They’ve just launched Tableau Public, where you can upload your data, and use the free Tableau tools to create amazing interactive charts, maps and dashboards.
This example shows Economic Indicators & Stock Market Returns, and you can select from a drop down list of market metrics to update the chart.
As the product name implies, your saved data will be public, so it’s not the place to work with your top secret financial data. It’s a great opportunity to experiment with the Tableau software though, using dummy data, or data that you’re willing to share with the public.
With Tableau Public, you can connect to Excel, Access, and text files, with a limit of 100,000 rows of data per connection. You can save up to 50 Mb of content to the Tableau Public web servers.
There are other blogs where you can see dashboard examples, and see how people are using the software.
- Seattle Bubble’s Interactive Map of Washington Banks and Credit Unions
- Where the Top VCs Invest
- The Magic of Data Visualization
There’s also a gallery with dashboard examples, such as the Fantasy Football 2009 Running Backs and Student Loan Default Rates.
Use Tableau Public
To get started, go to the Tableau Public page, and click the Download Tableau Public button. Then, enter your email address, and click Submit. To help you understand the software, you can watch the brief Tableau Public Preview video and the Tableau Public training videos.
After you install Tableau Public, open it, and connect to your Excel, Access or text data file. It’s quick and easy to create a graph, and Tableau will help by suggesting chart types for your data.
Your work in Tableau Public desktop will be saved to the Tableau Public web servers, not on your computer. On the web servers, your data will be accessible by anyone on the internet, so don’t use Tableau Public for confidential or sensitive data.
Share Your Results
After you save your work, you can share it, by embedding it on your blog or website, or by sharing a link to your data. If you create a dashboard, you can post the link in the comments here, so other people can go and take a look.
Last fall I wrote a couple of articles about Tableau, and uploaded a short video:
I used a trial version of Tableau for a couple of weeks, which has all the features of the paid version. I was really impressed with what the software can do, and got in touch with the Tableau people, to see if I could participate in the Tableau Public beta. The free version wasn’t available yet, so they provided me with a license for the paid version, so I could keep experimenting, and post my work in their public servers.