Overview: The Tableau Suite of Products

The Tableau Platform consists of several products that are designed to enable users to integrate various data sources and create data visualizations that can be shared throughout the organization and externally.

Here is everything that is included in the Tableau Suite of Products. 

Tableau Prep

Tableau Prep allows users to prepare data for analysis by combining, transforming, and cleaning data into a usable format without writing any code. Two components, Tableau Prep Builder and Prep Conductor work together to automate and then manage your entire data preparation process to allow end-users to get to analysis faster with fresh, clean data. Tableau Prep Conductor is a Data Management Add-on in Tableau Server.

Tableau Desktop 

Tableau Desktop is a data visualization tool that can be used to create interactive dashboards and reports. The strength of Tableau Desktop is how it can easily transform data into data visualization such as charts and graphs to tell a story with your data. You can also enable real-time analytics by directly connecting to data sources that contain real time data. In addition to the real-time capability you can easily import data into Tableau’s data engine from various sources and integrate them by combining multiple views in an interactive dashboard.

Tableau Server

 Tableau server is a platform to store all your tableau content such as workbooks and data sources. You create dashboards with Tableau Desktop and then publish them to Tableau server to share with the right people in your organization. Tableau Server is a collaborative working environment eliminating the need to download and opening workbooks. Just like many other server technologies or file-based stores you can organize and secure projects to foster collaboration with the right people.

Tableau Online

Tableau Online is very much like Tableau Server, however it is a hosted analytics solution in the cloud that eliminates any need to manage and maintain hardware. This empowers faster and easier setup and configuration along with access to business intelligence on the go. You can publish dashboards created in Tableau Desktop and share them with colleagues.

Tableau Reader

Tableau Reader is the free desktop version of Tableau that is limited to only viewing the visualizations created in Tableau. This means that you can perform limited interaction with visualizations by filtering and drilling down on the data but cannot edit them. 

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a free version of Tableau which lets users create interactive data visualizations that can be published to the web. This content is public and can be shared and accessed by anyone in the world.

Written by Mike Sargo


Co-Founder & Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Data Ideology


Mike Sargo is Chief Data and Analytics Officer and Co-Founder of Data Ideology with over 18 years of experience leading, architecting, implementing, and delivering enterprise analytics, business intelligence, and enterprise data management solutions.

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