Recently I’ve been getting questions from new users, “I’m new to Tableau and data visualization.  I’m really interested in learning more.  What should I do?”

When it comes to Tableau or really anything the best way to learn (in the words of Nike) is “just do it!”  Here is the advice that I have been giving to new users.

1.  Tableau has free training videos  on their website that are GREAT!   There are over 13 hours of free content!  Use them!!  The videos are categorized into different topics so you can pick and choose what you want to learn about.

2.  Tableau knowledge base , forums  and whitepapers.  Tableau has created and supplied a lot of written documentation of issues you may encounter. The forums are a place for you to post questions and get answers.

3.   See what other people are doing!  When you see what other people have created it gives you an understanding of what’s possible and causes you to think of new ideas.

    • Tableau Public is a place for Tableau users to share their visualizations for free.  The Tableau Public website has a gallery of “Greatest Hits”, Viz of the day (a featured visualization picked by the Tableau Public team everyday), and featured authors to check out.
    • Twitter/blogs.  The Tableau community communicates primarily on Twitter.  By following Tableau users on Twitter you can see what topics and ideas are trending and see when new blog posts are announced.  Blogs can be very helpful because chances are if you’re having a problem someone else has encountered it in the past and may have blogged about it.
    • Tableau Community Groups/projects – The Tableau community has a lot of groups that can challenge your data visualization skills and inspire you to think out of the box.  Makeover Monday, Data Chain, Data Dare, and ReViz.
    • Local or Virtual Tableau User Group Meetings  – Various local and virtual Tableau User group meetings are organized by Tableau community users.  Visit the Tableau User Group page to find a group near your or in your industry.

4.   Go in and use the tool with your business data and personal interest data.  The best way to learn Tableau is to use it.  I recommend using Tableau with work and fun data.  When we look at industry/work numbers we already have ideas of how the data should be viewed.  With these pre-set ideas you’re less likely to be creative.  When you pick a “fun” data set you’re starting with a blank slate so you’ll be forced to think of new ways to view the data.

Don't be afraid to post your creations to Twitter or tableau public!  In my experience the Tableau community is great and loves to help each other with critiques and questions!  Lastly don't be intimidated by what you see.  The Tableau community is full of great minds that can do extraordinary things but don'r forget that they all started somewhere!

People to follow:
Zen Masters
2015 Tableau Ambassadors
Social Media Tableau Ambassadors
2016 Tableau Ambassadors

Places to find data:
Data is Plural
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Database

How to prep your data:
Data Prep and data cleaning tools


  1. Thanks for sharing Data Dare and calling out the Data is Plural data library! Such a great resource!

  2. This is truly wonderful and inspiring information. I may reach out to you soon as starting to gain more understanding of what Tableau and BI means with IT today.


    1. Awesome! I'm glad that this blog has been really helpful.

  3. Your blogs were helpful to tableau learners. I request to update the blog through step-by-step. Also, find Technology news at
    tableau online training