Tableau interview questions

Top most important Tableau interview questions and answers by Experts:

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1) Who are the founders of Tableau?
The company was founded in Mountain View, California in January, 2003 by Chris Stolte, Christian Chabot and Pat Hanrahan.
2) What is Tableau Software?
Tableau is business intelligence software that allows anyone to easily connect to data, then visualize and create interactive, sharable dashboards. It’s easy enough that any Excel user can learn it, but powerful enough to satisfy even the most complex analytical problems. Securely sharing your findings with others only takes seconds.
3) What are the five main product offered by Tableau company?
Tableau offers five main products: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online, Tableau reader and Tableau Public.
4) What is the current latest version of Tableau Desktop(as of Feb.2015)?
Current versions: Tableau Desktop version 9
5) What is data visualization?
Data visualization refers to the techniques used to communicate data or information by encoding it as visual objects (e.g. points, lines or bars) contained in graphics.
6) What is Tableau Desktop?
Tableau Desktop is based on breakthrough technology from Stanford University that lets you drag & drop to analyze data. It is great data visualization tool, you can connect to data in a few clicks, then visualize and crate interactive dashboards with a few more.

7) What is Tableau Server?
Tableau Server is browser- and mobile-based insight anyone can use. Publish dashboards with Tableau Desktop and share them throughout your organization. It’s easy to set up and even easier to run.
8) What is Tableau Public?
Tableau Public is a free service that lets anyone publish interactive data to the web. Once on the web, anyone can interact with the data, download it, or create their own visualizations of it. No programming skills are required. Be sure to look at the gallery to see some of the things people have been doing with it.
9) Why Tableau?
Whether your data is in an on-premise database, a database, a data warehouse, a cloud application or an Excel file, you can analyze it with Tableau. You can create views of your data and share it with colleagues, customers, and partners. You can use Tableau to blend it with other data. And you can keep your data up to date automatically.
10) How does Tableau perform with huge datasets?
Tableau Performance is based on Data source performance. If data source takes more time to execute a query then Tableau must wait up to that time
11) What are the differences between Tableau Software GoodData and Traditional BI (Business Objects, etc.)?
At high level there are four major differences.How to view sql which is generated by Tab
12) What are Dimensions and Facts?
Dimensions is nothing but the descriptive text columns and facts are nothing but measures (numerical values) dimension ex: Product Name, City. Facts:Sales, profit
13) What is the difference between heat map and tree map?
A heat map is a great way to compare categories using color and size. In this, you can compare two different measures. Tree map is a very powerful visualization, particularly for illustrating hierarchical (tree – structured) data and part – to – whole relationships.
14) How to view sql which is generated by Tableau Desktop?
The Tableau Desktop Log files are located in C:\Users\\My Documents\My Tableau Repository. If you have a live connection to the data source, check the log.txt and tabprotosrv.txt files. If you are using an extract, check the tdeserver.txt file. The tabprotosrv.txt file often shows detailed information about queries.
15) How will you publish and schedule workbook in tableau server?
First create a schedule for particular time and then create extract for the data source and publish the workbook for the server. Before you publish, there is a option called Scheduling and Authentication, click on that and select the schedule from the drop down which is created and publish. Also publish data source and assign the schedule. This schedule will automatically run for the assigned time and the workbook is refreshed.
16) How Does Tableau Work?
While Tableau lets you analyze databases and spreadsheets like never before, you don’t need to know anything about databases to use Tableau. In fact, Tableau is designed to allow business people with no technical training to analyze their data efficiently.Tableau is based on three simple concepts:
Connect: Connect Tableau to any database that you want to analyze.
Note that Tableau does not import the data. Instead it queries to the database directly.
Analyze: Analyzing data means viewing it, filtering it, sorting it, performing calculations on it, reorganizing it, summarizing it, and so on.Using Tableau you can do all of these things by simply arranging fields of your data source on a Tableau worksheet. When you drop a field on a worksheet, Tableau queries the data using standard drivers and query languages (like SQL and MDX) and presents a visual analysis of the data.
Share: You can share results with others either by sharing workbooks with other Tableau users, by pasting results into applications such as Microsoft Office, printing to PDF or by using Tableau Server to publish or embed your views across your organization.
What are the difference between tableau 7.0 and 8.0 versions?
New visualizations are introduced like tree map bubble chart and box and whisker plot
We can copy worksheet directly from one workbook to another Workbook
Introduced R script
17) What are the features of Tableau 8.3?
With Kerboros support, Tableau 8.3 advances enterprise-grade data analysis with these enhancements:
Provides seamless, single sign-on experience from Tableau client to back-end data sources
Protects sensitive data with delegated access and viewer credential management
Connects to live data sources through stable, automated back-end authentication
Leverages existing IT investments in enterprise-grade authentication and data security
Supports smart card authentication
18) How do I automate reports using Tableau software?
You need to publish report to tableau server, while publishing you will find one option to schedule reports.You just need to select the time when you want to refresh data.
How fast can you get up and running with the system, answer questions, design and share dashboards and then change them? This is Where systems like Tableau and GoodData are far better than old – school business intelligence like Business Objects or Cognos. Traditional systems took months or years to intelligence like Business Objects or Cognos. Traditional systems took months or years to implement, with costs running to millions. Tableau has a free trail that installs in minutes and GoodData is cloud – based, so they are faster to implement by orders of magnitude. They are also faster to results: traditional BI requires IT and developers to make any changes to reports, so business users are struck in a queue waiting to get anything done. Tableau and GoodData provide more of a self – service experience.
Analysis layer
This is where Tableau excels. It has a powerful and flexible drag & drop visualization engine based on some technology from Stanford. Traditional BI typically provide some canned reports but changing them requires significant time and money.
Data layer
This is where the three options are most different:
GoodData requires you to move your data to its cloud. Traditional BI typically requires you to move your data to its data warehouse system. Tableau connects to a variety of existing data source and also provides a fast in – memory data engine, essentially a local database. Since most enterprises have their data stored all over the place, this provides the most choice and lets companies use the investment they’ve already made.
Enterprise readiness.
19) What is a parameter in Tableau ? And how it works.?
Parameters are dynamic values that can replace constant values in calculations and can serve as filters
What are Filters? How many types of filters are there in Tableau?
Filter is nothing but it is restricted to unnecessary, it is showing exact data. Basically filters are 3 types.
Quick filter
Context filter
Datasource filter
20) What is the difference between context filter to other filters?
Whenever we crate context filter >> Tableau will create a temporary table for this particular filter set and other filters will be apply on context filter data like cascade parameters… suppose we have crated context filter on countries >> we have chosen country as USA and India >> Tableau will create a temporary table for this two countries data and if you have any other filers >>other will be apply on this two countries data if we don’t have any context filter >> each and individual record will check for all filters
21) What is disadvantage of context filters?
The context filter is not frequently changed by the user – if the filter is changed the database must recomputed and rewrite the temporary table, slowing performance.
When you set a dimension to context, Tableau crates a temporary table that will require a reload each time the view is initiated. For Excel, Access and text data sources, the temporary table created is in an Access table format. For SQL Server, My SQL and Oracle data sources, you must have permission to create a temporary table on your server. For multidimensional data source, or cubes, temporary tables are not crated, and context filters only defined which filters are independent and dependent.
What is the Difference between quick filter and Normal filter in tableau?
Quick filter is used to view the filtering options and can be used to select the option. Normal filer is something you can limit the options from the list or use some conditions to limit the data by field or value.
22) What is benefit of Tableau extract file over the live connection?
Extract can be used anywhere without any connection and you can build your own visualizations without connecting to Database.
23) How to combine two excel files with same fields but different data (different years)?
I have 5 different excel files (2007.xls, 2008.xls..2011.xls) with same fields (film name, genre, budge, rating, profitability) but with data from different year (2007 to 2011). Can someone tell me how can I combine the film name, genre and profitability so that I can see the visualization of 2007 to 2011 in a single chart.
24) What is the Max no of tables we can join in Tableau?
We can join max 32 table, it’s not possible to combine more than 32 tables.
25) How does the integration of Tableau with R works?
R is a popular open-source environment for statistical analysis. Tableau Desktop can now connect to R through calculated fields and take advantage of R functions, libraries, and packages and even saved models. These calculations dynamically invoke the R engine and pass values to R via the Rserve package, and are returned back to Tableau.
Tableau Server can also be configured to connect to an instance of Rserve through the tabadmin utility, allowing anyone to view a dashboard containing R functionality.
Combining R with Tableau gives you the ability to bring deep statistical analysis into a drag-and-drop visual analytics environment.
26) What is Page shelf?
Page shelf is power full part of tableau That you can use to control the display of output as well as printed results of output.
27) How can we combine database and flat file data in tableau desktop?
Connect data two times, one for database tables and one for flat file. The Data->Edit Relationships
Give a join condition on common column from db tables to flat file
28) How to add custom Color to Tableau?
Create Custom Color code in “Preferences.tps”
Navigation ::: Documents » My Table Repository »Preferences.tps
Add custom color code Note: In tableau 9.0 version we have color picker option.

29) How to design a view to show region wise profit and sales.I did not want line and bar chat should be used for profit and sales?
Generate the Map using cities –>then Drag the Profit and sales to the Details–>Add the state as Quick filter

30) How to create cascading filters without context filter ?
I have filterl and filter2..Based on filterl I need to filter2 data
Ex: Filterl as Country and Filter 2: States
I have chosen country as USA and filter2 should display only USA states
Choose options of Filter2 states :
select option of “Only relevant values “
31) What is dual axis?
To display two measure in one graph
32) What is blended axis?
Multiple Measures are shown in single axis and also all the marks shown in single pane
Drag a dimension in a column
Drag the first measure in column
Drag 2nd measure in existing axis

33) What is Data Visualization?
A much advanced, direct, precise and ordered way of viewing large volumes of data is called data visualization. It is the visual representation of data in the form of graphs and charts, especially when you can’t define it textually. You can show trends, patters and correlations through various data visualization software and tools; Tableau is one such data visualization software used by businesses and corporates.
34) What are the differences between Tableau desktop and Tableau Server?
While Tableau desktop performs data visualization and workbook creation, Tableau server is used to distribute these interactive workbooks and/or reports to the right audience. Users can edit and update the workbooks and dashboards online or Server but cannot create new ones. However, there are limited editing options when compared to desktop.
Tableau Public is again a free tool consisting of Desktop and Server components accessible to anyone.
35) Define parameters in Tableau and their working.
Tableau parameters are dynamic variables/values that replace the constant values in data calculations and filters. For instance, you can create a calculated field value returning true when the score is greater than 80, and otherwise false. Using parameters, one can replace the constant value of 80 and control it dynamically in the formula.

36) Differentiate between parameters and filters in Tableau.
The difference actually lies in the application. Parameters allow users to insert their values, which can be integers, float, date, string that can be used in calculations. However, filters receive only values users choose to ‘filter by’ the list, which cannot be used to perform calculations.
Users can dynamically change measures and dimensions in parameter but filters do not approve of this feature.
37) What are fact table and Dimension table in Tableau?
—>Facts are the numeric metrics or measurable quantities of the data, which can be analyzed by dimension table. Facts are stores in Fact table that contain foreign keys referring uniquely to the associated dimension tables. The fact table supports data storage at atomic level and thus, allows more number of records to be inserted at one time. For instance, a Sales Fact table can have product key, customer key, promotion key, items sold, referring to a specific event.
—>Dimensions are the descriptive attribute values for multiple dimensions of each attribute, defining multiple characteristics. A dimension table ,having reference of a product key form the fact table, can consist of product name, product type, size, color, description, etc.

38) What are Quick Filters in Tableau?
Global quick filters are a way to filter each worksheet on a dashboard until each of them contains a dimension. They are very useful for worksheets using the same data source, which sometimes proves to a disadvantage and generate slow results. Thus, parameters are more useful.
39) State limitations of parameters in Tableau.
Parameters facilitate only four ways to represent data on a dashboard (which are seven in quick filters). Further, parameters do not allow multiple selections in a filter.
40) What is aggregation and disaggregation of data in Tableau?
Aggregation and disaggregation in Tableau are the ways to develop a scatterplot to compare and measure data values. As the name suggests, aggregation is the calculated form of a set of values that return a single numeric value. For instance, a measure with values 1,3,5,7 returns 1. You can also set a default aggregation for any measure, which is not user-defined. Tableau supports various default aggregations for a measure like Sum, average, Median, Count and others.
Disaggregating data refers to viewing each data source row, while analyzing data both independently and dependently.
41) What is Data Blending?
Unlike Data Joining, Data Blending in tableau allows combining of data from different sources and platforms. For instance, you can blend data present in an Excel file with that of an Oracle DB to create a new dataset.
42) What is Content Filter?
The concept of context filter in Tableau makes the process of filtering smooth and straightforward. It establishes a filtering hierarchy where all other filters present refer to the context filter for their subsequent operations. The other filters now process data that has been passed through the context filter.
Creating one or more context filters improves performance as users do not have to create extra filters on large data source, reducing the query-execution time.
You can create by dragging a filed into ‘Filters’ tab and then, Right-Click that field and select ‘’Add to Context”.

43) What are the limitations of context filters?
Tableau takes time to place a filter in context. When a filter is set as context one, the software creates a temporary table for that particular context filter. This table will reload each time and consists of all values that are not filtered by either Context or Custom SQL filter.
44) Name the file extensions in Tableau.
There are a number of file types and extensions in Tableau:
• Tableau Workbook (.twb)
• Tableau Packaged Workbook (.twbx)
• Tableau Datasource (.tds)
• Tableau Packaged Datasource (.tdsx)
• Tableau Data extract (.tde)
• Tableau Bookmark (.tdm)
• Tableau Map Source (.tms)
• Tableau Preferences (.tps)
45) Explain the difference between .twb and .twbx
.twb is the most common file extension used in Tableau, which presents an XML format file and comprises all the information present in each dashboard and sheet like what fields are used in the views, styles and formatting applied to a sheet and dashboard.
But this workbook does not contain any data. The Packaged workbook merges the information in a Tableau workbook with the local data available (which is not on server). .twbx serves as a zip file, which will include custom images if any. Packaged Workbook allows users to share their workbook information with other Tableau Desktop users and let them open it in Tableau Reader.
46) What are Extracts and Schedules in Tableau server?
Data extracts are the first copies or subdivisions of the actual data from original data sources. The workbooks using data extracts instead of those using live DB connections are faster since the extracted data is imported in Tableau Engine.
After this extraction of data, users can publish the workbook, which also publishes the extracts in Tableau Server. However, the workbook and extracts won’t refresh unless users apply a scheduled refresh on the extract. Scheduled Refreshes are the scheduling tasks set for data extract refresh so that they get refreshed automatically while publishing a workbook with data extract. This also removes the burden of republishing the workbook every time the concerned data gets updated.
47) Name the components of a Dashboard
• Horizontal- Horizontal layout containers allow the designer to group worksheets and dashboard components left to right across your page and edit the height of all elements at once.
• Vertical- Vertical containers allow the user to group worksheets and dashboard components top to bottom down your page and edit the width of all elements at once.
• Text
• Image Extract: – A Tableau workbook is in XML format. In order to extracts images, Tableau applies some codes to extract an image which can be stored in XML.
• Web [URL ACTION]:- A URL action is a hyperlink that points to a Web page, file, or other web-based resource outside of Tableau. You can use URL actions to link to more information about your data that may be hosted outside of your data source. To make the link relevant to your data, you can substitute field values of a selection into the URL as parameters.
48) How to view underlying SQL Queries in Tableau?
Viewing underlying SQL Queries in Tableau provides two options:
• Create a Performance Recording to record performance information about the main events you interact with workbook. Users can view the performance metrics in a workbook created by Tableau.
Help> Settings and Performance> Start Performance Recording
Help> Setting and Performance > Stop Performance Recording
• Reviewing the Tableau Desktop Logs located at C:\Users\\My Documents\My Tableau Repository. For live connection to data source, you can check log.txt and tabprotosrv.txt files. For an extract, check tdeserver.txt file.
49) What is Page shelf?
Tableau provides a distinct and powerful tool to control the output display known as Page shelf. As the name suggests, the page shelf fragments the view into a series of pages, presenting a different view on each page, making it more user-friendly and minimizing scrolling to analyze and view data and information. You can flip through the pages using the specified controls and compare them at a common axle.
50) How to do Performance Testing in Tableau?
Performance testing is again an important part of implementing tableau. This can be done by loading Testing Tableau Server with TabJolt, which is a “Point and Run” load generator created to perform QA. While TabJolt is not supported by tableau directly, it has to be installed using other open source products.
51) Explain the concept of Dual Axis.
Dual Axis is an excellent phenomenon supported by Tableau that helps users view two scales of two measures in the same graph. Many websites like and other make use of dual axis to show the comparison between two measures and their growth rate in a septic set of years. Dual axes let you compare multiple measures at once, having two independent axes layered on top of one another.

52) How many maximum tables can you join in Tableau?
The maximum number of 32 tables can be joined in Tableau. A table size must also be limited to 255 columns (fields).
53) How to remove ‘All’ options from a Tableau auto-filter?
The auto-filter provides a feature of removing ‘All’ options by simply clicking the down arrow in the auto-filter heading. You can scroll down to ‘Customize’ in the dropdown and then uncheck the ‘Show “All” Value’ attribute. It can be activated by checking the field again.

54) What different products Tableau provide?
• Tableau Server : on-premise or cloud-hosted software to access the workbooks built
• Tableau desktop: desktop environment to create and publish standard and packaged workbooks.
• Tableau Public: workbooks available publicly online for users to download and access the included data.
• Tableau Reader: get a local access to open Tableau Packaged workbook

55) How can you display top five and last five sales in the same view?
Create two sets, one for top 5 another for bottom 5 and the join these two sets displaying a unique set of total 10 rows.
56) What is TDE file?
TDE is a Tableau desktop file that contains a .tde extension. It refers to the file that contains data extracted from external sources like MS Excel, MS Access or CSV file.
There are two aspects of TDE design that make them ideal for supporting analytics and data discovery.
• Firstly, TDE is a columnar store
• The second is how they are structured which impacts how they are loaded into memory and used by Tableau. This is an important aspect of how TDEs are “architecture aware”. Architecture-awareness means that TDEs use all parts of your computer memory, from RAM to hard disk, and put each part to work what best fits its characteristics.
57) How to use group in calculated field?
By adding the same calculation to ‘Group By’ clause in SQL query or creating a Calculated Field in the Data Window and using that field whenever you want to group the fields.
• Using groups in a calculation. You cannot reference ad-hoc groups in a calculation
• Blend data using groups created in the secondary data source: Only calculated groups can be used in data blending if the group was created in the secondary data source.
• Use a group in another workbook. You can easily replicate a group in another workbook by copy and pasting a calculation.
58) Can parameters have dropdown list?
Yes, parameters do have their independent dropdown lists enabling users to view the data entries available in the parameter during its creation.
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