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Tableau Desktop

What Is Tableau Desktop?

Tableau Desktop is a data visualization software that can easily connect to a wide variety of data sources. Tableau allows for rapid insight by transforming data into highly appealing visualizations called dashboards. Users can create interactive dashboards that can be uploaded and shared via Tableau Server.

Tableau is best suited to visualize aggregated data through graphs and charts, not tables and lists. Any reporting needs requiring a table or list of data should be handled using our SAP Web Intelligence software.

Dashboards can be created using our available data or by using your existing data, whether it's in a database, data warehouse, or an Excel spreadsheet.

Tableau Server

What Is Tableau Server?

Tableau Server is a web-based solution for sharing and distributing content created in Tableau Desktop. The server allows consumers to interact with data that is prepared using the Tableau desktop tool. Data consumers are not required to buy or download additional software. Tableau Server provides a flexible security model to help ensure consumers only see data appropriate to their roles, irrespective of a given consumer's relationship to the University. Additionally, Tableau Server allows you to share visualizations on mobile devices that have internet connectivity. It stores data centrally without downloading it to each individual user, controls access to your data, supports connectivity to external databases, and provides the ability to schedule automatic updates to your data visualizations. The University's instance of Tableau Server is hosted at the University's downtown data center.

Users can log in to Tableau Server using their Windows Active Directory info. Completed dashboards will be saved to the appropriate site on Tableau Server and can be accessed from there.

Accessing Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop

Does My Department Need to Buy or License Tableau Desktop or Tableau Server?

The University office of Institutional Data Management and Visualization (IDMV) purchased an 8 core server license for Tableau Server. In an effort to promote good fiscal stewardship of University resources, IDMV will allow use of their server license to the extent it does not overwhelm existing hardware and bandwidth limits. IDMV is able to partition a server site for your use that will be isolated from other University entities who are using the resource. As noted above, the desktop tool is required to publish visualizations to the server.

Tableau does not offer a site license for the desktop tool. Departments wanting to make use of the Tableau Server resource will need to purchase departmental copies of Tableau Desktop Pro. Expect Desktop licenses to cost approximately $1,200 per license, plus $300 per year for ongoing maintenance costs. IDMV does not sell individual licenses. To purchase the Desktop Pro version of the Tableau license, contact Tom Howa at tom.howa@utah.edu.

Getting Access to Tableau Server

To get access to the Tableau Server, contact Tom Howa (tom.howa@utah.edu) and state your interest in using the Tableau Server. From there, appropriate use cases will be discussed to match our criteria for reporting. Official access will be requested from Mark Winter (Office of the Registrar).

We are interested in making the IDMV Tableau server available to other departments when possible. However, access is only granted after a discussion with appropriate department staff and IT support services to determine the amount of server resources your department may consume. We do not have the resources to support granting access to the server for individuals (i.e. a faculty member interested in using it as part of their research work, or a single data analyst within a department), however, we will consider allocating Tableau Server resources if an entire department or functional area is making the request.

Getting Access to Tableau Desktop

As noted above, Tableau does not offer a site license for the desktop tool. Departments desiring to make use of the Tableau Server resource will need to purchase departmental copies of Tableau Desktop Pro. As previously stated, Desktop licenses will cost approximately $1,200 per license, plus $300 per year for ongoing maintenance costs. Again, IDMV does not sell individual licenses. You will need to purchase the Desktop Pro version of the Tableau license by contacting Tom Howa at tom.howa@utah.edu.

Last Updated: 11/17/17