What is Tableau?
Tableau is a data visualization and data interaction tool that is very popular within the consulting, professional services, and financial services industries. It is used to simplify or break down raw data and make it more interactive and visually understandable. Tableau is regarded as the most powerful and fastest business analysis tool and is currently the most popular one in the industry.
Tableau provides data customization services that break down raw data into a visually interpretable data set that makes inferencing and drawing relevant conclusions from the business data very easy. The software’s data customization services include, but are not limited to:
- Data blending
- Real-time collaboration
- Data analysis
- Charting and graphing data
- Inter-connectivity of data
- Live data analysis and sharing
Tableau is a highly accessible tool across all usage platforms. Its accessibility is spread across the following mediums and in the following capacities:
- Tableau Desktop Personal
- Tableau Desktop Professional
- Tableau Public
- Tableau Server
- Tableau Online
- Tableau Reader
- Tableau Vizable
- Tableau Prep Builder
To learn how to create powerful dashboards with Tableau, check out CFI’s Tableau Fundamentals course!
Finance – Specific Uses of Tableau
1. Automated data consolidation
In data reporting software such as Microsoft Excel, data needs to be reported manually to update related data, formulas, and data reports as soon as they change. Tableau provides automated data update services and makes financial reporting quicker and more efficient, saving users a lot of time.
2. Enables filtering of data by individuals
Finance teams work very efficiently when each individual responsible for a particular finance aspect of the overall data is not required to make separate data reports and then consolidate the overall data manually. Tableau enables the filtering of data by individuals, making it very accessible and flexible for finance teams to work together on Big Data.
3. Data visualization
Big data can be very hard to read manually, especially for huge companies and organizations with large to very large data sets of varied complexities. To address the complexities, Tableau provides very efficient data visualization tools. In addition to graphical representations, the tool also offers interactive and analytical data breakdowns, dashboards, etc.
4. Data analytics and data insight
Tableau provides intelligent data analytics and insight tools that automatically draw analysis and provide insight into the data reported to the software. This can be very helpful where large financial datasets are concerned and can draw up several important conclusions in financial decision-making.
5. Data recommendations
Tableau also offers recommendations based on the financial data reported.
6. Dynamic financial reporting
While software such as Microsoft Excel also provides efficient financial reporting tools, Tableau offers exceptional financial reporting services. Using Tableau, financial reporting – such as P&L reports, balance sheets, and cash flow statements – becomes dynamic, interactive, and automated.
7. Tactical reports
Tactical reports are essential in making business decisions as they help identify trends, productivity, and successes across various business segments/departments. Tableau is well-positioned to build tactical reports. From any given financial data, it can create tactical reports in minutes.
8. Connecting data sets
Tableau is well equipped to connect numerous data sets and draw up relevant financial information. The tool is very resourceful in connecting all the dots, relating all different data sets available, and making important financial and business decisions from several possible data relationships.
9. Data trends and patterns
Tableau provides exceptional features such as data blending and data drill-down. Such features help draw up relevant data and determine data variations and data patterns or trends within the organization.
For step-by-step instructions on building stunning, interactive visuals in Tableau, see CFI’s Tableau Fundamentals course!
CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and developing your knowledge base, please explore the additional relevant CFI resources below: