Tableau Visualization in Digital Finance
There is a considerable amount of visualization software that exists in the digital finance market currently. The Digital Finance Learning team uses a variety of this software depending on what the project requires. Tableau has consistently been relied on for sharing reports that summarize big data. Business decisions are relying more on data analysis. Data has to be compiled in a place that can hold millions of rows. Summarizing this data requires building charts and graphs for easy understanding of the big picture.
Advantages of Tableau
The reason why we recommend Tableau is due to the user-friendliness of the software. Coding knowledge is not required to create graphs. Knowledge of excel formulas can help with creating new fields and restructuring the reports to the view you want.
Tableau also has a “Data Interpreter” that cleans up your data before it is used for reporting. One example of this is recognizing the header columns when they are not located on the first row. Data integrity is critical in the finance industry. Most programs need data to be cleaned for the numbers to be accurately presented. Tableau’s data interpreter feature allows some of that work to automatically be done.
One of the greatest features of Tableau is the ability to share reports on an online dashboard. Users with access are able to view reports from a website without having to download software. Tableau sheets can be combined to create “one” dashboard that has as many graphics shown as needed. Note: Tableau servers are required to set up online dashboards. The servers are not included as part of the original purchase of “Tableau Desktop”.
Also, Tableau has the ability to directly connect to databases and keep a live connection. Imagine Tableau having a direct connection to an accounting ERP. This is handy due to the fact that your data does not have to be continuously updated through excel files. There is a big potential in time savings when using direct live connections.
Disadvantages of Tableau
One of the biggest disadvantages of Tableau is cost. If you are an individual or small company, the price might cause you to second guess using this as your visualization platform.
Tableau has a free 14-day trial, which provides full access to the software to try out.