Explore What Tableau Server End Users Can Do

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Connect to your data sources.
  • Create visualizations in the browser.
  • Publish workbooks and data sources to Tableau Server.
  • Share and collaborate on the web.

Who Else Is Tableau Server For?

If you’re not a server or site admin, you might be one of the following:

  • A business analyst with a Creator license who creates visualizations
  • A sales manager with an Explorer license who interacts with and edits existing workbooks
  • An executive with a Viewer license who reviews dashboards created by others at your organization

What you can do on a Tableau Server site varies depending on your license type, site role, and content permissions.

Let’s assume you’re a non-admin with a Creator license and can connect to data sources, author visualizations, and publish your findings for others in your organization.

Connect to Data on Tableau Server

Before you start creating a visualization on Tableau Server, you must first connect to your data. 

Connect to Data dialog

You have a few options.

  • Select On This Site to browse or search for published data sources.
  • Select Files to upload Excel or text-based data sources (.xlsx, .csv, .tsv) directly in your browser.
  • Select Connectors to connect to data housed in a cloud database or on a server in your enterprise. There are dozens of connectors, including Amazon Redshift, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SQL Server, and many more.

When you have the Data Management Add-on with Tableau Catalog enabled, you can use On This Site to connect to databases and tables, as well as data sources.

Create Visualizations on Tableau Server

Once you’re connected to your data, you can start authoring views right in your browser. 

To create a visualization, simply drag a field from the Data pane into the view, or onto a card or shelf.

Tableau Server web authoring workspace

As you work, you’ll immediately see the view update with charts, tables, text, and more.

To learn more about web authoring in Tableau, check out the trail, Get Started with Web Authoring in Tableau Cloud.


Web authoring is the same whether you’re in Tableau Cloud or Tableau Server.

If you don’t want to create a visualization from scratch, you can also edit an existing workbook or a copy of one.

Saving Workbooks and Data Sources to Your Site

Tableau Server enables everyone in your organization to see and understand data. But for others to view your content, interact with it, and edit it (if their permissions allow), you need to actually save or publish, your content to the web.

Publish Workbooks

When creating a visualization on the web, you can save your work at any time by selecting File | Save. To save a copy of an existing workbook, select Save As instead. And if you want to add a workbook that’s not on your Tableau Server site yet, you can upload it by selecting New | Workbook Upload from either the Home or Explore page.

Publish Data Sources 

With the right permissions, you can also publish data sources to Tableau Server. This is essential for maintaining a single source for your data. It also facilitates collaboration since others can use your published data sources to build their own workbooks.

To publish a data source using web authoring, open the workbook that’s connected to it. Then from the Data pane, click the dropdown menu for the data source and select Save As Published Data Source.

Share and Collaborate on Tableau Server

OK, so now you know how to connect to data, build a visualization, and publish workbooks and data sources on your Tableau Server site. But why put content on your site, anyway? 

Share Content

Well, one reason is so you can share your work with others. You can share projects (discussed in the previous unit), views (another name for a single visualization within a workbook), workbooks (which may contain multiple visualizations), data sources, metrics, and flows. This includes sharing with users directly, obtaining a link to the content that can be passed around, and using an embed code for putting the content on an external website.

Subscribe to Content

You can also create subscriptions to views and workbooks. Subscribers will receive regular emails with a snapshot of the visualization right in the message.

Create Alerts

One other thing you can do is create data-driven alerts to be notified if the underlying data in a visualization reaches specific thresholds.

There’s so much more, but these are just a few of the things Tableau Server end users can do. 

Now you know how server admins, site admins, and other Tableau Server users can help you and your organization see and understand data.


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