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Tableau for Data Visualization

Tableau overview

Tableau is a suite of software tools for data analysis and visualization. Tableau Desktop is the most commonly used Tableau product in the academic environment, but there are a variety of other cloud-based and collaborative platforms for Tableau that are mostly used in industry settings. 

Tableau offers many of the same features of spreadsheet tools such as Microsoft Excel, but can produce a much greater variety of visualizations and can handle much more complex data modeling. The visualizations include a variety of graphs and plots, heatmaps, GIS-enabled visualizations, and interactive tools that can be integrated into a website.

For information on how to get access to Tableau at the Claremont Colleges, visit the How to Get Tableau section.

This guide is intended to provide a basic introduction to getting started with Tableau and includes links to several online resources for more advanced techniques.

How to Get Tableau

  • Students: go to to request a free student license. Typically, Tableau will provide students an immediate free 14-day trial version. You will need to apply to get a one-year free student license and that process may take a few days. Each year students enrolled full-time can request a new one-year key.
  • Faculty: instructors using Tableau in their coursework can apply for a free one-year instructor license here:
  • Tableau software is also available on library computers in the Digital Toolshed and on some of the IT labs at the colleges.

Tableau Desktop Dashboard view showing how two sheets are visualized

Tableau Desktop Dashboard

Head, Data and Digital Scholarship Services

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Jeanine Finn
Distinctive Collections and Digital Scholarship -
The Claremont Colleges Library
909 607-7958