Tableau Interview Questions

Q1: Who are the founders of Tableau?

The company was founded in Mountain View, California in January 2003 by Chris Stolte, Christian Chabot, and Pat Hanrahan.

Q2: What is Tableau Software?

Tableau is a business intelligence software that allows anyone to easily connect to data, then visualize and create interactive, shareable dashboards. It’s easy enough that any Excel user can learn it, but powerful enough to satisfy even the most complex analytical problems. Securely sharing your findings with others only takes seconds.

Q3: What are the five main products offered by Tableau company?

Tableau offers five main products: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online, Tableau reader and Tableau Public.

Q4: What is the current latest version of Tableau Desktop(as of Feb.2015)?

Current versions: Tableau Desktop version 9

Q5: What is data visualization?

Data visualization refers to the techniques used to communicate data or information by encoding it as visual objects (e.g. points, lines or bars) contained in graphics.

Q6: What is Tableau Desktop?

Tableau Desktop is based on breakthrough technology from Stanford University that lets you drag & drop to analyze data. It is a great data visualization tool, you can connect to data in a few clicks, then visualize and create interactive dashboards with a few more.

Q7: What is the Tableau Server?

Tableau Server is browser- and mobile-based insight anyone can use. Publish dashboards with Tableau Desktop and share them throughout your organization. It’s easy to set up and even easier to run.


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Q8: What is Tableau Public? 

Tableau Public is a free service that lets anyone publish interactive data to the web. Once on the web, anyone can interact with the data, download it, or create their own visualizations of it. No programming skills are required. Be sure to look at the gallery to see some of the things people have been doing with it.

Q9: Why Tableau?

Whether your data is in an on-premise database, a database, a data warehouse, a cloud application, or an Excel file, you can analyze it with Tableau. You can create views of your data and share it with colleagues, customers, and partners. You can use Tableau to blend it with other data. And you can keep your data up to date automatically.

Q10: How does Tableau perform with huge datasets?

Tableau Performance is based on Data source performance. If the data source takes more time to execute a query then Tableau must wait up to that time.

Tableau Interview Questions

Q11: What are the differences between Tableau Software Good-data and Traditional BI (Business Objects, etc.)?

At a high level, there are four major differences.

Q12: What are Dimensions and Facts?

Dimensions is nothing but the descriptive text columns and facts are nothing but measures (numerical values) dimension ex: Product Name, City.  Facts: Sales, profit

Q13: How to use a group in a calculated field?

By adding the same calculation to the ‘Group By’ clause in the SQL query or creating a Calculated Field in the Data Window and using that field whenever you want to group the fields.

  • Using groups in a calculation. You cannot reference ad-hoc groups in a calculation.
  • Blend data using groups created in the secondary data source: Only calculated groups can be used in data blending if the group was created in the secondary data source.
  • Use a group in another workbook. You can easily replicate a group in another workbook by copy and pasting a calculation.

Q14: What is the difference between heat map and tree map?

A heat map is a great way to compare categories using color and size. In this, you can compare two different measures. Tree map is a very powerful visualization, particularly for illustrating hierarchical (tree – structured) data and part – to – whole relationships.

Q15: How to view sql which is generated by Tableau Desktop?

The Tableau Desktop Log files are located in C:Users\My DocumentsMy Tableau Repository. If you have a live connection to the data source, check the log.txt and tabprotosrv.txt files. If you are using an extract, check the tdeserver.txt file. The tabprotosrv.txt file often shows detailed information about queries.

Q16: How will you publish and schedule a workbook in the tableau server?

First, create a schedule for a particular time and then create an extract for the data source and publish the workbook for the server. Before you publish, there is an option called Scheduling and Authentication, click on that and select the schedule from the drop-down which is created and publish. Also, publish data sources and assign the schedule. This schedule will automatically run for the assigned time and the workbook is refreshed.

Q17: How Does Tableau Work?

While Tableau lets you analyze databases and spreadsheets like never before, you don’t need to know anything about databases to use Tableau. In fact, Tableau is designed to allow business people with no technical training to analyze their data efficiently. Tableau is based on three simple concepts:

Connect: Connect Tableau to any database that you want to analyze.

Note that Tableau does not import the data. Instead, it queries the database directly.

Analyze: Analyzing data means viewing it, filtering it, sorting it, performing calculations on it, reorganizing it, summarizing it, and so on.Using Tableau you can do all of these things by simply arranging fields of your data source on a Tableau worksheet. When you drop a field on a worksheet, Tableau queries the data using standard drivers and query languages (like SQL and MDX) and presents a visual analysis of the data.

Share: You can share results with others either by sharing workbooks with other Tableau users, by pasting results into applications such as Microsoft Office, printing to PDF, or by using Tableau Server to publish or embed your views across your organization.

Tableau Architecture

Q18: Compare QlikView and Tableau?

Data integrationExceptionalGood
Working with multidimensional dataVery GoodGood
Support for PowerPointAvailableNot available
Visual DrilldownGoodVery Good
ScalabilityGoodLimited by RAM


Q19: What are the difference between tableau 7.0 and 8.0 versions?

New visualizations are introduced like tree map bubble chart and box and whisker plot. We can copy the worksheet directly from one workbook to another Workbook. Introduced R script

Q20: What are the features of Tableau 8.3?

With Kerboros support, Tableau 8.3 advances enterprise-grade data analysis with these enhancements:

  • Provides seamless, single sign-on experience from Tableau client to back-end data sources.
  • Protects sensitive data with delegated access and viewer credential management.
  • Connects to live data sources through stable, automated back-end authentication.
  • Leverages existing IT investments in enterprise-grade authentication and data security.
  • Supports smart card authentication.

Interview Questions On Tableau

Q21: Explain the relationship difference between Tableau Workbook, Story, Dashboard, Worksheets.? 

Workbooks and sheets: Tableau uses a WORKBOOK and SHEET file structure, much like Microsoft Excel. A WORKBOOK contains SHEETS, which can be a WORKSHEET , a DASHBOARD , or a STORY .

  • A WORKSHEET contains a single view along with shelves, legends, and the Data pane.
  • A DASHBOARD is a collection of views from multiple worksheets.
  • A STORY contains a sequence of worksheets or dashboards that work together to convey information.

Q22: How do I automate reports using Tableau software?

You need to publish reports to the tableau server, while publishing you will find one option to schedule reports. You just need to select the time when you want to refresh the data.


How fast can you get up and running with the system, answer questions, design and share dashboards and then change them? This is Where systems like Tableau and GoodData are far better than old – school business intelligence like Business Objects or Cognos. Traditional systems took months or years to intelligence like Business Objects or Cognos. Traditional systems took months or years to implement, with costs running to millions. Tableau has a free trail that installs in minutes and GoodData is a cloud – based, so they are faster to implement by orders of magnitude. They are also faster to results: traditional BI requires IT and developers to make any changes to reports, so business users are stuck in a queue waiting to get anything done. Tableau and GoodData provide more of a self – service experience.

Analysis layer

This is where Tableau excels. It has a powerful and flexible drag & drops visualization engine based on some technology from Stanford. Traditional BI typically provides some canned reports but changing them requires significant time and money.

Data layer

This is where the three options are most different: GoodData requires you to move your data to its cloud. Traditional BI typically requires you to move your data to its data warehouse system. Tableau connects to a variety of existing data source and also provides a fast in-memory data engine, essentially a local database. Since most enterprises have their data stored all over the place, this provides the most choice and lets companies use the investment they’ve already made.

Enterprise readiness.

Traditional BI and Tableau do well here, with enterprise-level security and high scalability.

Q23: What is a parameter in Tableau? And how it works.?

Parameters are dynamic values that can replace constant values in calculations and can serve as filters

Interview Questions On Tableau

Q24: What are Filters? How many types of filters are there in Tableau?

A filter is nothing but it is restricted to unnecessary, it is showing exact data. Basically, filters are 3 types.

  1. Quick filter
  2. Context filt
  3. Data source filter

Q25: What is the difference between context filter to other filters?

Whenever we create context filter >> Tableau will create a temporary table for this particular filter set and other filters will be applied to context filter data like cascade parameters… suppose we have created context filter on countries >> we have chosen countries like the USA and India >> Tableau will create a temporary table for this two countries data and if you have any other filers >>other will be applied on this two countries data if we don’t have any context filter >> each and individual record will check for all filters

Q26: What is disadvantage of context filters?

The context filter is not frequently changed by the user – if the filter is changed the database must be recomputed and rewrite the temporary table, slowing performance.

When you set a dimension to context, Tableau crates a temporary table that will require a reload each time the view is initiated. For Excel, Access and text data sources, the temporary table created is in an Access table format. For SQL Server, My SQL and Oracle data sources, you must have permission to create a temporary table on your server. For multidimensional data source, or cubes, temporary tables are not crated, and context filters only defined which filters are independent and dependent.


Q27: What is the Difference between quick filter and Normal filter in tableau?

The quick filter is used to view the filtering options and can be used to select the option. A normal filer is something you can limit the options from the list or use some conditions to limit the data by field or value.

Q28: What is benefit of Tableau extract file over the live connection?

The extract can be used anywhere without any connection and you can build your own visualizations without connecting to Database.

Q29: How to combine two excel files with same fields but different data (different years)?

I have 5 different excel files (2007.xls, 2008.xls..2011.xls) with same fields (film name, genre, budge, rating, profitability) but with data from different year (2007 to 2011). Can someone tell me how can I combine the film name, genre and profitability so that I can see the visualization of 2007 to 2011 in a single chart?

Q30: What is the Max no of tables we can join in Tableau?

We can join max 32 table, it’s not possible to combine more than 32 tables.

Q31: How does the integration of Tableau with R works?

R is a popular open-source environment for statistical analysis. Tableau Desktop can now connect to R through calculated fields and take advantage of R functions, libraries, and packages and even saved models. These calculations dynamically invoke the R engine and pass values to R via the Rserve package, and are returned back to Tableau.

Tableau Server can also be configured to connect to an instance of Rserve through the tabadmin utility, allowing anyone to view a dashboard containing R functionality.

Combining R with Tableau gives you the ability to bring deep statistical analysis into a drag-and-drop visual analytics environment.

Q32: What is Page shelf?

Page shelf is power full part of tableau That you can use to control the display of output as well as printed results of the output.

Q33: Differentiate between parameters and filters in Tableau.

The difference lies in the application. Parameters allow users to insert their values, which can be integers, float, date, string that can be used in calculations. However, filters receive only values users choose to ‘filter by’ the list, which cannot be used to perform calculations. Users can dynamically change measures and dimensions in parameter but filters do not approve of this feature. Most in-depth, the industry-led curriculum in Tableau.

Q34: How can we combine database and flat file data in tableau desktop?

Connect data two times, one for database tables and one for the flat file. The Data->Edit Relationships. Give a join condition on the common column from DB tables to flat file

Q35: What is Content Filter?

The concept of context filter in Tableau makes the process of filtering smooth and straightforward. It establishes a filtering hierarchy where all other filters present refer to the context filter for their subsequent operations. The other filters now process data that has been passed through the context filter. Creating one or more context filters improves performance as users do not have to create extra filters on the large data sources, reducing the query-execution time. You can create by dragging a filed into ‘Filters’ tab and then, Right-Click that field and select ‘’Add to Context”

Q36: How to add custom Color to Tableau?

Create Custom Color code in "Preferences.tps"

Navigation::: Documents » My Table Repository »Preferences.tps

Add custom color code Note: In Tableau 9.0 version we have color picker option.

Q37: What is TDE file?

TDE is a Tableau desktop file that contains a .tde extension. It refers to the file that contains data extracted from external sources like MS Excel, MS Access or CSV file.

There are two aspects of TDE design that make them ideal for supporting analytics and data discovery.

  • Firstly, TDE is a columnar store
  • The second is how they are structured which impacts how they are loaded into memory and used by Tableau. This is an important aspect of how TDEs are “architecture aware”. Architecture-awareness means that TDEs use all parts of your computer memory, from RAM to hard disk, and put each part to work what best fits its characteristics.

Q38: How to design a view to show region wise profit and sales.I did not want line and bar chat should be used for profit and sales?

 Generate the Map using cities -->then Drag the Profit and sales to the Details-->Add the state as Quick filter

Q39: How to create cascading filters without context filter ?

I have filterl and filter2..Based on filterl I need to filter2 data

Ex: Filterl as Country and Filter 2: States

I have chosen country as USA and filter2 should display only USA states

Choose options of Filter2 states :

select option of "Only relevant values "

Q40: What is dual axis?

To display two measure in one graph

Q41: What is blended axis?

Multiple Measures are shown in single axis and also all the marks shown in single pane

  • Drag a dimension in a column
  • Drag the first measure in column
  • Drag 2nd measure in existing axis

Click Here...

Q42: What is Data Blending?

Unlike Data Joining, Data Blending in tableau allows combining of data from different sources and platforms. For instance, you can blend data present in an Excel file with that of an Oracle DB to create a new dataset

Q43: What is disaggregation and aggregation of data?

Suppose I have data like:


Aggregation: to display aggregate data-->Sum/avg salary by each individual employee-->Drag "ename" on column and salary on rows we will get sum (salary) of each and individual employee-->now change measure type as Avg-->Choose salary option – choose measure types as “Avg”-->Disaggregation: To display each and every transaction.

When you look at the aggregated data in the views above, each bar represents all transactions for a specific employee summed up or averaged into a single value. Now say that you want to see the individual salary transactions for each employee. You can create a view like that by selecting Analysis>Aggregate Measures.

Q44: What different products Tableau provide?

Tableau Server: on-premise or cloud-hosted software to access the workbooks built
Tableau desktop: desktop environment to create and publish standard and packaged workbooks.
Tableau Public: workbooks available publicly online for users to download and access the included data.
Tableau Reader: get a local access to open Tableau Packaged workbook


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Tableau Architecture

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