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Step 1: Connect to your data

Your manager asked you to look into the overall sales and profitability for the company and to identify key areas for improvement. You have a bunch of data, but you aren’t sure where to start. With a free trial of Tableau Desktop, you decide to begin there.

Open Tableau Desktop and begin

The first thing you see after you open Tableau Desktop is the start page. Here, you select the connector that you want to use - how you will connect to your data.

The start page gives you several options to choose from:

  1. Click the Tableau icon in the upper left-hand corner of any page to visit the start page at any time.

  2. Under Connect, you can:

    • Connect to data that is stored in a file, such as Microsoft Excel or Access.

    • Connect to data that is stored on a server, such as Tableau Server, Microsoft SQL Server, or Google Analytics.

    • Connect to a data source that you’ve connected to before.

      Tableau supports the ability to connect to a wide variety of data stored in a wide variety of places. The Connect pane lists the most common places that you might want to connect to, or click the More Servers link to see more options. More on connecting to data sources in the Learning Library (in the top menu).

  3. Under Open, you can open workbooks that you have already created.

  4. Under Sample Workbooks, view sample dashboards and worksheets that come with Tableau Desktop.

  5. Under Discover, find additional resources like video tutorials, forums, or the “Viz of the week” to get ideas about what you can build.

Under Saved data sources, select Sample - Superstore to connect. Your screen will look something like this:

The Sample - Superstore data source comes with Tableau. It contains information about products, sales, profits, and so on that you can use to identify key areas for improvement within your company.

Continue to Step 2: Drag and drop to take a first look.

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