Top 30+ Tableau Interview Questions and Answers [2021 Updated]

Tableau can be considered as a Business Intelligence tool for analyzing the data visually. Tableau enables its users to create and distribute a shareable and interactive dashboard, which shows the variations, trends, and density of the data in the form of charts and graphs. Tableau software gives a platform for real-time collaboration and data blending, which makes Tableau software very unique in this regard. As businesses are increasingly becoming data-centric in their approaches, the demand for tableau along with talented tableau professionals continues to surge. 

In this article, you will get to know about the top 32 Tableau interview questions and answers that you might encounter while interviewing for a job in Tableau. Do you wish to become a Tableau professional? Then make it a point to go through these Tableau interview questions and ace your Tableau interview in flying colors! 

Following are the list of the Top 32 Tableau Questions and Answers

1. Explain the difference between data blending and data joining?

Data blending is the process of combining data from two or more different sources, such as Excel, SQL Server Oracle, and Oracle. In the process of data blending, each data source contains its own set of measures and dimensions.

Data joining is the process of combining the data between two or more sheets or tables within the same data source. All the combined sheets or tables contain a common set of measures and dimensions.

2. List the various data types supported in Tableau?

Following are the different data types that are supported in Tableau:

  • Text (string) values
  • Date values
  • Boolean values (only relational)
  • Geographical values (when used with maps)
  • Numerical values
  • Date and time values

3. Enumerate the difference between ‘continuous’ and ‘discrete’ in Tableau?

Data is represented in Tableau, depending on whether the field is continuous (green) or discrete (blue).

  • Continuous – “forming an unbroken whole without interruption.
  • “Discrete – “individually separate and distinct.”

4. What are filters? Name the different types of filters in Tableau.

This is one of the most frequent Tableau interview questions. Tableau filters can be considered as a method of restricting the data content that may enter a Tableau workbook, view, or dashboard. 

Following are the different types of Tableau filters:

  • Extract filters
  • Context filters
  • Filters on dimensions
  • Table calculation filter
  • Data source filters
  • Filters on measures

5. What are the different types of Joins in Tableau?

Joining is defined as a method for combining related data on a common key in Tableau. 

Since Tableau is somewhat similar to SQL, the types of joins in Tableau are similar to that of the joins in SQL.

  • Right Outer Join: This join extracts all the records from the right table and the matching rows from the left table. 
  • Left Outer Join: Left outer join extracts all the records from the left table and the matching rows from the right table.
  • Inner Join: This join extracts records from both tables.
  • Full Outer Join: Full outer join extracts records from both the left and right tables. And all the unmatched rows will go with the NULL value. 

6. Explain the difference between a Live Connection and an Extract?

This is one of the frequently asked Tableau interview questions. 

Tableau Data Extracts are snapshots of data optimized for aggregation and they are then loaded into system memory so that they can be recalled easily for visualization.

For Example, Hospitals that need to monitor the patient’s weekly or monthly trends will require data extracts.

Live connections offer real-time updates, conclusively with any changes in the data source as shown in Tableau.

For Example, The hospitals which are monitoring incoming patient data need to make real-time decisions.

7. Explain the Difference Between Tableau Worksheet, Dashboard, Story, and Workbook?

Much like Microsoft Excel, Tableau uses a workbook and sheet file structure.

  • A worksheet comprises a single view along with legends, shelves, and the data pane.
  • A dashboard is a group of views from several worksheets.
  • A story includes a sequence of dashboards or worksheets that work along to convey information.
  • A workbook includes sheets, that can be a story, dashboard, or worksheet.

8. What is your notion of a Blended Axis?

Blended Axis is a tool used to blend two measures that share an axis when both of them have the same scale. 

9. Explain the use of the Dual-axis?

Dual Axis is a Tableau tool that allows one to compare measures. This is useful to compare two measures with different scales.

10. Can you tell what the following function will return?

Left (3, “Tableau”)

Choose the correct answer:

  • Eau 
  • Tab 
  • Error 
  • None of the above

The answer is the third option, ‘Error’. It will return an error because the given syntax is wrong. The correct syntax is: left(string, num_chars). So, it should be: Left(“Tableau,” 3)

If the correct syntax is followed, the result will be ‘Tab.’ Left returns a particular number of characters from the beginning of the given string.

11. What is the Rank Function in Tableau?

The ranking is the process of assigning something a position, mostly within a category and based on a particular measure. Tableau can rank in many ways, which are as follows: 

  • rank 
  • rank_unique
  • rank_dense
  • rank_modified 

12. Explain in detail how to schedule a workbook in Tableau once it is published?

  1. Sign in to Tableau Server, go to content >choose data sources or content > click on workbooks, depending on the type of content you wish to refresh.
  2. Click on the checkbox for the workbook or data source you would like to refresh, and then click on actions > extract refresh.
  3. Select schedule a refresh in the refresh extracts dialog, and complete the following steps:
  4. Click on the schedule that you want.
  5. If available, specify whether you want an incremental refresh or a full refresh.

13. How will you handle null and other special values?

Tableau cannot plot null values, negative or zero values on a logarithmic axis if a field contains them. Tableau will show an indicator in the lower right corner of the view in such scenarios, and you may click the indicator and choose from the following options:

  • Filter Data
  • This option will exclude the null values from the visualization with the help of a filter. In such cases, the null values also get excluded from any sort of calculation used in the view.
  • Show the data at default position itself
  • This option will show the data at a default location on the logarithmic axis

14. What is meant by Assume Referential integrity?

Assume Referential Integrity is one such course that helps to improve the query performance in Tableau. This includes the joined table with the reference values.

15. Is it possible to install Tableau on MACOS?

Yes, Tableau can very well be installed on both MACOS and Windows Operating system platforms.

16. Is Tableau a good option to consider for strategic acquisition?

Indeed it is, Tableau gives one insight on relevant data to the extent that older tools cannot. Tableau also helps to plan the anomalies. In short, Tableau contributes to the process improvement and betterment of the company.

17. Do you know the maximum number of rows Tableau can utilize at one time?

There is no cap on the number of rows that can be utilized at a time in Tableau.

18. State the difference between filters and parameters in Tableau.

Filters in Tableau apply dimensions directly and are straightforward. Whereas parameters allow only a single value. Parameters in Tableau are like variables, powerful and complex.

19. What is meant by a Page shelf?

Page shelf is a tool in Tableau that breaks the views into a series of pages and showcases an alternative view on each page. This is followed by an analysis of each field.

20. Suppose my license expires today, can my users still see the workbooks or dashboards that I published on the server earlier?

 Yes, suppose your server license expires today, your username on the server will have the tag ‘unlicensed’ which means that you won’t be able to access it, but others can. The ownership can be changed to another person by the site admin to ensure that the extracts won’t fail.

21. State the benefit of the Tableau Extract file over the live connection?

To access extract files, a connection is not required. Data visualizations can be built on their own in this case.

22. Differentiate between Tiled and Floating layouts in dashboards?

The major difference between Tiled and floating is that items do not overlap in the Tiled layout, whereas items in floating layouts overlap. These are adjusted according to the dashboard requirements. 

23. Categorize the dimensions in Tableau software.

Categories of Dimensions in Tableau are as follows:

  • Slowly ever-changing dimension
  • Conformed Dimension
  • Chop Chop Ever
  • Shrunken Dimension
  • Junk Dimension
  • Degenerated Dimension
  • Inferred Dimension
  • Unchanged dimension
  • Role Enjoying Dimension

24. What is VIZQL in Tableau?

VIZQL in Tableau stands for Visual Inquiry Language. VIZQL is a combination of VIZ and SQL. The difference is, instead of SQL commands, the VIZQL language converts queries on data into visual images.

25. What is a parameter in Tableau?

A parameter in Tableau is a variable (date, numbers, or strings) created to replace a constant value in filters, calculations, or reference lines. For example, you create a field that returns true only if the sales are greater than 40000 and false if otherwise. Parameters are tools that are used to replace these numbers (40000 in this case) to dynamically set this while calculations are done. Parameters allow one to modify values during a calculation dynamically. 

26. Can you tell us about measures and dimensions?

When we connect to a new data source in Tableau, each field in the data source is either mapped as dimensions or measures. These fields in Tableau are the columns defined in the data source. A data type (string, integer, etc.) is assigned to each field and a role (continuous measure or discrete dimension).

Measures comprise numeric values which are analyzed by a dimension table. They are stored in a table that contains foreign keys referring uniquely to the associated dimension tables and allows storage of multiple records. Dimensions include qualitative values (geographical data, name, dates,) to define comprehensive attributes to categorize, reveal the data details, and segment.

27. What is meant by aggregation and disaggregation of data?

Aggregation of data simply means displaying the dimensions and measures in an aggregated form. Following are the aggregate functions available in the Tableau tool:

  • SUM (expression): This tool adds up all the values used in the expression. It is used only for numeric values.
  • AVG (expression): This tool calculates the average of all the values used in the expression. It is used only for numeric values.
  • Median (expression): Median tool calculates the median of all the values across all the records used in the expression. It is used only for numeric values.
  • Count (expression): This Tableau tool returns the number of values in the set of expressions. It excludes all null values.
  • Count (distinct): This Tableau tool returns the number of unique values in the set of expressions.

Tableau also lets you alter the aggregation type for a view. Disaggregation of data in Tableau simply means displaying each data field separately.

28. Can you explain the different connections to make with a dataset in Tableau?

Tableau has two types of data connections:

LIVE: Live connection directly connects to the data source, and is a dynamic way to extract real-time data. In live connections, Tableau directly creates queries against the database entries thereby retrieving the results of the query in a workbook.

EXTRACT: In an extract connection, the data is extracted from a static source of data such as an Excel Spreadsheet. The extract connection does not require any connection with the database. You can schedule to refresh the snapshots which are done using the Tableau server. 

29. What are the supported file extensions in Tableau?

The supported file extensions used in Tableau Desktop are as follows:

  • Tableau Data Extract (TDE): TDE includes data that has been extracted from other sources of data.
  • Tableau Packaged Workbook (TWBX): This extension is a combination of the metadata, workbook, and connection data, and the data itself in the form of TDE. This can be shared and zipped.
  • Tableau Packaged Data Source (TDSX): TDSX is an extension that contains a combination of different files.
  • Tableau Bookmark (TBM): The purpose of this extension is to earmark a specific worksheet.
  • Tableau Workbook (TWB): This extension is inclusive of all story points, worksheets, dashboards, etc.
  • Tableau Data Source (TDS): TDS is conclusive of metadata and connection information about your data source

30. What do you mean by sets in Tableau?

Sets in Tableau refer to the custom fields created as a subset of data in the Tableau desktop. Sets are computed based on conditions or they can be created manually depending upon the data source dimensions.

31. How do you perform load testing in Tableau?

The server’s capacity with respect to its data, environment, and the workload is assessed using Load testing. It is advisable to conduct load testing at least 3-4 times in a year as with every upgrade, new user, or content authoring, the workload, the usage, data, and workload change. 

32. What are the different types of filters in Tableau?

Tableau has 6 different types of filters:

  • Extract Filter: The extract filter retrieves a subset of data from the source of data.
  • Context Filter: This filter is used to create datasets by using presets in Tableau.
  • Measure Filter: Measure filter makes use of various operations like median, avg, sum, etc.
  • Dimension Filter: This is a filter in Tableau that is used for non-aggregated data.
  • Table Calculation Filter: This Tableau filter is used after the creation of the view.
  • Data Source Filter: This filter in Tableau reduces data feeds by refraining users from viewing sensitive information.

How to Attend the Tableau Interview Questions Like a Pro

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is Tableau?

Tableau is considered the fastest-growing data visualization tool that is being used in the Business Intelligence Industry. It is very powerful and helps in simplifying raw data in an easily understandable form. It helps in creating data that can be understood and analyzed by professionals belonging to any level in a firm.

Q2. How should I prepare for a tableau interview?

Preparation of any kind of interview involves a thorough understanding of the concepts. It is the same for a Tableau interview as well. The demand for tableau professionals has been on a rise, ever since the businesses have become more data-driven. To become a successful tableau professional, it is imperative to possess a robust knowledge of the fundamentals of the tableau. Your chances of becoming a tableau professional will increase if you are adept in the creation of data visualizations in Tableau. Having a certification from a reputed institute on Tableau is going to increase your chances of getting selected. 

Q3. What are the uses of Tableau?

The following are considered as the main applications and uses of TableauFollowing are considered as the main applications and uses of Tableau:
Business Intelligence
Helps to create no-code data queries
Enables Data Visualization
Enables Data Collaboration
Manages large size metadata
Query translation into visualization
Helps to import large size of data
Data Blending
Real-time data analysis

Q4. What are the challenges that one will face while using Tableau?

Like any other tool, Tableau also comes with certain challenges. Tableau isn’t regarded as a cost-effective data visualization tool, and it sometimes fails to provide centralized data-level security. Other challenges faced by professionals while using the tableau software include handling an unlicensed VizQL server process, troubleshooting trusted authentication. As for tableau professionals, you should be skilled enough to overcome these challenges for the organization’s betterment.

Veena M
the authorVeena M
A Certified Digital Content Writer, I love learning new languages. Blogging and researching are my forte, and I read while I am not writing. Thanks for dropping by.

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