How do I get started with Data visualisation and Tableau as a beginner?

When I teach Tableau at QUT, my local University or when I post visualisations online, I often get asked, “How do I get started with Data visualisation and Tableau as a beginner?”. I hope the resources below would be useful to get you started.

Firstly well done for having a go. Tableau is a great tool, the Tableau community is the best, now the key is to practice.

Tableau Public: (build your online portfolio)

Social Media

  • The Tableau community on Twitter and LinkedIn is really good and supportive.
  • Create a Twitter and LinkedIn profile and start following people
  • Check the Tableau Featured Authors page, lost of people to follow

Twitter lists

When you publish your work on Tableau Public, share the link on Twitter or LinkedIn and ask for feedback using this tag: #DatafamFeedback

Good tags to use

This is an example of a Tableau dashboard promoted on Twitter. Include hashtags, tag people, include a screen shot of your visualisation, use a URL shortener ( to make the URL short and gain some space.

Attend online events to learn and know who’s who

Practice, practice and practice

  • Start with Makeover Monday It is a weekly data community exercise, great way to learn and improve your skills.
  • And plenty of other data community activities are listed on my blog


  • To practice you will need datasets!.
  • See this List of publicly available data sources (list by Cole Knaflic @storywithdata)
  • Makeover Monday would also have a big list of dataset
  • pick a dataset you are passionate about, and start creating stories about it


  • Tableau Gallery includes examples of incredible visualisations, including the Viz of the Day (#VOTD)

One note about Tableau Public – you can get inspiration from anyone by downloading the workbook to your PC and try to recreate and learn yourself but never ever copy someone’s work without giving credit or attributing the original author (ie pretend that is your own work, remove the original author name and replace with yours). I bet if you ask the author if you can use their work, they will be pleased to help!

Tableau Training

Other data training

I would also suggest you learn other tools to prepare and clean the data

  • Alteryx: Alteryx specializes in self-service analytics with an intuitive user interface. These analytics can be used as Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) – they offer free licenses for students
  • SQL: if you also need to learn SQL. Have a read at this blog with a few basics

Further reading

  • My blog also includes many other blog to follow, books to read…

To conclude, choose, topics that you are passionate about and viz that.

Good luck! Long live data

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