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Tableau Interview Questions and Answers [Ultimate Guide]

Updated: May 7, 2021

Tableau interview questions and answers


Are you preparing to crush your Tableau interview? Or are you planning to sit for your Tableau Desktop Exam? If that, is you, then this article is for you?

Walking uncharted path can be intimidating for first timers, and that is why I have written this article to be your guiding star in your journey to becoming a Tableau developer.

These Tableau desktop interview questions have been curated by an expert with real experience in training and application of Tableau Desktop knowledge. These questions and answers will help you stand-out in your Tableau interview and by-extend get you ready for your Tableau desktop exam, gain immense skills that will help you establish your career and improve your earning potential.

These Tableau interview questions have been grouped into the following eight categories.

  • Introduction

  • Data connections

  • Organizing and simplifying data

  • Field and chart types

  • Calculations

  • Analytics

  • Mapping

  • Dashboards

Tableau desktop certification practice exam

Tableau interview questions (Introduction)

Quiz 1.0. What is Tableau?

Tableau is a leading data visualization software company focused on business intelligence (BI). Tableau has several products which together form the complete data analytics package. These products empower users,

  • Easily connect nearly to any data.

  • Combine, shape and clean data for analysis (prepare data).

  • Build interactive reports/visualizations.

  • Share reports/dashboards with users easily.

Tableau logo

Quiz 2.0. What are the different Tableau products?

The Tableau product family consist of the following six products.

tableau product family

(i) Tableau Desktop - is the flagship tool for authoring dashboards. With Tableau Desktop, you can connect to a variety of data sources, combine and shape data for analysis, build interactive dashboards before you can publish reports (to Tableau Server or Tableau Online) for mass sharing.

One the key distinction of Tableau Desktop is its ability connect to lots of data sources as well as save workbooks locally in a computer.

(ii) Tableau Prep – is a self-service data preparation tool that empowers users combine, shape and clean data for analysis.

(iii) Tableau Students – Is a free Tableau Desktop and Tableau Prep license for all students at accredited academic institutions globally. To get your copy of Tableau license for students, all you need is to complete and submit a form to confirm your eligibility. You MUST be of 16 years and above to request this license.

(iv) Tableau public - is a free software which allows anyone connect to spreadsheet or file data and create interactive visualizations for the web.

One of the key distinctive features of the Tableau public is, it can only connect to limited data (file data) and it can only save workbooks on the Tableau public server.

(v) Tableau reader - this is a FREE desktop application that you can use to open and interact with workbooks build in Tableau Desktop.

(vi) Tableau server/online - is a platform to empower businesses explore data in a trusted environment. This platform allows organizations build, share, and collaborate around data analysis. Tableau online is hosted by Tableau while Tableau server is self-hosted.

Quiz 3.0. What are the advantages of using Tableau?

There are so many advantages to using Tableau Desktop with include,

  • Ease of use (Tableau uses drag and drop interface).

  • Speed (high performance).

  • Ability to connect to lots of data source (big data).

  • Ability to create beautiful interactive visualizations.

  • Easy way of publishing and sharing reports.

  • Ability to work with large volumes of data (big data).

  • Ability to support multiple data connections.

  • Thriving Tableau community and forum.

Quiz 4.0. What are the different Tableau file types you know?

When saving work, Tableau uses different file extensions to denote different file types such as workbooks, bookmarks, packaged data files, data extracts and data connection files. These different file types have been described below,

(i) Workbook (.twb) – Tableau workbooks files have .twb file extension. Such files when shared with users, require users to have the original data used to create the workbook to open them.

(ii) Workbook (.twbx) – Tableau packaged workbooks have .twbx file extension. A packaged workbook is a zipped file that contains the workbook along with the supporting file data and background images. Packaged workbooks are best for sharing with users who do not have access to the original data used to create the workbook. Packaged workbooks can be opened by both Tableau Desktop users as well as Tableau Reader users.

(iii) Tableau data extracts (.hyper or .tde) – When you extract data in Tableau to create a local copy that can be shared with others. Tableau uses the file extension .hyper or .tde to denote such data. Note, the file extension depends on the version of Tableau Desktop you’re using. For instance, when you extract data using Tableau 10.4 or any older versions, the Tableau data extract file will have .tde file extension while extracting data using Tableau 10.5 or new versions will create a data extract using .hyper file extension.

(iv) Bookmarks (.tbm) – Tableau bookmark files have a .tbm file extension. Bookmarks contain a single worksheet and are an easy way of sharing work.

(v) Tableau data source (.tds) – Tableau data source files have the .tds file extension. Data source files are shortcuts for instantly connecting to the original data. Data source files do not contain the actual data but rather the information necessary to connect the actual data as well as the modification made on top of the data.

(vi) Tableau packaged data source (.tdsx) – Tableau packaged data source contain the .tdsx file extension. The packaged data source is a zip file that contains the data source file (.tds) described above, as well as any local file data such as extract files, text files, excel files etc. Suitable when you need to share data with users who may not have access to the original data stored locally in your computer.

Tableau interview questions on data connections.

Quiz 1.0. What are the different ways you can combine data in Tableau?

There are four ways you can use to combine data in Tableau. They include, join data, union data, blend data and relate data.

(i) Join data.

Data joining is a method of combining tables related by common field. The results of combining data using joins is a virtual table that extends horizontally by adding columns of data.

(ii) Union data.

Data union is a method of appending values (rows) to a table. Note, to union data the tables must be of the same structure (same columns). Unioning data results to a virtual table with same columns but additional rows of data.

(iii) Blend data.

Data blending is another way of combining data – where data from secondary data source is displayed with values from primary source. Note, unlike data joining data blending keeps the data source separately but simply displays their information together.

(Check this article for more details on how to join, union and blend data in Tableau)

(iv) Relate data.

Relating data is available for those using Tableau 2021.1 or later versions. Relationships describe how two or more tables are related based on a common field but does not merge the two tables together like in the case of joins. When you establish a relationship between tables, Tableau brings data from the related tables using the relationship to create a viz. (Check this article for more details about relationships in Tableau)