Tableau As a Platform

Okay, let’s skip over the reminiscing part of this introduction quickly: “I remember when Tableau was 98% Desktop work and Server/Online were just a way of sharing a dashboard you created with colleagues, and nothing more.”

As most of you reading this know, it has now become so much more than just that. Tableau is a true analytics platform that extends way beyond just sharing work created in Tableau Desktop. It practically hands you data and insights you might not even know exist through several functionalities for collaboration. It enables almost anyone in an organization to benefit from data assets a company owns.

But it does even more than that. I would almost dare to say that it transcends the boundaries of what it was intended to do originally. While a powerful analytical platform in itself, Tableau is now extensible in many ways that allow it to be used for more than what it says on the box.

Extending Tableau as a Platform

At this point, you may be asking yourself: “How exactly does Tableau do more than advertised? We use all its functionalities in our company, surely we’re doing all we can!” 

Well, I’m thinking about use cases such as the following:

  • Embed Tableau to use it as the analytical component of any other portal or application you offer your clients

  • Make Tableau part of your Data Science stack, and bring your statistical models to a wider audience through Tableau

  • Use Tableau in your organization’s mobile app

  • Have Tableau orchestrate and execute actions based on data-driven events

  • Open up Tableau as an analytical platform to your customers

Now what do these use cases I’m bringing up have in common? They all rely on using tools from Tableau’s Developer Platform. Behold, the wonderful world of #DataDev.

Tableau DataDev logo

Do More than Before as a #DataDev!

As you can probably guess, “DataDev” is a portmanteau of the words… Data and Developer. Basically, you’ll develop products and tools that rely on and augment your data, through Tableau. What kind of products? Well, all the examples listed above rely on Tableau’s Developer Tools. Tableau offers a bunch of APIs, SDKs and integrations to help you do that. These words sound fancy, don’t they?

Well, is this all new and does it scare you? Are you thinking, “I’m not a coder?” Not to worry, because the Tableau Developer Program has everything you need to get started and learn, from the very beginning! Or does this excite you? Good, you’ll quickly understand how the benefits of the Tableau Developer Program will help you kickstart this undertaking.

Wait, why are there so many links to the Tableau Developer Program here? Because that is where your journey begins:

  • You will get a free Tableau Online site where you can experiment and develop all you wish! You’ll get started in just minutes

  • You will join a community of like-minded people and experts who are all tinkering with the Developer tools and building things with a creativity you’ve never seen before. They are eager to share their knowledge and their work with you!

  • You will be kept up-to-date as new fancy Developer features are added, allowing you to do even more.

This decision to “become a #DataDev”, which I’ve made over 18 months ago, is one that benefits me all the time. “Can we automate this tedious task on our Server?” “Naturally!” “Can you help us integrate Tableau in our Portal, and make it interact with this widget?” “Easy!”

Don’t take my word for it, join our ranks right away and make your life easier and more exciting at the same time! Oh, also... the #DataDev mascot is called Flex; this cool T-Rex who does yoga!


DataDev mascot, Flex the T-Rex

Timothy Vermeiren

Timothy Vermeiren

Analytics Domain Lead at Biztory, and DataDev Ambassador. Tableau Iron Viz 2018 Global Champion, Tableau Ambassador 2020-2021, Tableau Certified Consultant & Architect. He runs in his spare time & plays various musical instruments.

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