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Tableau Overview

Tableau is an interactive, self-service reporting and analytics tool that enables faculty and staff to integrate and combine data from multiple sources into visualizations and be accessed in a single Creator environment using Tableau Creator or through a shared dashboard.

Tableau Creator

Tableau Creator is a bundled license of Desktop and Prep.

Tableau Desktop is used by data analysts and report developers to generate workbooks and dashboards that can be published for distribution in Tableau Server. Tableau Desktop can also be used to create ad hoc reports and analyses from local datasets, other systems.

Tableau Prep changes the way traditional data prep is performed in an organization. By providing a visual and direct way to combine, shape and clean data. Tableau Prep is comprised of two products: Tableau Prep Builder for building your data flows, and Tableau Prep Conductor for scheduling, monitoring and managing flows across the organization.

A license is required to use Tableau Creator. To purchase or renew a license, chose below:

Tableau Server

Tableau Server is a secure portal that allows dashboards created in Tableau Creator to be securely shared with others from any browser or mobile device. This service is provided by Northwestern IT and supported by Enterprise Reporting and Analytics.

Some schools and departments have established sites on Tableau Server. Access to data within these sites is granted by request through the Site AdministratorsNetID authentication required.

At least one copy of the Tableau Creator license per department/school is required to use Tableau Server for sharing data.


Northwestern University Tableau Server is currently on 2020.4.3 version. In order to have the functionality work appropriately, Desktop and Prep versions have to be compatible. Here are the versions you should install:

License and Install Senturus Connector

Access, Log In, and Share Data

Once access to a site is received, log in to Tableau at

How-to Guides

Tableau Training Videos

Tableau Support

Last Updated: 21 September 2021

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