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Tableau: Getting Tableau and resources for learning about the software

Tableau Desktop is a data visualization software. Researchers use it to create static or interactive infographic views of datasets, present and share them in different ways: in print, via social media, and embed in blog and website.

Getting Tableau software

Tableau Desktop is installed on computers in SFU Burnaby Library Lab 2105.

 To get a free one-year license of Tableau Desktop, check out the Tableau academic programs offers for students and instructors.

 Tableau Public is a free limited version of Tableau Desktop for users to create and share visualization online. As soon as a workbook is published to Tableau Public, the visualization is accessible by anyone on the internet, so be sure to only use data that is suitable for a public audience

SFU services and support for Tableau and visual analytics

The SFU Library Research Commons offers two regular workshops which orient users to Tableau: an introductory session, and a more advanced session. If you are interested in booking a workshop for your class or research group, please email

The Vancouver Institute for Visual Analytics (VIVA) provides in-depth assistance with a research project. Visual analytics consultations are typically 30 - 60 minutes and are available to researchers from any discipline. To book a consultation, please email

Upcoming workshops and registration

Jupyter notebook: An Introduction to Interactive Reproducible Research

A Jupyter notebook is an application which can be used to produce interactive computational narratives containing code (e.g., R, Python, Julia) and formatted text (e.g., paragraphs, formulas). Jupyter notebooks are a powerful open source tool for scientific computing and can be used to clean, visualize and analyze data as well as showcase models and simulations, while also facilitating sharing results with the scientific community.

By the end of this workshop you will be familiar with the Jupyter environment and will be able to define, test and run functions, run a Python-based simulation and create an interactive narrative which can be shared with colleagues.  


  • Bring your own laptop
  • Comfort with Python programming language (or other programming languages)
  • Install Python 3.7 and Jupyter notebooks (the easiest way is via Anaconda

Required libraries

  • pandas
  • numpy
  • matplotlib

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm Burnaby, SFU's Big Data Hub (Applied Science Building - Flexible Meeting Room ASB 10908)

An Introduction to Using Tableau for Data Visualization

Tableau is a data visualization tool that is being used to help analyze data and illustrate the patterns and insights behind them. This interactive workshop will introduce researchers or students to Tableau Public, a free access version of Tableau.


  • No prior experience with Tableau is necessary.
  • Participants will need to bring their own laptop preloaded with the latest version of Tableau Public

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Got Data? Use R for Data Visualization

Data visualization is the process of graphically representing data. Visualizing data allows you to draw insights, find patterns, as well as define and test models which might be difficult to create by observing raw data only. There are a number of R packages which help you with numerous types of visualizations.
By the end of this workshop you will be able to use R to create 2D scatter plots, bar charts, and box plots, and use R functions to ease the process of finding linear relationships and models using data provided throughout the workshop. Additionally, you will learn about selecting appropriate colour palettes for your plots. Depending on interest and time, we will explore adding interactivity to your plots. 


  • Bring your own laptop
  • Willingness to learn more about R (whether for the first time or as an experienced R programmer)
  • Install the latest version of R and Rstudio 

Required libraries

  • ggplot2,
  • patchwork,
  • RColorBrewer,
  • ggiraph (if time permits).

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm Burnaby, Bennett Library, Rm 7010, Research Commons

Data visualization with Tableau: The painless, programming-free way to build charts and graphs

Tableau is a data visualization tool that can help you analyze your data and illustrate the patterns and insights behind them. This interactive workshop will introduce researchers to Tableau Public, a free access version of Tableau.

You will leave this workshop with an understanding of how to:
  • connect datasets to your Tableau workbook;
  • create a variety of basic chart types (including bar charts, line graphs, and maps);
  • use Tableau's built-in analysis features, like reference lines, trend lines and calculated fields; and
  • publish and share publication-quality interactive charts and graphs.
Requirements: Participants will need to bring their own laptop and charger. Before the workshop, please download and install the latest version of Tableau Public to your laptop.

Upcoming Workshops

Dates Location
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 12:00pm to 5:00pm Vancouver, Harbour Centre, Rm 7400

    Resources for learning Tableau

    Resources from Tableau Online Training Library (SFU account required)

    Further resources