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Tableau is an enterprise Business Intelligence and Data Visualization system from Tableau Software. It can produce dashboards against nearly any industry standard data structure, including Excel spreadsheets and SQL-based data systems.  

At SPU, Tableau is used for enterprise business intelligence and general reporting against institutional data systems such as Banner and Raiser's Edge. Tableau can report against any SQL-based institutional data system.


Tableau comes in two flavors: Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop.

Tableau Server (Online)

Tableau Server allows you to distribute and access interactive workbooks and dashboards online to the right people. You can create or edit workbooks, visualizations, and dashboards in Tableau Server, however you cannot edit/create new stories. The editing and usage of Tableau's complex features are limited compared to Tableau Desktop.

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop is used to create data sources, workbooks, visualizations, dashboards and stories. Tableau Desktop can then publish these to Tableau Server.

Designed For

Tableau Server is available to all SPU Faculty and Staff at Tableau Desktop is available to all Faculty and Students for free for instructional use, and available for administrative use to staff and faculty with the purchase of a license.

Getting Started

Tableau Server can be found at Once past the login screen for Tableau, you can browse all dashboards and visualizations you have access to available reports.

If you want to create your own dashboards and reports, talk to your department's CSM or power user to get started with Tableau Desktop. If you want to use Tableau Desktop you will need a license for it. Faculty and students can get a license for free if they use it for instructional use only. If you want Tableau Desktop for administrative use you will need to purchase a license for it. Please contact CIS if you do not already have a license to get this process started. 


Department CSMs/Technical Users are the data experts and author most reports in Tableau. If you have a question or problem with a report, the first person to contact is your area's CSM or author of the report.

CIS administers and maintains Tableau Server. They provide support to the department CSMs for issues that are related to the Tableau system as a whole and for the data repositories that Tableau sources data from.

You can go to the Tableau pages in the Technical Software Documentation space to check out SPU's collection of resources for learning to use Tableau.

Administration and Maintenance

CIS administers and maintains Tableau Server while Department CSMs and technical users maintain the dashboards within it. 

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Learn More

Learn more about Tableau on our Tableau Software Documentation page. 



  • Tableau Server: Faculty and Staff
  • Tableau Desktop: Faculty and Students for free for instructional use, Faculty and Staff for administrative use with the purchase of a license

Support & Training

Get Started