Tableau is a leading visual analytics platform from Salesforce that makes it easy for enterprises to manage and explore data through modern business intelligence. It consistently evolves to meet the ever-changing needs of enterprises.

As data is arguably the most valuable resource for the enterprise today, ensuring its security, governance and scalability is a must. Tableau’s emphasis on these features not only highlights its commitment to providing reliable data management solutions but also the importance of these features in today’s business landscape.

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The need for governance, security and scalability in data management

Data has become an invaluable asset for businesses. However, with the rising volume and complexity of data, it becomes more difficult to manage and secure it.

According to McKinsey, a concerning 57% of executives report that their organizations have experienced at least one significant data breach in the past three years. Furthermore, Mulesoft’s research indicates that as data integration complexity rises, 73% of IT and business leaders have heightened concerns about data security and governance, while 87% of IT and business leaders believe that security and governance challenges are slowing down innovation. These statistics clearly show the need for robust governance, security and scalability features in data management tools.

Tableau offers numerous governance, security and scalability features as discussed below. Should you be unfamiliar with the platform, here’s our guide on how to use Tableau. Also, explore a quick guide on what you need to know about Tableau in our Tableau cheat sheet.

Tableau’s governance features

Data source management

In Tableau, data source management is concerned with the techniques of selecting and distributing data within an organization. Tableau integrates with enterprise data platforms and uses the governance structures already in place.

Data stewards and authors can link to many data sources and create and publish content, sources and workbooks in a self-service environment. With Tableau, users can interact with data either by using an in-memory extract or a live query.

Tableau Catalog

Tableau Catalog has greater data discovery capabilities that allow it to index all content, such as data sources, workbooks and more, to enable authors to find databases, columns, fields and tables in published data sources and workbooks. This allows content authors to minimize duplication of data sources, as they can search for data and see if it exists in Tableau Server and Tableau Cloud.

It also delivers data quality warnings that link to impacted dashboards that are available as subscription-based email notifications.

SEE: Check out our articles on how to create and share Tableau dashboards.

Tableau’s security features

Authorization in Tableau

Authorization covers what users are allowed to do with content hosted in Tableau Cloud or Server or what tasks they can perform to administer Tableau Cloud or Server.

Tableau Server gives granular control over objects, data and content to administrators. Users have control over actions a user or group can perform like adding comments, saving workbooks and connecting to specific data sources and dashboards. With group permissions, security teams can simultaneously manage multiple users.

Network security

Tableau Server uses robust security capabilities of SSL/TLS to encrypt transmissions between clients and Tableau Server and from Server to databases. This ensures secure data transmission and protection against potential breaches.

Operational security in Tableau Cloud

A SAS-70 compliant data center hosts Tableau Cloud’s infrastructure. It delivers stringent controls and safeguards over customer data. Workbooks and data in Tableau Cloud can only be accessed by authorized users, ensuring data privacy and integrity.

Tableau also monitors system utilization, performance and account status metrics to ensure customer data remains confidential.

User security in Tableau Cloud

Access to Tableau Cloud is restricted to users added by site administrators. If a user is no longer authorized, their account can easily be removed to revoke their access.

Tableau Cloud has a two-hour idle session timeout, meaning users have to re-authenticate after an inactivity of over two hours. Multi-factor authentication can also be enabled for accounts using Tableau authentication.

Data policies for row-level security

Introduced in Tableau Data Management with the 2021.4 release, data policies for row-level security offer control over data visibility in Tableau. Row-level security restricts the rows of data a user can view based on their Tableau login account.

Data policies, combined with virtual connections, enable centralized data security, ensuring that data remains secure across all Tableau content.

SEE: Enhance your data presentation using this guide on how to concatenate in Tableau.

Tableau’s scalability features

Deployment flexibility

Tableau offers a variety of deployment options to cater to different organizational needs. Whether on Windows or Linux, in the public cloud, on-premises or through Tableau’s fully managed service, businesses can deploy Tableau in a way that integrates seamlessly with their preferred technology vendors.

This enables organizations to leverage their existing data infrastructure to reduce costs and shorten implementation timelines. Plus, Tableau is compatible with major database and data application platforms, while also including advanced analytics integration with R and Python.

Fast deployment

Tableau stands out for its rapid deployment capabilities, as it is an analytics platform that can be fully deployed to thousands of users in under a day. For those opting for Tableau Cloud, users can begin analyzing, sharing and collaborating within minutes. With Tableau Server, installation, configuration and user provisioning can be completed in less than an hour.

These factors make Tableau a great consideration for businesses that seek to scale their analytics capabilities quickly.

Scalability in enterprise analytics

Tableau is a crucial part of its users’ modern enterprise analytics. When scaling a Tableau deployment, it’s essential to consider user adoption across the enterprise, content and data governance, and the organization’s risk tolerance.

Tableau’s scalability features are designed based on actual tests and comparisons between various Tableau versions to make sure businesses can trust its capabilities as they grow and expand.

Technology-agnostic and platform-independent architecture

Another significant scalability feature, first introduced in Tableau 2021.3, is the technology-agnostic and platform-independent enterprise reference architecture. This feature is designed to assist Tableau users in building systems with an eye toward availability, scalability and security. Such an architecture ensures that as businesses grow, their Tableau systems can adapt and scale accordingly without compromising on performance or security.

How Tableau’s governance, security and scalability compare to other data management tools

Tableau is renowned for its advanced data visualization and analytics, but it’s not the only platform that offers governance, security and scalability. Vendors like PowerBI and Qlik Sense also integrate these features into their tools.

Power BI, deeply integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem, is lauded for its seamless security infrastructure and ease of use. It provides traceable data sources and can effortlessly scale according to organizational demands.

On the other hand, Qlik Sense stands out for its associative data model, enabling users to delve deep into data relationships, while also offering reliable governance and flexible security measures.

SEE: Explore our in-depth guides on Tableau versus Power BI and Tableau versus Qlik Sense.

However, choosing between these tools is dependent on your enterprise’s needs, your current tech stack and financial factors like your budget.

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Learn the latest news and best practices about data science, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, data security, and more. Delivered Mondays and Thursdays