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Tableau F.A.Q.


Do I need a desktop license to be a project owner/leader?

We recommend it so that project owners can perform the full range of administrative tasks that you’ll be responsible for, including publishing content into your ‘production’ (official, verified data) folders.

What if we have our own desktop licenses already at our School/College/Department?

You can publish to any server with your desktop license. You will likely be limited to publishing only to your unit’s Project.

I have heard there is a ‘limit’ of 150 concurrent users. What if a user is signed in and walks away: is that taking up a license and causing a performance issue?

No – inactive users are not taking up a license per se as we have server-level licensing. There is also no significant performance impact if a user walks away. Concurrent usage is active querying of data, which a user wouldn’t be doing if they are away from their desktop. We do not anticipate exceeding this limit, but will continue to monitor the usage and increase capacity if warranted.

Security & Permissioning

How do I conceal data sources so the user can’t access underlying data?

The best options to control access to underlying data in the data source are outlined by use case.

If you want to control the permission for a specific workbook only (as opposed to the data source in general), set the restriction at a related point to be aware of.

If the consumer has only the ‘Viewer’ role at the Site level, by default, they won’t be able to use the ‘Download Full Data’ option (though they will be able to download the summary data as presented in the visualization).

If the consumer has the ‘Explorer’ role or higher at the Site level, by default, they are allowed to download full data.

Is there a way I can share my dashboards with all of the Deans?

We will be creating a Group for the Deans and other executives soon. In the meantime, you can provision them individually to your content.

How do we look up someone if we want to share content?

We will soon add everyone to the Site so you can look up anyone you may need to add.

Can we make data available to a broader audience, such as prospective students?

Not at this time. IT is exploring options for “guest” access.

Will users have access to all of the content in the project?

The Project Leader can make content security as granular as you like in your project: at project level, at sub-project level, at workbook level. The dashboard creator can also control access to his/her dashboard.

Can the Project Leader create nested projects in my project?

Yes. We recommend this for cases where you want to segregate content within your main project.

Security & Permissioning Groups

Will we be using our Active Directory groups in Tableau?

No, we looked into it and it will not work for us. What we are doing instead is import new SPIRE roles.

How can I get a Project for my School/College or department?

Contact Heidi Dollard ( if your School/College does not have a Project and you would like one. Academic Departments will be Sub-Projects of School/College Projects, so your Project Leader can create one for you.

Usage Reporting

With Group assignments, can we see who’s looking at our data? Is there a way to report on this?

Users log in individually, not at the group level, so yes, it is possible to see who is/has been logged in. We are currently working with the HelioCampus team to enable usage reporting.


How can I receive training for Tableau?

At this time, we are directing you to online training resources, which are very good for learning the basics.

General/Parking Lot

Data Definitions – how to standardize on these?

We are looking at products to help us store and present data dictionary-type information, but we would need data experts from all areas to work on this project.

Can we use Tableau Prep?

Yes, we have a license key we can give you. Contact Heidi Dollard or Chelsea Reilly. However, this is not yet a mature product. Some of our Tableau users recommend Knime (free version) instead, which is a more mature, robust data prep workflow tool. Alteryx is another major competitor in this space but is very expensive.

Other users use Excel or MS Access for data prep.

Note: Tableau Prep is Tableau’s entry into data preparation software, which helps with the cleanup and preparation of data before you use that data as a data source for an analytics tool like Tableau.

What about upgrades? Can we try them out?

HelioCampus controls the application of upgrades to our server, and they will apply upgrades 2-3x a year. We will work on advance notice with Helio to their schedule and consider strategies to allow for testing before the upgrades are applied.