Introduction to Tableau Server

During week 3 at the Data School we covered Tableau Server.

Tableau Server is an online hosting platform that allows organisations to store workbooks and data sources. It provides employees with a safe space where they can collaborate and interact with Tableau content and data in a very efficient way.

It reminds me of Google Drive. You can create folders and organise content there for your own use or to share with others, with the ability to let them edit, or view only.

In order to understand Tableau Server’s functionality, we were first introduced to its structure and site roles.

Server Structure

The server structure, as displayed in the below diagram, outlines how the platform is composed. Within an organisation’s server, it is likely that at least several sites exists. It is important to note that each site represents a separate entity and content from Site 1 will not be available in Site 2 (unless manually duplicated in both).

Within each site, employees can have multiple projects and also projects within projects. They resemble the normal folders we have on our own computers. Within these projects is content: workbooks, views, flows, data sources.

Tableau Server structure

Site Roles

The site roles dictate the level of access users have. The levels range from Server Administrators, who can manage, create sites, and assign access to all users, through to Viewers who can only read and consume the content. The below table summarises how each site role functions on Tableau Server.

Tableau Server site roles hierarchy
Site roles level of access

Note: A user’s site role is also dependent on the licence associated with them. Moreover, access to specific content can be customised even further via permissions. Here is more information on how licenses, site roles, and content permissions work together.

If you have any questions about the Tableau Server, or would like to chat about it in general, do not hesitate to get in touch on Twitter @nataliatamiteva.

Natalia Miteva
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