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Data Visualization: Tools at the UW

Data visualization tools, services, and resources.


Tableau is a data visualization tool best suited for quantitative data. There are different versions of Tableau.

Who has access to what?

  • Tableau Public: Free and open to anyone to download. All data visualizations must be saved on the Tableau Public server, so this version is not suited for any confidential/sensitive data.
  • Tableau Desktop: Available for students, faculty teaching with Tableau, and some researchers. Allows user to save Tableau workbooks locally (on their personal computers). Can also share visualizations with others if they have Tableau Reader installed.
  • Tableau Reader: Opens and allows users to interact with Tableau visualizations. However, users can't edit the visualizations in Tableau Reader.
  • Tableau Server/Tableau Online: Allows users to save visualizations to Tableau's server (Tableau Server) or to their own server (Tableau Online). Good for large organizations with complex/many Tableau projects.


Please refer to the GIS Resources at UW Guide for more information. You can also visit the Suzzallo Library GIS Lab if you are a student, faculty, or staff member of the University of Washington.

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