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Tableau Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Can I use my own data sources on Tableau Server?
A: Yes. We are currently studying the impacts on performance and scalability regarding local data sources, and the ability to publish your local data sources will be made available in Phase 3 of the rollout.

Q: Can I connect to EDW data using Tableau Desktop for Mac?
A: Yes, you can connect if you are running Windows on your Mac. You cannot connect directly to the EDW from the Mac operating system. Connectivity to the EDW requires Windows integrated security and the Mac operating system does not support this.

Q: Can I control who sees my visualizations on Tableau Server?
A: Yes. Access can be customized to as far down as individuals.

Q: Is there a cost to just view and interact with visualizations?
A: No. Viewing and interacting is free.

Q: Can anyone with a UW Netid access the Tableau Server to see "published" reports?
A: Any UW faculty or staff can access UW's Tableau Server. One just needs access to the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and to Tableau Server (request via Tableau Server Access Form).

Q: Can UW students access UW’s central Tableau Server to publish visualizations?
A: At this time UW’s central Tableau Server is available to faculty and staff only.

Q. May I publish to the Tableau Public Server?
A. Faculty, staff, and students may not publish visualizations that use UW institutional information to the Tableau Public Server, unless those visualizations have been approved by the Data Management Committee (DMC). At this time, the DMC has granted permission to the Office of Planning & Budgeting to publish a limited set of aggregate data using Tableau Public Premium with approval from the data custodians. Read the DMC's Usage of Tableau Public Server brief (see Guideline 1026). This FAQ will be updated as new information becomes available.

You are welcome to work with publicly available data sets, such as U.S. Census data, and publish your work on the Tableau Public server. Because Tableau Public software is free and publishing to the Tableau Public server is free, this is an excellent, no-cost way to build your Tableau skills.  Visit the Tableau Public gallery for examples and ideas.

Q: Can I share my Tableau Desktop license with others?
A: No. Licenses are granted to a UW NetID individual, or in Tableau terms, an Authorized User. That Authorized User may install, via the Product Key, one copy of the Desktop Software on his or her primary computer and a second copy on his or her secondary portable or home computer. The Tableau Desktop license may not be shared with other users. See the Tableau End User License Agreement (EULA) for more information.

Q: Can a license be transfered?
A: Yes, Tableau Desktop licenses can be transfered from one employee to another. Here's how.

Q: Can I buy Tableau Desktop license if I do not have a UW budget number?
A: Yes. To set up the billing process, send the following information to organization name; address; contact person's name, phone and email; preferred method of receiving invoices (email, mail); method of payment (check or wire). Your customer account will be created in UW-IT's Dynamics AX system and you will receive invoices from this account. Please note that you UW's institutional overhead rate, currently 15.6%, will be added to the invoice total. This fee covers processing costs and is collected by the UW central accounting office.

Q: I'm getting a license expiration message - what do I do?
A: Open Tableau; select Help > Manage Product Keys... > Refresh. The date in the Maintenance Expires column should update to the upcoming year. You may find once you restart Tableau Desktop, you will need to register the product again.

Q: What does it cost to install my own server?
A: This is highly discouraged as the barrier to entry is high in terms of costs and resources, and the current server is set up to leverage UW’s infrastructure. For reference, the entry point for configuring the minimal hardware and software platform that can share data across UW is $200,000. This excludes UW staffing to manage it and annual Tableau maintenance and renewal fees.

Q: If I don’t want to pay for the annual renewal, may I still publish on Tableau Server?
A: No. Because Tableau Desktop is not forward compatible, in order to maintain publishing rights on Tableau Server you must pay for the annual renewal. If you choose to opt out, you still own your Tableau Desktop license, but will no longer receive support, upgrades, or the ability to publish on UW’s Tableau Server.

Q: How soon can I get my Tableau Desktop License?
A: Typically within 1-2 business days.