Tableau is easy-to-use data analytics software for exploring and visualizing data. Tableau places an emphasis on visual analytics, allowing you to move quickly from question to insight. Pitt IT hosts a number of Enterprise Dashboards on our Tableau Server, which is open to University faculty and staff through their Pitt Passport. For individuals interested in building their own customized reports, Pitt IT also sponsors the purchase of Tableau Desktop licenses are available at a reduced cost.

Read on for more information about the Tableau options to learn which one is right for you.

Tableau Server

The University’s Tableau Server hosts dashboards that anyone from staff to advisors or administrators can use for their everyday work. Whether it is identifying a list of students who have applied for graduation; or calculating month-end spend reports. All Pitt faculty and staff members have access to the Tableau Server ( However, they will only be able to see dashboards and data for which they have permission.

See our Dashboard Catalog for examples of analytics tools that can be created using University Enterprise Data, view recent presentations of dashboards in use at different units, or see some of our favorite examples from Tableau Public

Two main objects exist on Tableau Server:

  • Workbooks, which include dashboards, individual visualizations, or data stories.

  • Data Sources, which a prepared data sources stored in a Tableau-ready format for users to connect to and begin building visualizations.

These objects are stored in Projects or folders. Users may have access to any combination of Workbooks, Data Sources and Projects - but explicit permissions are required for dashboard developers to create content on a Data Source or publish to a Project.

The 'Explore' item on the left panel of will allow you to see all folders, workbooks, and data sources you have access to.

Tableau Web Edit

If you will only be working with data in prepared Tableau Server Data Sources, you can use Tableau Web Edit to create dashboards, visualizations, and reports. Tableau Web Edit is not as powerful as Tableau Desktop. It can only connect to Tableau Server Data Sources, and has a few other limitations in functionality.

You can save workbooks you’ve created on Tableau Server in your Personal Space. If you are granted the correct permissions, you can publish to a Project folder to share your work. If you need a new Project Folder created, please open a case with the Technology Help Desk:

Pitt IT has put together a self-paced basic training course for Tableau Web Edit. If you are interested in this course, please request enrollment through the Technology Help Desk (see the link above).

Tableau Workbooks created in Tableau Web Edit can be opened with Tableau Desktop, if you decide to transition.

Tableau Desktop

Use Tableau Desktop authoring software to create dashboards, workbooks, and analyses using the University Data Warehouse, local databases, spreadsheets, text files, and more. This version is more powerful than Tableau Web Edit. This work can then be shared with University faculty and staff via the Tableau server available at

Ready to get Started?

  • Download the free trial.

  • Students can download a one-year free license of Tableau Desktop using their University email address via Tableau for Students.

  • Instructors can get a one-year free license for themselves, and have some options if they’d like to use Tableau in their courses via Tableau for Teaching.

  • Pitt Employees who would like to purchase a Tableau Desktop license can do so through the Software Store on PantherExpress. Licenses are renewed yearly.

Tableau User Group

Tableau Desktop users at Pitt meet quarterly to share tips, techniques, and their work. If you receive a Tableau Desktop license, you’ll automatically be added to the invitation list for those meetings.

The Tableau User Group Teams Channel can be found here. Read more about our upcoming meetings here.

Still not sure which Tableau is right for you?

For more information about Tableau and to see if it’s right for you, see this article, join our user group, or request a demo/consultation.


Need help? Contact the Pitt IT Helpdesk