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Tableau Public VS Tableau Desktop Public Edition

Some of us just like to work with webapp for mobility, whilst others like to work with desktop app for privacy.

Though when it comes to Tableau Public, as the name implies, both the webapp and its desktop app is set to public.

Since privacy is no longer on the table, when should we decided on which platform to work with?

The decision to download Tableau Desktop Public Edition or work on the web browser version (Tableau Public webapp) depends on our specific needs and the size of the data we plan to work with. Here are some considerations:

  1. Data Size: Tableau Public has a limit on the maximum data file size you can upload, which is 15 million rows or 1 GB, whichever is reached first. If we integrate PostgreSQL into our workflow and the data exceeds this limit, we'll need to use Tableau Desktop Public Edition, which can handle larger datasets.

  2. Data Refresh: With Tableau Public, we can only refresh data from files (Excel, CSV, etc.) or web data connectors. If we need to directly connect to and refresh data from our Postgres database, we'll need to use Tableau Desktop Public Edition.

  3. Functionality: Tableau Desktop Public Edition has more advanced features and functionality compared to Tableau Public. This includes support for more data sources, advanced calculations, statistical functions, and more visualization options.

  4. Performance: Tableau Desktop Public Edition generally performs better than Tableau Public, especially when working with larger datasets or creating complex visualizations.

  5. Offline Access: Tableau Desktop Public Edition allows us to work offline, while Tableau Public requires an internet connection.

  6. Sharing and Publishing: Both versions allow us to share visualizations online via Tableau Public, but Tableau Desktop Public Edition offers additional publishing options, such as saving to Tableau Server or packaging workbooks for distribution.

If we plan to work with large datasets from our external database such as Postgres database, need advanced functionality, or require offline access, it's recommended to download and use Tableau Desktop Public Edition. However, if we're working with smaller datasets that can be uploaded to Tableau Public and don't require advanced features or direct database connections, the web browser version for Tableau Public will be sufficient.

It's worth noting that Tableau Desktop Public Edition is a free version with some limitations compared to the paid versions of Tableau Desktop. If the task requirements grow beyond what the Public Edition can offer, we need to consider upgrading to a paid license.

Here's a comparison of Tableau Desktop Public Edition and the paid version of Tableau Desktop:

Feature Tableau Desktop Public Edition Tableau Desktop (Paid Version)
Data Sources Limited data sources (Excel, CSV, Google Sheets, JSON, PDF) Supports more than 80 data sources, including databases, cloud applications, and big data sources
Data Size Limit No data size limit No data size limit
Live Database Connections No live connections to databases for data refreshing Supports live connections to databases for data refreshing
Data Preparation Intermediate data preparation capabilities Advanced data preparation capabilities, including data blending, pivot, and joins
Calculations and Statistics Intermediate calculations and statistics Advanced calculations, statistical functions, and forecasting
Visualizations Limited visualization types Comprehensive visualization types, including advanced charts, maps, and dashboards
Dashboard Functionality Intermediate dashboard functionality Advanced dashboard functionality, including device-specific dashboards and layout containers
Collaboration Limited collaboration features Supports collaboration features like commenting, subscription, and data-driven alerts
Publishing Can only publicly publish to Tableau Public Can publish everywhere i.e. Tableau Server, Tableau Cloud, Tableau Public & etc pp.
Offline Access Allows offline access to workbooks and data sources Allows offline access to workbooks and data sources
Automation and Scheduling No automation or scheduling capabilities Supports automation and scheduling of data refreshes and extract creation
Integration Limited integration capabilities Full integration with various tools and platforms, including R, Python, and cloud services
Security and Governance Intermediate security features Advanced security features, including data source certification, row-level security, and data governance
Performance Limited performance for large datasets and complex calculations Optimized performance for large datasets and complex calculations
Support Community support only Dedicated technical support
Cost Free Paid subscription or perpetual license

The key differences between Tableau Desktop Public Edition and the paid version are the advanced features, such as advanced data preparation, comprehensive visualization types, advanced dashboard functionality, collaboration features, automation and scheduling, integration capabilities, and advanced security and governance features. The paid version also offers better performance for large datasets and complex calculations, as well as dedicated technical support.

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