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Tableau For Campus Business Developers

Learn about Tableau at UC San Diego.

Tableau Business Intelligence Tool 

Tableau desktop is a client application for Windows and Mac that emphasizes data discovery and interactive data visualization. 

Interactive workbooks designed in Tableau desktop can be shared with others on Tableau Server. UC San Diego enterprise licensing for Tableau server has been purchased through a partnership between Academic Affairs and Information Technology Services (ITS). As a result, there is no direct charge to use this service. Contact to request access to Tableau server. 

UCSD supports Tableau in three different areas.

  • Tableau for Campus Business developers connects users to the Activity Hubs.
  • CTRI Tableau connects to medical data and is HIPPA compliant, contact for details.
  • Health Tableau connects to EPIC data, for details submit a data request ticket to the Health System Service Desk.


Departments must purchase a developer license for each user who will be creating, editing and publishing reports. You do not need a license to view and/or interact with pre-created Tableau solutions.

The cost for a Tableau developer license is:

  • $1,200 for the license, and
  • $300 per year for maintenance

The first year’s pro-rated maintenance is due at initial purchase.

We co-term the maintenance agreements, so the first year’s maintenance will vary from the standard $300. Contact to request a quote.




Tableau Desktop

In the Tableau client is where you will develop solutions and connect to data. This environment can only connect to sources provisioned via Tableau Server to which you have access to in either the QA or Production Environments.

Tableau Production Environment

This is the destination for production ready workbooks that are targeted towards a UCSD audience. Consumers will access workbooks developed for them through this environment.

ITS-BIA recommends sharing links to Tableau Production reports via portals like the Business Analytics Hub for ease of use.

Tableau Prep 

ITS-BIA does not support Tableau Prep as this tool does not allow data corrections to be made at the location that has the most impact to all developers, in the data source.   

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is owned and operated by Tableau.  Workbooks posted to Tableau public are accessible to users internationally and domestically. 

Best Practices

Projects aka Folders

Team folders should be organized by audience and report development state.  Folders are secured by one or more Active Directory groups.  End users should access the workbooks via links to the workbook as navigating the Tableau portal is cumbersome. 

Any Tableau development that you do not want to share should be saved to your local machine and not published to the Tableau server. 


  • Tableau PROD 
    • BFS–DEV (reports are in the development state, audience is only ITS-BIA team) 
    • BFS-Audience (reports are in testing or completed, audience is BFS team and Audience team)
      • Report A
      • Report B
      • BFS-Audience-QA (Subfolder with reports that are in testing, BFS and Audience team can access) 
        • Report C (report being tested)
    • BFS-IPPS 
      • IPPS Data Winners 
      • IPPS Executive Dashboard
      • BFS-IPPS-QA Folder
        • IPPS Monthly Summary

ITS-BIA recommends sharing links to reports via portals like the Business Analytics Hub for ease of use.

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Upgrade Process

Tableau releases multiple upgrades each year that allow users to access new features and tools provided by Tableau. UC San Diego upgrades our environments at least once a year.

All upgrades for Tableau Server occur in place. At a high level, the strategy for all upgrades is: 

  1. ITS-BIA will review the upgrade in our sandbox prior to planning an upgrade of Tableau Prod. 
  2. Those with Tableau desktop can now upgrade during this time. 
    1. You will need your product key and this installation guide: 
    2. You will need the most recent version of Tableau: 
  3. Allow one week for developer review of the upgrade in the Tableau Sandbox 
    1. At the end of the week a GO/No GO determination will be made. 
    2. GO – the upgrade is applied to the Tableau PROD environment over the weekend. 
    3. NO GO – the upgrade stops in the Tableau Sandbox, the next version of Tableau is tested by ITS-BIA. 

Report developer participation is key to upgrading Tableau without impacting end users.