Tableau Thursdays – Tableau Public and the Curious Case of Tableau-ception! (Viz within a Viz)

Just like any other Tableau junkie out there, I am hooked onto the premise of Tableau Public – a free tool that lets you use any data across the web (the only limitation being they should be fed from a flat file) and create beautiful, interactive visualizations that natively lend themselves to social engagement. Create a Tableau Public account, create and publish your viz and voila you’re now one among hundreds of bloggers, journalists and researchers who use Tableau Public to initiative and drive conversations that range from serious

to downright silly! 🙂!

The highly engaged community blogs about ( and also showcases the best of these publicly available visualizations via a great initiative called “Viz of the Day” ( As mentioned on the page itself, Viz of the Day was created with the vision of “sharing one beautiful visual story a day” and features the works of Tableau authors from across the globe. At BRIDGEi2i, we created a visualization to celebrate India’s Independence Day by honoring Indian citizens who have led inspirational lives. This was featured as Viz of the Day on Aug 15, 2014 (, sparking a serious interest within our company around using visualization and data journalism using Tableau Public as a potent means of reaching out to and engaging with prospective clients.

We may be serious data scientists building predictive, tactical dashboards for consumption by blue-chip clients by day, but enjoy putting our data and visualization skills to test at night including interesting takes on current, trending topics like the woes of taxi company Uber ( or by testing some rather arcane functionalities that Tableau Public offers – for example, embedding a viz within a viz, now fondly referred to by us as “Tableau-ception”! Check it out below:



What we basically did was to set up blank Web Page widgets within the dashboard, publish it to Tableau Public, and then once we received a permanent link for the page on which the viz resided, we edited the Web Page widgets to point to the same link. Now, we’d expected a fractal of our own viz stretching into infinity, but that wasn’t the case! The interesting observation is that while one level of inception is achieved regularly, two levels of inception was achieved a couple of times and deeper levels are non-existent. Any Tableau professionals, product developers or Zen Masters out there who are aware of the technical reason behind this behavior? Feel free to leave us a comment if you happen to know the reason why, we solicit conjecture as a means for a healthy discussion as well 🙂

This blog is written by Farid Jalal, Analytics Project Manager at BRIDGEi2i

About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. Our analytics services and technology solutions enable business managers to consume more meaningful information from big data, generate actionable insights from complex business problems and make data driven decisions across pan-enterprise processes to create sustainable business impact. To know more visit

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.