In this lesson, we're going to focus on Tableau Public's Welcome screen. I know that in many other apps and programs I use, I tend to blast right through the welcome screen and jump feet first into the program itself. But with Tableau, I behave a bit differently, because I find the welcome screen to be surprisingly useful. After this lesson, you'll be able to identify the various parts that make up the Tableau welcome screen. Let me show you what I mean. So let's open up Tableau since we got it all installed last week. Now you can either follow along with me or you might want to just sit back and watch now and then try for yourself later. Do whatever suits your learning style best. As you open the program, you'll notice there are three sections of the welcome screen, Connect, Open and Discover. I'm actually going to walk you through them in reverse order. So let's start with Discover on the right. At the top of the discovery section, you'll see some instructional videos, which naturally you won't need because you're taking this course. Below that, there will always be a little box linking you to Tableau Public's Viz of the Day. Which I encourage you to check out some times. It's amazing to see what people can do with Tableau, and sometimes Vizzes that are chosen as Viz of the Day, are truly great fits of design as well as engineering. Below Viz of the Day, there are other resources which you might find useful. The Tableau Blog, some interesting sample datasets you can use, several dozen of them as of this writing, upcoming live training, which is mostly webinars, and the current up or down status of Tableau systems. Finally below that, although there's nothing here today, if you're running an older version than the latest live release, you'll find a link to update your software easily. For minor releases of Tableau desktop, such as 2019.1.X to 2019.1.Y, Tableau will install over top of the older release. As these are usually for stability or bug fixes and don't typically introduce new features. But make sure to keep in mind that for major releases of Tableau desktop, such as 2018 versus 2019 or 2019.1 versus 2019.2, Tableau will not install the later version in place of the older version. You will be able to run both versions simultaneously on your computer. This is actually great because if you work in a place where say the server instance is running behind, you can still use the most recent live version for your Tableau Public work, but keep the older version for your day job. This is a good place to note that Tableau versions are not forwards compatible. As soon as you save a workbook in a later version, you can no longer open it up on older versions of the software, be that on a server or in desktop, unless you export it as that older version. You can open up older workbooks in newer versions, but you cannot open up newer workbooks in older versions. It's backwards compatible but not forwards. We could talk about that a little more later though, since for now you'll just be using Tableau Public, which is always up-to-date with the latest live release. Now let's take a look at the next pane to the left. Under Open, you probably won't see much on your own screen, as I don't, if this is your first time opening the software, but just trust me for now that your recent workbooks will show up here as thumbnails. You can also follow the link in the upper right to open another workbook. Finally, let's look at the Connect pane, all the way on the left. At the very bottom is just a call to action to get us to upgrade from the free version. At the very top, above the word "connect", click the little Tableau logo. Notice it takes you directly into the interface to start building. We're not done with the Connect pane yet. So click the logo again, top left, and it takes you back to the welcome screen. On the Connect pane again, below the word "connect" this time, you'll see two sections, To a File and To a Server. To a File indicates that you want to use a file that is saved locally on your computer or on a network drive. These options will give you the familiar Open File dialog box, which you can then use to navigate to your data file and open from there. You have to use the correct option for the file you'll be using though, otherwise you won't be able to open your file. We can click on each to see what file extensions it will accept. So Excel workbooks, except all of the normal Excel file extensions. Text files, txt, csv, tab, tsv. JSON and PDF files are just that, JSON and PDF files. We can connect to Microsoft Access database, spatial files. Note that the.zip extension under the spatial file doesn't mean that you can connect to just any zip file, it has to be a spatial file which has been zipped. Chances are if you don't know what that is, you won't need it, so don't worry about it right now. Statistical files, these are made with SAS or SPSS and R. Under To a Server, the first option is OData. According to Wikipedia, OData, which is short for Open Data Protocol, is a protocol that allows the creation and consumption of queryable, inter-operable, restful APIs in a simple and standard way. It's really one of those things also that if you don't know what it is, then you probably don't need it. But if you know what it is, then great. Moving on, when we click "More", we can see the Web Data Connector option. Now this one will be relevant for us in the course, but I'm not going to go into in great detail here. Suffice it to say, a web data connector takes data from a web API call and pulls it into a tabular format that can be easily imported into Tableau. The best part is that all you need is the URL to use it. But don't worry about this one for now, we'll see it again in week 4 and it will become a little bit clearer. Finally, at the top, there's our good old friend, Google Sheets. This is my very favorite way to store data that may or may not be dynamic for use in Tableau Public. For instance, my friend Paul likes to track when his ferry arrives for him to go home from work. Since he keeps the data in a Google Sheet, and I'm a huge nerd, I was able to connect to his dataset and make a little Viz of it. So using a Google Sheet is currently the only way you can have your data refresh when you upload to Tableau Public. To connect to Google Sheets, you'll need to log in to Google, grant Tableau permission to see and download all of your Google Drive files, and then back in Tableau, you'll see a window with a list of all the Google Sheets you've opened and the account you logged in to. Select your sheet, hit connect, and you'll be taken to the Data Connection window. I hope you now see why I find the Welcome screen to be so useful. It's a great jumping off point to the rest of Tableau. If you're ready, let's jump into the next lesson to get a tour of the Worksheet screen.