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Archive for the ‘Tableau Basic’ Category

Making Dashboards Relevant

March 11th, 2014 Comments off

Recently I’ve seen a lot of sexy dashboards created in Tableau, doing some very cool things. It got me thinking, these look great but actually they’re useless, the report users would look at them once, think “wow”, and then never use them again as they’re not providing any useful information.

If you’re building reports remember why you’re doing it – to provide meaningful and actionable information, and supplying the information in as few clicks as possible to the user. Don’t make your reports like an Aston Martin without an engine – i.e. looks great but not useful for the main requirement it needs to meet. If you can make dashboard sexy that’s great but remember the main purpose of the report is information supply.

Tableau Dimensions as Columns in a Table

December 18th, 2012 7 comments

If you have created tables in Tableau you might have noticed once you get to a six dimension columns  in the table the left hand columns begin to merge into one column. This only happens when using dimensions as column headers, not measures as when displaying multiple measures in a table this can be achieved by putting only 1 pill, the Measure Names, on the shelf. If you want to know how to add measures read my article describing how to display multiple measures in a table.

Tableau is not really designed for showing tabular data but sometimes it’s useful to show line item data as part of a drill down in a table, or perhaps you need to create a report specifically with the purpose of exporting Tableau to Excel. Read more…

Tableau Show or Remove ALL from Autofilter

June 6th, 2012 3 comments

To remove the All option from a Tableau autofilter is possible by following these simple steps:

1. Click the small down arrow in the autofilter heading
2. Scroll down to Customize
3. Uncheck where it says ‘Show “All” Value’ so there’s no longer a tick mark against it.

To show the All option follow steps 1 and 2, and in step 3 check the ‘Show “All” Value’ so the tick mark appears against it, as in the diagram below.

Show All option in Tableau autofilter

Tableau Hide Values From a Quick Filter

April 26th, 2012 30 comments

I’ve had some questions recently about hiding Nulls in a filter in Tableau. This is quite straightforward and the same technique can be used to hide any value from a filter.

NOTE – if using this technique it actually removed what you’ve hidden from the filter from the worksheet.

All you need to do is duplicate the field being used as the filter, put the duplicate field on to the filter shelf, select the values you want to hide – i.e. Null – and click exclude on the right of the filter box. Read more…

Basic Maps in Tableau

December 23rd, 2011 2 comments

I’ve been meaning to write about the maps in Tableau for some time now as I’m really impressed with how they look, how easy they are to use and how powerful they are as a visual geographic reporting tool.

If you have geographic data, preferably with a longitude and latitude, you can display mapped data in a matter of minutes. Tableau maps allows zooming in and out – although this isn’t the most user friendly when compared to the likes of Google maps. Read more…

Create a chart in seconds using Show Me in Tableau

October 8th, 2011 No comments

One of the most powerful features of Tableau to a newcomer and those who aren’t sure how to display their data is the Show Me! button. Even as an experienced user I often use the Show Me in Tableau when I’m seeking inspiration as to the best ways to display the information in the dashboard.

To create a visualisation all that needs to be done is highlight the dimensions and measures to display by clicking on them while holding the ctrl key, click the Show Me! button and you have a visualisation. Simple as that.

Tableau Display Measures in a Table

September 19th, 2011 4 comments

Displaying measures in a table in Tableau is something that should be straightforward but for some reason I always struggle with it hence I’m writing this blog post. In the Tableau screen at the bottom of the Dimensions section there’s a field called Measure Names and in the Measures section there’s a field called Measure Values. These are the 2 fields that make life easier when displaying data in a table. Read more…

Tableau Hide Null Values

September 14th, 2011 5 comments

Depending on the circumstances there are 2 general ways to hide Null values in Tableau.

1. Format the pill and hide the null values

Hide Nulls in Tableau

Select Hide in the Special Values section of the pane. For further explanation I have written about this previously.

2. Drag the pill into the filter section and hide null values using the Special section. Read more…

Categories: Tableau, Tableau Basic Tags: , ,

Tableau Connecting to Data

September 5th, 2011 No comments

Tableau is very flexible when it comes to connecting to data. Using the full paid for product it’s possible to connect to any data source accessible by an ODBC connection, cubes (both SSAS and Orcale Essbase), text files, spreadsheets and a number of different databases.

Tableau Data Connection Options

It’s possible to connect to the live data source directly or to import the data into Tableau as an extract. Importing the data opens up the full array of Tableau inbuilt functionality; for example the quick table calculations, the Count Distinct (COUNTD) function and a variety of others; where these options are often not available depending on the data source. Read more…