The quest for data rises rapidly by the day as more businesses rely on data analytics to optimize their services and make informed decisions. Global data production and interaction increased nearly 5,000% between 2010 and 2020. Data professionals use various techniques to transform mountains of raw data into actionable insights.
Their job is critical to making these findings understandable to every team member. One way they achieve that goal is by employing Tableau and other visualization tools.
Tableau is a data visualization tool that helps people understand and analyze data. It’s useful in creating charts and other visualizations to discover data insights, trends, and patterns. It’s also a great way to communicate data to others.
Learn what you need to know about Tableau, then follow this Tableau tutorial on creating a dashboard.
- Creating a dashboard in Tableau
- How to share Tableau dashboards
- The 7 best examples of Tableau dashboards
Creating a dashboard in Tableau
Dashboards are an excellent way to tell the story of your data and make it accessible to your audience in an easy-to-understand format. This section shows you how to create a dashboard in Tableau.
Step 1: Install and launch the Tableau software
The first step to creating a dashboard is to download the Tableau software. You can do this from the Tableau website, selecting compatibility with your Mac or Windows operating system.
Follow the process and install the application on your device. Launch the software, and you’re ready to begin.
Step 2: Connect to a data source
Before you can build a dashboard on Tableau, you’ll need to connect it to a data source.
First, launch Tableau and select the Connect to Data option. From there, choose the data source you want to connect.
Tableau supports various data sources, including file systems like Excel and CSV, relational databases like Oracle and SQL server, and various cloud systems.
Once you’ve selected your data source, you can move on to creating a worksheet.
Step 3: Create a new worksheet
Creating a new worksheet on Tableau takes very few steps. First, open Tableau and select the New Worksheet icon from the toolbar.
To rename the worksheet, right-click on the tab and select Rename.
Next, select the data source you want to use for your worksheet (you can follow along with our example by downloading this dataset). Once you’ve selected a data source, you’ll need to choose which data fields you want to include in your worksheet.
Drag the desired fields from the data source pane onto the canvas. After you’ve chosen your data fields, you can begin creating your worksheet.
Click OK to close the dialog box and apply the changes. Your new worksheet will now be available in Tableau.
Step 4: Open a new dashboard
To create a new dashboard, click on the Dashboard button on the menu bar at the top of your screen. This will bring up a drop-down column. Select New Dashboard. You can rename it as you desire.
The new window comprises a blank workspace and a panel on the left side of the screen. The Dashboard pane on this panel has three sections.
- Size helps you set the dashboard dimensions and ensure it’s responsive to mobile and desktop devices.
- Sheets allows you to add to or remove from the dashboard various visualization sheets.
- Objects are useful for adding images, texts, webpages, and extensions to the dashboard.
On the other hand, the Layout tab on the side panel helps provide more aesthetics in designing the dashboard. It allows you to adjust the border lines, padding, and background images.
Step 5: Configure the dashboard size
Select the Dashboard icon on the side pane. Under the Size section, click the drop-down button to select a dimension you’d like for your dashboard. Depending on your preference, you can choose a preset sizing option from the list or create a custom size by clicking the Custom button at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
Step 6: Add relevant sheets
Once you’ve set the dashboard size, you can include sheets. To do that, drag each worksheet and drop them on the canvas. The dashboard should now display the visualizations of the data present in that sheet.
You must organize the sheets to fit into the available work area. To do that, click on each graph or visual and select the Floating option on the drop-down menu at the right side of your screen. This allows you to move each visual around and organize the canvas.
You can also enlarge or shrink the size of each visualization on your dashboard. Simply click on the desired image, click and hold any of the image vertices, and resize them to your liking.
Step 7: Add filters
A great dashboard should be interactive and give your reader more flexibility on how they view the data and explore the story behind the numbers—such as viewing a specific time range, region, or demography. Filters help you achieve this level of interactivity.
Add filters to a dashboard by following these steps:
- Click on the sheet you’d like to add a filter to within your dashboard so the outline appears around it.
- Select the small down arrow next to the visual and click on the Filter option.
- Choose a filter you want to add.
Step 8: Add objects
You can add various buttons to the dashboard from the Objects section of the side panel and determine what they should do when you click on them. For example, you can include a website’s company logo, project title, or screenshots.
Step 9: Change to presentation mode
Switching to presentation mode helps you interact with your data visualizations as your audience would. In presentation mode, you can hide the building tools and focus on the dashboard. That way, you can assess your data story, presentation layout, and filters to ensure everything is good before publishing.
To enter presentation mode, click the Presentation icon in the top-right corner of the Tableau interface.
How to share Tableau dashboards
There are a few different options for sharing Tableau dashboards.
Share as PDF
Export the dashboard as a PDF or image. This is a good option to share a static dashboard version. To do this, follow these steps.
- Open your Tableau dashboard in Tableau Desktop
- Click on the File menu and select Export
- In the Export dialogue box, select PDF from the drop-down menu
- Select the pages you want to include in the PDF and click Export
- Choose a location to save the PDF and click Save As
- Share through email, Slack, or social networks
Share from Tableau Server
Sharing your Tableau dashboards with Tableau Server is a great way to collaborate with others, giving them real-time access to the dashboard. But before you can share your dashboards, you need to have a Tableau Online or Tableau Server account.
Follow these steps to share Tableau dashboards with Tableau Server.
- Install Tableau Server
- Open Tableau Desktop and select Connect to Data from the Start screen.
- Select Tableau Server from the list of connection types
- Enter the URL, username, and password in the appropriate fields, then sign in
- Select the project you want to connect to from the Projects drop-down menu. Click the Connect button to connect your Tableau desktop with the server
- Open your dashboard in Tableau Desktop
- Select File, then Save As
- In the Save As dialogue box, select Tableau Server as the file type
- Enter the URL for your Tableau Server in the Server field
- Enter your Tableau Server and share your Tableau dashboards with others
Use Tableau Public
Sharing your Tableau dashboards is easy with Tableau Public. Tableau Public is a free service that lets you publish your dashboards online. With Tableau Public, you can share your dashboards with the world or with specific groups of people.
How to share your Tableau dashboards:
- Sign in to Tableau Public
- Select the dashboard you want to share
- Click the Share button at the top of the dashboard
- Choose whether to share the dashboard with everyone or with specific groups of people
- If you’re sharing with specific people, enter their email addresses
- Click Share
See also: How to create a Power BI dashboard
The 9 best examples of Tableau dashboards
A well-designed Tableau dashboard is valuable for making accurate decisions. Although there are different ways to design a dashboard, the best approach depends on the specific data and audience.
Take a look at these seven examples of well-designed and effective Tableau dashboards.
Quarterly forecast dashboard
A quarterly forecast Tableau dashboard is a predictive business intelligence tool that can help you track and manage your company’s financial performance. This type of dashboard can provide a clear and concise view of your company’s sales, expenses, profit margins, and future forecast.
You can customize your quarterly forecast dashboard to include various types of variations.
- A seasonality analysis can help you identify any patterns in your sales data that occur quarterly.
- A trend analysis can help you identify any long-term trends in your sales data.
- A product mix analysis can help you identify any changes in the mix of products you sell quarterly.
- A price analysis can help you identify any changes in the prices you charge for your products and services quarterly.
Each of these variations can provide valuable insights into your business and help you make more. It’s an essential tool for any business owner or manager who wants to stay on top of their company’s financial health.
Source: Technical Jockey
Account management dashboard
This type of dashboard can be helpful for tracking and managing customer accounts. From this dashboard, data analysts and account managers can get a bird’s-eye view of all the account details, including contact information, account history, and recent activity. Business managers can also see which accounts are overdue, need follow-up, or are at risk.
Some common features you can include in your account management dashboard include a link to a database of all the people associated with the account and a task scheduling tool. You can also use a notes section for important information about the account and the history of all the interactions with the account.
This type of dashboard can help businesses build strong customer relationships. You can quickly identify and address any issues that may arise.
Source: Data Crunch
Sales forecast dashboard
This type of dashboard uses a variety of data sources to create a comprehensive view of the sales landscape. Businesses can make more informed decisions about their sales strategy and budgeting by analyzing this data.
Several features you can include in your sales forecast dashboard:
- Sales by region. This helps you see where your sales are coming from and identify regional trends.
- Sales by product. This helps you track which products are selling well and identify any potential areas for growth.
- Sales by a salesperson. This helps you track individual performance and identify areas for improvement.
With a sales forecast Tableau dashboard, sales managers can track various metrics, including sales volume, customer churn, and more. Such data can help you identify trends and issues that may impact future sales. This type of dashboard also allows businesses to make proactive decisions to improve their sales performance.
Employee performance dashboard
This type of dashboard can be valuable to business owners who want to track and improve employee performance. Depending on your specific goal, you can monitor metrics like employee sales, total work hours, units produced, handling time, and more.
This information can help you track employee performance over time and compare it against company goals, so you can identify areas of improvement and make necessary changes to improve employee productivity. You might also include a leaderboard that shows employees.
Some features you can include in your employee performance dashboard include a list of employees and their contact information, a sheet that tracks their performance over time, and another to compare employee performance against company goals.
Cashflow forecast dashboard
Creating a cashflow forecast dashboard can help you track and predict cash flow, identify and manage risks, and make informed decisions about financial planning. The dashboard can also help you track your income and expenses and see where your money is going. It can also help you budget, plan, and track invoices and receivables.
Key sheets you may want to include when building this dashboard include revenue, income, receivables, controllable costs, and more.
IT operations dashboard
An IT operations dashboard is relevant to IT teams. This type of dashboard allows business owners and IT managers to see real-time data on a system’s status and historical data that can help identify trends.
With this type of dashboard, you can monitor the performance of individual components, such as servers, databases, and applications. That way, you can identify and resolve problems before they cause significant downtime or data loss.
Depending on your preferences, you can also include a predictive tool to forecast any problem’s likelihood. Or you can include features that help you monitor the performance of your IT staff.
Product performance dashboard
Creating a product performance dashboard can help you have a clear overview of how a product is performing in sales. It can also show heat maps of areas where the product is fast selling.
Chief financial officer dashboard
The components of a CFO tableau dashboard can help managers and chief financial officers get a clear and concise view of their company’s financial data. The manager can also track various metrics, such as revenue, expenses, overheads, and turnovers in various departments within the company.
Such data becomes valuable for deciding how to allocate resources and best grow the business. In addition, the dashboard can help you monitor financial trends over time and spot potential problems early on.
Marketing performance dashboard
A marketing performance Tableau dashboard can help you track and understand your company’s marketing performance. Typically, this type of dashboard provides a clear and concise overview of all the marketing KPIs, allowing you to see how your marketing efforts are performing.
When developing your marketing performance dashboard, you may include tools that monitor metrics, such as long-tail keywords, posting time, and advert content that made the most impressions and engagements.
Seek help from a Tableau developer
Data visualization bridges the gap between data analysis and presentation. It simplifies insights, helping business managers understand the data at a glance. Engaging the skills of excellent visualization experts is crucial for any thriving business.
Ndiwano.com gives you access to a pool of skilled Tableau developers. You can post a job and receive proposals from independent developers worldwide. You can then review the developers’ profiles, portfolios, and ratings to narrow your choices.
Find the right Tableau developer on Ndiwano.com for your next project.