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# Tableau Tips Tag

## Questions from Tableau Training: The Small Grey Bar Within a Quick Filter

A common question that comes up trainings is: ”What does the small grey bar within the quick filter box represent?” Using quick filters is one of the easiest ways to provide end users with the ability to control what they want to see. Although they are quick, they...

## The Tableau Performance Checklist: Dashboard Layout – Limit Number of Worksheets

We are onto our last category of the Tableau Performance Checklist, Dashboard Layout. For our next guideline: "Limit the number of worksheets on a dashboard. If you have more than four visualizations on a dashboard, strongly reconsider." Let’s begin! Dashboarding or Dash-boring The allure of putting as much information on...

## When Average Isn’t Good Enough: Using Tableau to Visualize Distributions

Averages are great. They take up very little space to report, everybody wants them and we all understand exactly what an average is … or do we? An average as we typically think of it is what we call the mean in statistics. To find...

## Questions from Tableau Training: How Do ZIP Codes Work in Tableau?

A common question that comes up in trainings is: “How do ZIP codes work in Tableau? Do I need to add in leading zeros, or can I leave them out?” As geographic fields become increasingly available in the field of analytics, aggregating customer information to ZIP code level...

## Questions from Tableau Training: Setting Weekday Start

It’s been a while since I wrote in this series, but I was recently conducting a training and was asked a question that I have never been asked. I’m sure it comes up regularly, but I never came across it. I was asked:  “Tableau makes the week...

## The Tableau Performance Checklist: Local Computations – Table Calculations

Here’s the second item under Local Computations: "Table calculations are powerful, but they can be slow. They are dependent on the local computation engine and can require substantial memory." Let’s get started. Table Calculations Table calculations are computations that use the values in the entire table and can restructure...

## The Tableau Performance Checklist: Local Computations – Server Performance

Here’s the first guideline from the Local Computations category: "Even if a workbook is published to Tableau Server, local computations still impact performance. Leverage the power of Tableau Server whenever possible by limiting local computations such as groups, hierarchies, reference lines, table calculations and blending." Let’s get...

## How to: Dynamic Map Coloration with Parameters in Tableau

With built-in Tableau integration, using maps couldn't be easier! Occasionally, however, we want to get creative and display more information within the map. Recently, I was asked, "When I have a parameter to choose which measure I want to view, how can I display a different color...

## The Tableau Performance Checklist: Rendering – Use Transparent Background PNGs

Who doesn’t love efficiency? We are finishing up with the rendering category today by returning to custom shapes. Let’s get started: "If using custom shapes, use transparent background PNGs instead of JPGs. Views will render cleaner, and shape files will take up less space." Didn’t know we’d get...

## Creating a Collapsing Menu Container in Tableau

Some of my favorite mobile apps like Slack, Feedly and Google Maps have a slide-out menu that appears when I tap a small icon. That common design element makes plenty of room for user inputs and gets them out of the way when you’re done...

## How to Set Up Single-Click Hierarchy Navigation in Tableau

About a week ago, I shared a blog post that demonstrated a new way to visualize Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in Tableau. This week, using the same viz, I’ll show how to set up single-click hierarchy navigation. The Challenge Those of us familiar with Pivot Tables in...

## When to Use Tableau Reader

Tableau Reader is a free-to-download tool that allows you to view packaged workbooks with full interactivity. It’s available for both PC and Mac users. Some organizations use Tableau Reader far more than they should while others might benefit by adding it to their options for...

## Dynamic Parameters in Tableau

Parameters are one of the most loved features of Tableau. You can use them in calculations, across multiple datasources, in titles and labels, and in countless other ways. Unfortunately, they are static. Unlike filters, parameters are a set list of values. You can build them based off...

## A New Way to Visualize KPIs in Tableau

Key Performance Indicators are one of the most common things people need to display in a dashboard. This usually involves comparing current values or historical trends against a target value. Tableau makes it easy to show current values and trends in one dashboard, but this...

## The Tableau Performance Checklist: Rendering – Minimize Image & Shape File Sizes

Let’s take a look at our next guideline from the Rendering category: "Minimize the file size of any images or custom shapes where possible. As a general rule of thumb, keep images under 50kb." Let’s get started, shall we? Images & Custom Shapes In regards to rendering, images and...

## Questions from Tableau Training: Adding Conditional Formatting

A common question that often comes up in trainings is: “How can I add conditional formatting to my visualizations?” Conditional formatting can be a useful way to call attention to textual data. Common cases of conditional formatting involve using Color or Symbols (That’s symbols for all...

## Questions from Tableau Training: When to Pivot Data in Tableau

A common question that often comes up in trainings is: “How do I utilize the Pivot feature in Tableau to make building charts easier?” What does it mean to pivot data? A pivot is a transformation of data structure from a wide view (many columns) to a...

## Questions from Tableau Training: Adding Gaps Between Bars

A common question that often comes up in trainings is: “How do I add gaps between the bars of my visualizations?” The first thing to know is whether or not your graph should have spaces between the bars or not. If you are trying to visualize ordered...

## I Hate When Tableau Does That: Magical Morphing Mark Types

One of my favorite chart types in Tableau is the dual-axis chart. It’s a thing of beauty! Most often in client engagements, this chart type will be used to compare a base metric with a series of user-selected secondary metrics via a parameter. The best...

## Creating Custom Fiscal Year Calendars in Tableau

For a variety of reasons, businesses do not always tie their fiscal year to the standard calendar year. There are numerous explanations of why this might be beneficial to an organization, and they all seem to lead several of my clients to the exact same...

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