Pedal to the Metal! Tableau Tips and Tricks to Save You Time

a very warm good morning to one and all present here on this wonderful tableau Fringe Festival location I welcome everybody with much pleasure to participate here myself Rajeev I am an author a blogger tabla developer by profession and an ardent technophile by nature I am a multidisciplinary designer working in data visualization interaction design and innovation as we all know that tableau is an incredibly versatile tool unlike many other business intelligence tools tableau does not constrain to users too much and instead gives them power to exercise their creativity when developing visually rich reporting today it’s nearly four years into my career as a data visualization practitioner I enjoy looking back at how my tableau work has evolved and thinking about how I was introduced to the program in the very first place I started my career as a Cognos developer and I was trying to implement something over there I still remember I was searching something on Google when I first found tableau and I just fell in love with it but at that time I was totally new to this story and I was having no idea where to go you know friends what I did the first thing which I did I started following the people who bring the art of data visualization to its greatest height the world experts on building creative aesthetic and insightful vigeous few names are pooja Gandhi Jonathan sir coach Andy Roddy Adam Crahan David Sir Simon Sir sincero Murakami sasaeng de and many more if you really want to learn tableau very quickly I would advise all of you to closely follow their work I would also like to add one more point which I learned from my leader Linden he always says one thing spent some time exploring your data until you understand what’s in it then grab a pen and lay out a draft version on paper remember to keep things simple and consistent because more is not necessarily better so let’s start the journey for which we are here pedal to the metal tableau tips n tricks which will definitely save your time have you ever wondered how to become faster at tableau but don’t have time to read every tableau block or maybe you wish there was an easier way to do tableau stuffs without wasting your piece previous time this session is a list of 10 tableau tips n tricks which you can use in tableau that takes less than 20 minutes to learn although aim that new tableau user they will be useful to the seasoned pro as well these tips will help you save your time expand your knowledge and will generally impress your friends and supervisor so let’s start with our first trick power of drag-and-drop through control key so the first step is to getting started with tableau desktop is to connect to the data you want to explore there are several types of data you can connect to and there are several ways to connect to your data basically I prefer two ways let’s explore what are those go to your dig stop now I have a very sample I have a sample file sample superstore okay which is coming with tableau so the first trick which I am going to demonstrate over here is simply drag and drop so what you can do just drag the data into your tableau icon and tableau will open the file have a look you can drag a Microsoft Excel file text file on the icon which is a tableau icon and tableau will bring up a standard data import window so now data is loading hooray here you can see just drag here and you can see the data is now available in your tableau desktop another trick simply copy the data from the excel file and paste on the tableau

interface sometimes you need to do few adjustment in the data pan if you are not getting correct dimensions and measures so let’s see how we can do so I have a sample data which is showing items and amount I am just copying it open your tableau file and just do ctrl and V so now you can see tableau is executing a query hooray so the data which is earlier available on excel now that data is available on tableau so this is another a very quick way to load your data directly from excel file to your tableau desktop let’s go to the same now another trick that is also very important and I love it so sometimes what is happening when you are dragging pills to the color self your tableau is showing the color marks let’s take an example I am selecting product category and cells mostly when we are trying to add color legend to what we are doing we are simply dragging reason to the color self and now it is swing the stag bar which is showing central is to South and West region so it is don’t you think it’s a time consuming process so to make it easy what we will do simply just select this one and directly drag it to the bar chart you can see a small icon is appearing which is showing so me the moment you drag and put it on top of this bar chart you will see the magic now you can see you can directly put your color on to the bar chart no need to select and put it into the color self another thing what you can do you can see here the category product categories available here furniture of his supplies and technology so the easiest way if you want to add your product category into the color self so either you can directly drag it or what you can do choose that particular dimension and just drag it on top of the bar chart here also you can see your color legend is appearing based on your product category what if you wanted to drag your masers on to your color legend so what we are doing mostly we are just selecting our cells as cells as our cells is on our row cells just put it into the color self but don’t you think it’s too time-consuming so why not to do it in a easy way just select that major axis and drag it on top of your bar so this is an easy way to add your color onto your marks or onto your view now let’s see the trick number two will tree through shift key so just go to the dig stop now as you can see in my excel file I have created a dummy data which represents periodical sales item so here company a2j you can see we have a data which is starting from period P 3 2016 – till period 13 2017 okay so let’s load this data into our excel file so now it’s loading the data you you so now our data is available in our data source window so just to see the data in a beta wave what I will do I will simply create a pivot create a pivot so now

Team tableau is creating a pivot here now let’s go to the seat so now as you can see we have a company pivot filled names peewit field values number of Records oh we missed the name we missed renaming the name so do we need to go back and then again mostly what people will do they will do just a right-click on that particular dimension and perform the rename operation okay here you can see the rename but it’s a time consuming process that’s what I think so the simple and easy trick is just select that particular dimension and press a shift key right now here you can see the moment you selected that particular dimension and you press the shift key you are getting an option where you can rename your dimension so let’s rename it to B is the same thing you can do here also so just two sales now drag that particular drag a dimension company to your raw self and period on your column self and cells on your fixed now as you can see here from p12 p13 we have a data but is it’s not in sorted order so what you can see here P 1 2017 P 2 P 2 2017 period 3 2016 then again period 3 2017 into started so what I want I want my period to be in sorted order so in a simple way we can say all 2016 period will be on the left hand side and all 2017 period will appear on my right hand side so how we gonna do that it’s so the simple thing right click on that particular dimension period select the sort option and you can see we have so many option called ascending the order of sorting ascending descending in what way you want to perform your sorting whether it’s a datasource order or alphabetical order or based on any particular fit so just to make our sorting look perfect what we will do we will opt a manual sorting so here you can see we have an option called P 1 P 2 P 3 of 2016 then again P 3 of 2016 so what many a person will opt they will select and they will do down down down and it will go at the end based on your chronological order so just to avoid and do it at once what we can do just select 2070 so I am selecting all 2017 data at once you now as we have a proper selection of all the 2017 data now just click on down the moment you clicked on down you can see all 2016 data are on the top and all 2017 data are at the bottom let’s apply the moment you applied what you are seeing the requirement is I want all my 2016 data to be appeared on my left hand side and my 2017 data appeared on my right hand side now you can see all are in sorted order so this is one of the trick which you can utilize when you perform your manual sorting select the required information or select the required fields and click on draw down button at once now that so our next step is also utilizing the shift key so as you can see I have open a dashboard which contains multiple seed and just to add some interactivity what we are using we will be using an X and functionality as we all know that xn plays a very important and crucial role when we want to add some interactivity on your dashboard so that your user will start getting information through those interactivity so how these big and trick will help you in saving your time so

let’s see click on dashboard select action you can see a pop up is getting appeared on my dashboard and I have already applied some action so just to demonstrate an example I am creating a fresh action when you click on add X and you will see there are 3 X n type filter highlight in URL you can select any xn type and start your action operation so for this purpose I am just using a filter so now when I click on that filter action I am seeing I have so many dashboard and so many seed so you can see my source it contains so many dashboard and my target so it also contains so many – good so what I want I want when I click on my forecasts it the targets ill the targets it will affect accordingly based on the forecast action so if I want to select a forecast seed and if I want to perform some action on performance what we will do will simply uncheck all the information from other sheep because what I want when user will select a forecast only at that instant of time they just want to see the performance but while performing some operation what I did I did some manual thing I was just unselecting manually don’t you think this is taking so much of your time so just to avoid some manual intervention and to keep your speed what you can do just click on the first seed which is available in your dashboard overview or the seed which you want to select press shift key and select the last seed so now you can see all the seeds which are available in your dashboard it’s now in selected mode so just uncheck now you unchecked all the seed so if you want to perform some sort of action on any particular seed just click on that particular seed and check that operation so this does save lot of your time you need not require to go to that individual seat and uncheck that checkbox so this is a very handy trick and it can be very helpful if you start incorporating these tricks in your daily practices this will definitely save your time now it’s time to so trick number three which is magic of Unicode characters you I love this trick because in every day I am using this trick in my all the seeds or in my all the NASPA and it is saving lot of my time how it can be helpful to you and how it will helpful to you in saving your time let’s explore so let’s go to the seed so Unicode characters we can use in tooltip in calculated field as well as in parameter and it looks very good when you are using such sort of information so let’s take an example like first of all to the website which I am using for all the Unicode characters the name of the website is Unicode and there is a Unicode – table comm where you can see all the Unicode characters so just just to copy what you can do just click on that information just copy it and paste it in your seat or paste it in your notepad so just – so I have copied three things a star Sun and telephone so now what you can do let’s see how we can use that unicode characters in our parameter so I have created a string parameter which is showing some name like Sun star telephone although telephone does not make sense with Sun and star it is not good to write telephone along with star in Sun but just to show how it can be helpful so what I am doing I am just showing I am just showing that display as along with that unicode character so just add your unicode character at the beginning or at the end based on your requirement or based on your readability and click OK so the moment you click you will see all your Unicode characters are appearing in your display section and it looks pretty isn’t it another way which I am using you might be using so many suits just to create a dash but there might be some possibility that you are

using 90 or 100 seats in your tableau workbook which I am doing in my project so just to keep a track or just to create some sort of similarity between the seats what I am using or even most of the person are using this particular technique like talent this is a very beautiful approach where you can add a particular color to all the seeds which are having resemblance to each other or which are using some common fields so this is the one where you can do another way what you can do you can add a particular Unicode character also just to keep a track that these seeds are similar to each other so I am adding a particular Unicode character just to keep a track that okay this seed and if I will create some similar suit I’ll use the same unicode character so it will be helpful for me to keep a track that these two seeds are somehow interrelated with each other in terms of concepts in terms of business requirement and on the third thing which is very important and I think it’s a very easy way to solve your problem in most of the set what we are doing we are creating more than mostly we are creating 50 or 60 calculation and sometimes it is very difficult to find sometimes if you want to find that particular calculated fits it’s very difficult to get that calculated field very quickly so what people are using they are just going to the search function writing the name and searching that information or searching that calculated field what if you forgot the name then there is other trick also so during that time what you are doing you are just going to the analysis and there is one option called edit calculated field so you can see there are so many calculated fields which are present here are present in my view or present in my diamonds and pan so as there are number of calculated fields are very less but what if if you are using more than 100 calculated fields the pop-up or the drop-down will be very large you cannot just should drag each and everything and start hunting that start hunting for your calculated free so just to avoid that sort of information what you can do you can add your unicode character at the beginning and what it will do all the similar sort of calculated field will appear with one a appear one after another so it will be also very handy to keep a track of your calculated field and sometimes if you want to so one particular information at the very beginning so what we are doing suppose that you wanted to so reason which should appear at the top so what we are doing we are just a special character and it will appear at the top so the same thing you can do with your calculated field as well so you can add any special character or unicode character so you will find all your information will appear one after another which will be very helpful in keeping a track on your calculated field now our fourth trick will be incredibly powerful over function this trick is very useful if you want to add some more information on your dashboard along with your existing information and even if you follow the best practices so many of its gurus always told one thing it’s always add some sort of information on your dashboard so that when a new user will trying to interact with your dashboard at least it will give a proper picture what they wanted to see or what you are trying to make them understand so let’s see how it will be helpful so this is the just a demo dashboard which I created so here you can see I have used andis method of how of using a s key characters on my tooltip here you can see it is showing the beautiful information which is using n DS method how we can use s key characters on my tooltip so now what I want I want my user to provide some information so just to provide that what I used I used a bowl symbol which is giving up information how we can use an S key characters or how it can be useful to add that information so how to do that the simple

and a very easy way what you can do just create a blank seat now you can see we have nothing to show here but tableau has so many saves which you can utilize just to provide a meaningful information so let’s take an example first what I will do just change the marks from automatic to save so the moment I changed what I will see a new mark self is getting appeared wit is nothing but a safe so what I will do first I’ll click on this one now I can see so many same some are filled shape and some are follow same so to make more meaningful my over information what I will use I’ll use as I’ll use a shape which is a bulb sign so I’m using this one so now you can see I have selected my safe as a bulb now whatever information I want or whatever particular information or whatever thing I wanted to so I can add it in the form of text but make it sure it should be in the string format or at least it should be within the double quotes so that it will be helpful when user perform a hoe action it will give the correct information don’t try to add or it’s not advisable to add some sort of calculation information or something it should be informative so I have added an information how we can use the ASCII characters or how it can be helpful just add that information on your row cell for columns it doesn’t matter how you want to so now just to hide the header now you can see you have an information bingo now a correct information or a some sort of information is now available so just adds color based on your interactivity now when user will do some whore user will sees this sort of information you can also perform some formatting over there just remove the border from the pan also from the row now at that particular seat in your dashboard and some sort of along with some sort of arrow so when a new user will come to your dashboard and he if he or C doesn’t know how to interact at least this sort of information will give a clear picture now it’s time to so trick number five this time I am planning to demonstrate tableau hack for the trick number five as it’s a very well-known fact tableau only allows sixteen row headers or labels in a single visualization before it is starts concatenating the header values the default is actually six headers until it starts to concatenate but this can be increased by adding some changes in the table layout let me show you how so now I have added more than sixteen columns but as you can see all them headers are started getting concatenated so here we are seeing six header only so if you go to analysis table layout advanced you can see the number of rows and number of columns are six just increase it to sixteen and click apply the moment you made that changes you can see there is no further concatenation now all the names are appearing perfectly what what if if you want to add more than 16 columns how you gonna do that it’s also not advisable to add these many rows it’s good to create crosstab but even if you want to add more than 16 columns how you want to perform or how you want to sort out this sort of problem in tableau okay so let’s see now we have more than 16 columns so first save this workbook in the form of

twb format tableau workbook file now just to give now you can open this particular twb file in any of the editor I am using notepad plus plus so as you can see all the XML codes which are present which are present in your tableau XML file or tableau twb file are present here now our next purpose is to find row labels as an attribute okay now yes so when you type two row labels your XML is maybe getting to this particular format where it is saying the maximum horizontal label should be 16 so what we need to do we can increase that 16 to 20 let’s make some changes here now once the changes are done just save this file open the same file go to your dig stop and now open the same file so now you can see 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 and 17 so now you can easily create more than 16 columns so this is one of the way to resolve your problem it’s time to show trick number six which is an advanced formatting interview I think everyone loves formatting option in tableau tableau is such a versatile tool which is providing so many formatting option just by doing a one click let’s see how this type of formatting or advanced formatting option can be helpful in solving our day-to-day life problem let’s go to worksheet now in my dashboard I am often seeing this request from my user where they wanted to see the form a phone number in a particular format the number should be soon in this particular format a bracket will be there after that three numbers then another bracket which is a code then three digit – after that four number which is a use format so what we need to do we are either end up with a calculated field or we’ll do something which can be helpful so let’s so let’s see how it can be done by using a calculated field so what we are doing here we are just writing a calculated field where we are extracting the numbers by using left and right function and we are just appending a – as well as that particular bracket or basis this is a simple way to do that thing so now we are getting our required information or required requirement but the thing is that if we are keep on

using the same calc fitted field then what’s the use of tableau add-ons formatting option how we can utilize those options which can be helpful in solving our issue so let’s see how this can be helpful or how advanced formatting can solve my problem within the class so let’s click on format select that particular fit which is already selected which is a phone number dimension now you can see you are seeing two option header and pen let’s go to the header section now in that option you are seeing so many formatting option so for getting our desired what we will do we will simply copy the format as we required the moment we copied the format we are seeing our exact result so this is quite handy we need not require to write calculated field with the help of left right and mid function it can be easily done now let’s go to the another requirement so now let’s see another advanced formatting option so just to demonstrate and add Attucks functionality what we can do we can create a dummy data I have created a dummy data here which is representing items and how many item how many unit was sold so let’s copy this particular information go to your tableau I am just copying the data from excel to my tableau texture now here you can see I have all the information which is present in my excel so sometimes what we want we want to add our textual data in a more precise format or more informative way so as you can see in this particular excel I am sewing units sold here also it is giving the information but don’t you think if we can add 100 units it will be more useful to the user sometimes we are getting this sort of requirement as well so how we gonna do that we can either append this particular information by creating any string units or simply go to the format option just eat a custom or you can simply if you don’t want to add any sort of decimal you can simply remove after a decimal number and just simply write zero units now it is giving all the information in a correct format if you want to add any other text you can add any ticks by just clicking on that particular measure go to the pan select the particular select that particular custom and add that information so this is also quite useful now third advanced formatting which I am going to demonstrate here third one I have taken another item which is swing in the form of quantity so let’s copy that information go to your next seat you now you can see the numbers are very large and it’s very difficult to read also so just to make it more useful what we can do we can perform some formatting option so there is two ways either you can opt a direct formatting option which is coming with tableau so select that particular field do whatever format you want but what I want to show you here there is one functionality which is very common in Excel the same thing we can implement over here also you know you can control any large numbers inside tableau the simple way to control the simple way to control you large number is the is to use single comma and double

comma but when you use one comma it display in thousands and when you use two comma it display in millions let’s let me tell let me show you how we can represent the same information in the form of millions so when I said when I am representing that information by using a single comma it displaying thousands okay have a look when I am using a single comma it is showing in the form of thousands but when I am using double commas it is showing in the form of millions so this is quite handy feature which tableau is providing very flawlessly so it will be very helpful for you to add such type of information just by adding a simple double comma or single gamma along with your text so it will be very easy to handle large numbers by using some formatting option till now we have seen six tricks now it’s time to so trick number seven animation on tableau dashboard it’s a well-known fact that we can embed you videos in our tableau easy but do you know we can also incorporate animated shape files inside the tableau apparently tableau won’t play animated zip files when placing them in a dashboard in the form of image style or in the form of image object but if you place them as a webpage style they will definitely work just to demonstrate this example what I did I downloaded two files from Google and uploaded in my posting server which is nothing but a Google Drive you can also use Dropbox link from your Dropbox folder as well so I am using Google Drive so let’s so now I have uploaded two gif files which is moving ball image and Pokemon so what you need to do just upload your image on your Google Drive or Dropbox as per your convenience click on that image you will see some option there you will find an option called get shareable link click on that it will generate a serial link now when you double click on that link just copy that go to your tableau go to your dashboard so what I will do I first I’ll add a blank seat now as that is a link so just to host that particular information I will be using a web page object I think now the link which you copied just paste it here and click OK it will take time to load that image now you can see the zip file which is available on your server or the GPL which is available on your Google Drive or Dropbox now that same image is available on your dashboard so this way you can use animation on your tableau – cool now it’s time to so trick number eight which is how you can elegantly so the bar chart poodles bar charts are very intuitive and easy to read chart everyone prefers bar chart but when we are sewing grand total in our bar chart our whole chart look very cluttered because the grand total is the highest value and all other value are very less in comparison to the grand total so what we can do or we don’t want to show a bar in a total so it would be great if we can so just number and arrest all container bills so the information in the form of path so how are we gonna do that so there are two ways one way is by using a simple mean and Max function and another way by using size function so I am using the size one so I have written a calculated field where I am saying if the size is equal to one then so zero otherwise rest so the sum obsessed aggregated value of the cells just do a little change just drag this new

calculated field on the column self so now you can see now we are seeing grand total as zero and all other container in the for all other containers value in the form of birth this looks quite good now we also wanted to see the grand total so what we can do simply drag the original cells now we are seeing the grand total very perfectly and very elegantly so this is one way you can improve the feel and look of your bar chart it’s time to sort pick number nine which is text wrapping and it is another one of my favorite trick which I am using most of the time as some of my dashboard contains big sentences and when I am using the inbuilt wrap functionality of tableau it is not allowing to wrap the sentence so during that time what I am doing I am just writing my calculated field and make it making it sure that all my texts are properly wrapped so that my dashboard will look good let’s see how we gonna achieve that one now let’s see so now what we want we have a text called testing functionality and we want that text to be inside the circle but even if you use the wrap functionality of your label marks it will not allow you to wrap the sentence so during that time what we need to do either we will use an image or we need to write a calculated field but don’t you think writing an image will again a big task so just to avoid those thing what we can do we can simply write a calculated field so how did it on a calculated field where I am giving an instruction that first find the space if there is a space between two word or two sentence what you can do just find that space and if it is greater than zero take the left hand side so here testing functionality so it is finding the space and if it is greater than zero what it is doing it is extracting the testing part from that particular word or that particular sentence now for adding us space I am using character tin then again what I am doing I am just replacing that particular right hand side of the text into any space okay so this is a simple table calculation now when you add that newly created calculated field in place of your existing field you will see all your text are properly present inside your circle so this looks pretty good so this way you can improve your dashboard you can feel now it’s time to sew over Strickler is a strict number team color that adapts your data almost everyone who ever used tableau once or twice must have used tableau mom we are using tableau map daily for our requirement if we want to plot something if we want to add some information based on our geographical data we are using tableau map and tableau map is so good that you can implement almost everything when it comes to geographical data let us explore how this it can be helpful this tip I learned from Santiago is a great guy so my tableau take stop so here you can see I have two products and my data is divided on States and I have year-over-year change which I created in the form of pin now here you can see when I am selecting product 1 the color is showing from min to max value 6% to 52% now when I am changing the value from product 1 to product – you can see there is the slight variation from darker color to the light color which is not good or which is not fully appropriate because the previous product is showing dark color and there is a sudden variation when we are changing the project – just have a look another example now when we are changing again from project 1 to product 2 we are

seeing long in we are seeing more darker sets you can see here this is between 0.12 0.2 that my data should automatically are equally present in both the site no matter whether it is going from me into max so we are using standard deviation and window max function so what we are using for taking an average we are using window average which is which will give you the entire average of Yui change and same we will be using standard deviation and what we are giving if it is greater than if average change is greater than the average of two times of our standard deviation then we will be saying represent that information in to same we will be writing 4.5 1.5 1.5 and min you can see here we are writing the same information for other value so our range will be from point two to two similarly in the left hand side our range will be minus point two two minus two now we will be using this newly created calculated field in our color self and will see whether it is affecting any whether it is making some impact or not now what I am doing I am just creating that I have already created that calculated field and dropped it into the color self and what I did in the colored selection in the palette selection what I did I just selected a range which is from point two two two which is already present in our calculated field and I have defined the color so our start will be from minus two which is present in the left-hand side and the right-hand side will end at two now add that particular calculated field in your color self so the moment when you added that color self on the color marks you can see there is not that much variation which you observed when you are not adding the standard deviation in your calculation so now when we are changing from product one to product two you can see the variation is quite good it is not it is showing that much variation so the changes are quite so with this you can make your data in a such a way that will add up to your color hope this all ten tips and tricks are helpful to you thank you for your time thank you so much have a great day