Tableau – Design Flow

As Tableau helps in analyzing lots of data over diverse time periods, dimensions, and measures, it needs a very meticulous planning to create a good dashboard or story. Hence, it is important to know the approach to design a good dashboard. Like any other field of human endeavor, there are many best practices to be followed to create good worksheets and dashboards.

Though the final outcome expected from a Tableau project is ideally a dashboard with story, there are many intermediate steps which needs to be completed to reach this goal. Following is a flow diagram of design steps that should be ideally followed to create effective dashboards.


Connect to Data Source

Tableau connects to all popular data sources. It has inbuilt connectors which take care of establishing the connection, once the connection parameters are supplied. Be it simple text files, relational sources, SQL sources or cloud data bases, Tableau connects to nearly every data source.

Build Data Views

After connecting to a data source, you get all the column and data available in the Tableau environment. You classify them as dimensions and measures, and create any hierarchy required. Using these you build views, which are traditionally known as Reports. Tableau provides easy drag and drop feature to build views.

Enhance the Views

The views created above needs to be enhanced further by the use of filters, aggregations, labeling of axes, formatting of colors and borders, etc.

Create Worksheets

Create different worksheets to create different views on the same or different data.

Create and Organize Dashboards

Dashboards contain multiple worksheets which are linked. Hence, the action in any of the worksheet can change the result in the dashboard accordingly.

Create a Story

A story is a sheet that contains a sequence of worksheets or dashboards that work together to convey information. You can create stories to show how facts are connected, provide context, demonstrate how decisions relate to outcomes, or simply make a compelling case.

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