Visualisation Success with Tableau

KISs - Keeping it Simples

Because no-one is stupid

What is Datawonders?

Take a look around the net, there are some really great sites dedicated to helping you communicate your data, with any tool, and there are some really cool sites, dedicated to helping you get the edge on your Tableau visuals some of my favourite contributors include:

So how does Datawonders differ? What makes it special?

Well, this is my space for one, but most importantly like the above mentions, and the number of awesome developer sites scattered across the net, I too just want to help you on your Tableau journey, however, I have a very different background to many of the other contributors:

"Coming from an analytical background, moving to data and then big data engineering before uniting both disciplines in visual business intelligence, first with Excel, then Qlikview, before settling on my favourite - Tableau"
And I'm not a fan of single-message info-charts

All of my work is centred on creating dashboards that (mostly business) users love to use, I love multi-perspective immersive and interactive dashboards, where collections of charts are brought together to help users understand how that tiny crumb of data impacts the bigger picture.

But, despite working with some fairly large data-sets (in excess of 10 trillion rows and 200+ columns), the one element that is always at the front of my mind when building is: Performance, because lets face it, no matter how great your dashboard is, no user will be happy waiting more than 10 seconds for it to render.

So when I set to work on a new piece, my first five questions tend to be: 

  • Where is the data?
  • How much data is there, and will I need to build and optimise a new table and or warehouse - not the usual first question most analysts ask
  • Who are your audience
  • What is the final presentation medium (as much to Tableau's chagrin, static Powerpoint decks are still preferred over Tableau Server)
  • What's the story: Are we only presenting static / 1-dimensional data, or are we looking for a more immersive experience?

Bottom line:

Many sites dedicated to Tableau, usually only cover one aspect, how to do that awesome chart.

Datawonders' purpose is different from the many wonderful sites out there: Sure I shall show you the how, but also I will explain the why (or the why not as is sometimes the case), and help you to understand the architecture behind the scenes.

With more than a decade of both using Tableau (September 2008 v4), and teaching Tabelau (June 2010 v5), this site aims to help you, not just learn Tableau basics, but also the architecture, to help you create charts your users will LOVE to use.

And why also does my dashboard often render so very differently on Cloud/Server compared with Desktop? Ah, that old chestnut. This isn’t the first time either of those problems have been encountered, but you’ll be pleased to hear that this problem doesn’t only affect Tableau - no way, not by a long shot. Qlik Sense users for example also faced the same problem, right up until QlikTech moved Qlik Sense to web auth only, where all the problems seeming disappeared overnight. Why?…
To the Linux user - I apologise, I think its plain to see, that I’m a fan of the safety net that MS has built in Windows Have you ever deployed Tableau Server to a Windows Stack? I mean actually deployed the server, rather than spin-up a pre-configured image from either Tableau Cloud, or those available in Amazon Web Services, MS Azure, Alibabba or Google Cloud Platform. Regardless as to whether you have or you haven’t,…
Because not every region is created equal. And with this inequality comes the chance to learn new ideas and techniques. The accelerator workbooks (Sample Workbooks in pre 2023 versions), you know the ones: that sit in Accelerator Workbooks section at the bottom of the Start Screen. Changing the language settings, means you get to see a different group of available books, and the first thing you’ll notice is, not every region is the same: English (UK) image-20231014-140407.…
Ahh, the Accelerator Workbooks (Sample Workbooks in pre 2023 versions) section that appears at the bottom of the Start Screen: image-20231014-135839.png Wouldn’t it be nice if this could be customised to show five of workbooks of your choosing. Maybe you’re not interested in seeing the Tableau Samples; or maybe your company has several showcase workbooks. Maybe you would like to use this as a starting point for templates using company designs it would like you to use instead; or even,…
Yes, it is, though you will need admin rights to the Tableau install directory, and you shall need to edit a file. So you want to edit the Sample Workbooks section of the Start Screen? image-20221026-210749.pngnote Adding your own sample workbooks can be a great time-saver, far faster than saved data sources: For works requiring Superstore and/or Adventureworks such as forum, tutorial, blog or teaching works, I have a workbook that has a pre-configured data set, just like a saved data source.…
Right here. These are all localised versions of Superstore Sales released with Tableau v2022.1 And as a special treat, I have also added the localised workbooks created by the Tableau teams ready for you to play with For future reference, once you have installed Tableau Desktop, you can get all the data sources and the workbooks that Tableau provide as samples right from your own pc. Navigate to your Tableau install directory,…
Self-updating Tool-tips
Here’s an interesting idea, tooltips that update as you move over data: usIN_LOSRPFkapAPMtbdQrs75V4dHr0kfYVjoMRBtb2seZA_RVyuZnQMKIv1RwFIafdVZjd19uYLUdAETjt5s2oRO1eN5OKBZG4X9C-YHdVaY8aPJS0tcNrlkiWVo5x7C77CF0tR Specifically, a tooltip that increases as you roll across a selection of months, so as you hover over January, only January shall appear in the tooltip, similarly, if you hover over May,…
Ok, so Tableau haven’t so much added a new object type, but have actually extended the functionality of parameters such that they can now function as in/out updatable variables, all achievable from the addition of a new-ish action filter - Change Parameter… (See this and all other features here). Parameters: everyone’s seen them and most of us have used them at some point,…

Can't get enough visualisation? Me Neither. Check out these other great links for inspiration:

My Tableau Public Profile

Of course I want to sell myself: See some examples of my work at the Tableau Public site

See me at Tableau.comAnd I help out on the forums as every contributor should.
Tableau PublicMuch of Tableau Public is infochart style, but don't let that put you off
Qlik GalleryWhoever said ideas cannot be shared? Sure, Tableau and Qlik function differently, but what is important is the end result right?
DatapineCame across this site a while ago, sure, its for another Tableau alternative, but they do have some great dashboards for inspiration

Feeling up to a challenge?

Pop on over to Workout Wednesday