Tableau For Dummies
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Tableau Desktop enables you to perform complex data analysis tasks and create powerful, interactive visualizations that communicate that analysis. In addition, Tableau allows you to share your analysis and visualizations across your organization, so everyone from coworkers to top management can dig into the data that matters to them. This truly is a tool that provides you with a huge competitive advantage, but you have to master its ins and outs. The following tips and techniques will help you in that task

A Tableau glossary

Want to be a master at Tableau? To get you started, you need some new vocabulary. Accelerate your mastery of Tableau by knowing these key terms.

  • Sheet: A sheet is a singular chart or map in Tableau.

  • Dashboard: A dashboard is a canvas for displaying multiple sheets at a time and allowing them to interact with each other.

  • Workbook: A workbook is the entire Tableau file containing your sheets and dashboards.

  • Measure: A variable from the dataset that is meant to be aggregated. (This means it should be a number that it makes sense to do math with: sum, average, and so on.) Measures are often continuous data. Examples include GPA, sales, quantity, quota, height, and salary.

  • Dimension: A categorical variable from the dataset that is used to slice and dice the data into different categories. Dimensions are often discrete data. Examples include country, gender, student ID, and name.

  • Filter: A filter is used to limit what data is being displayed on the sheet. Visible controls for a filter on a sheet or dashboard are called Quick Filters.

  • Tooltip: Tooltips are text boxes that appear when hovering over a mark on a sheet in order to give more information. The text and text formatting in them are easily edited through the Marks card.

  • Marks card: The Marks card is the tool used to create a sheet that controls most of the visual elements in a sheet. Using the Marks card, you can switch between different chart types (bar, line, symbol, filled map, and so), change colors and sizes, add labels, change the level of detail, and edit the tool tips.

  • Rows and Columns Shelves: The Rows shelf and the Columns shelf is where you determine which variables will go on what axis. Put data you want displayed along the X-axis on the Columns shelf and data you want displayed on the Y-axis on the Rows shelf.

Keyboard shortcuts

Simplify your Tableau experience with the help of keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts can help you make quick work of your data while making the most of your charts.

Description Keyboard Shortcut
Windows Mac
New worksheet Ctrl+M Command-T
New workbook Ctrl+N Command-N
Undo Ctrl+Z Command-Z
Redo Ctrl+Y Command-Shift-Z
Clear the current worksheet Alt+Shift+Backspace Option-Shift-Delete
Describe sheet Ctrl+E Command-E
Adds a field to the view Double-click Double-click
Place selected field on Columns shelf Alt+Shift+C Option-Shift-C
Place selected field on Rows shelf Alt+Shift+R Option-Shift-R
Opens the Drop Field menu Right-click+Drag to shelf Option-Drag to shelf
Copies a field in the view to be placed on another shelf or
Ctrl+Drag Command-Drag
Swap rows and columns Ctrl+W Control-Command-W
Open Show Me Ctrl+1 , Ctrl+Shift+1 Command-1
Connect to data source Ctrl+D Command-D
Refreshes the data source F5 Command-R
Clears the selection Esc Esc
Selects the mark Click Click
Selects a group of marks Drag Drag
Adds individual marks to the selection Ctrl+Click Command-Click
Adds a group of marks to the selection Ctrl+Drag Command-Drag

Publishing to Tableau Server and Tableau Online

Share your work with others in your organization by publishing content to Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be ready to shows off your handiwork:

  1. Select Server→Publish Workbook.

  2. If prompted to sign in, enter the name or URL of the server, or enter and click Connect.

  3. If prompted, enter your username (Server) or email address (Online) and password and click Sign In.

  4. In the Publish Workbook to Tableau Server dialog box, specify the following:

    • Project: A project is like a folder for organizing content.

    • Name: This must be a unique name.

    • Add Tags: Optionally, enter keywords to tag your content for easy discoverability.

  5. If desired, specify View Permissions to allow or deny access to the workbook.

  6. Under Views to Share, choose which content to publish.

  7. If desired, change the options for showing sheets as tabs, showing your selections in the published version, and including external files such as images.

  8. If desired, set an extract refresh schedule or embed user credentials to the data source under Scheduling and Authentication.

  9. Click Publish

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Molly Monsey joined Tableau in 2009 as a technical product consultant. She and Paul Sochan work together to lead the Tableau training team. Today she recruits, trains, and supports instructors who educate Tableau users all over the world. Paul Sochan joined Tableau in 2010 and serves as the Senior Director of Global Education Services. The training team he built with Molly Monsey develops all Tableau training offerings. Paul has been in the Business Intelligence space since 1994.

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