How to Use the Pages Shelf in Tableau - dummies

How to Use the Pages Shelf in Tableau

By Molly Monsey, Paul Sochan

Tableau allows you to analyze your data with the Pages shelf. Sometimes you may want to analyze your data based on the individual values contained within a field. This type of analysis can help you determine whether you’re doing better over time. One handy way of doing this type of analysis is to use the Pages shelf.

While any field can be dropped into the Pages shelf, a common application (and best practice) is to add a Date field to show how your visualization changes over time. Drag and drop a Date field onto the Pages shelf in order to get the Page Control. The Order Date dimension has been placed on the shelf, and you can select from the different years.

The Pages shelf enables you to flip through members of a field, changing and animating your analysi
The Pages shelf enables you to flip through members of a field, changing and animating your analysis.

Hitting the Play button on the Current Page control animates the data by moving through field members. This shows you how your data is changing over time. To play the slideshow, use the playback controls that appear below the list box. Slideshows are probably more effective for fields that contain a large number of values, because Tableau only cycles through the values once (unless you choose Loop Playback from the drop-down menu) and doesn’t automatically repeat when it reaches the end.

Another handy feature you can use is the Show History option for pages so that the view shows the values from previous pages in addition to the values for the current page. You can use the panel to control how the history is displayed.

Enable the history display by clicking the Show History button.
Enable the history display by clicking the Show History button.

You can choose the values you want to see (in this case, Order Date) using the drop-down list box, the arrows at the ends of the list box, or the slider below the list box in the Page control.

When the History display is enabled, Tableau displays the chart results from previous pages as faded marks. However, you can also add trails that are shown when selected. This enables you to compare the results across pages.

The Page history makes it easier to compare results from previous pages.
The Page history makes it easier to compare results from previous pages.