For any company around the globe, data has become one of the single most important aspects of doing business at a competitive or efficient level. With data, you can predict trends, reduce costs and waste, help empower staff for success, and work to achieve a digital transformation and function with more agility and speed than you ever dreamed.
But all of that raw data needs to be analyzed, and if you’ve ever just stared into the eyes of a massive trove of information, you know how big of a challenge that can be. That’s why so many companies and platforms have appeared with the sole purpose of visualizing that data. So instead of looking at raw data, you can create charts, graphs, plots, interactive maps and more to make the process of analyzing that data a far simpler task.
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One element that can take that ease of analysis one step further is the dashboard. Dashboards give you at-a-glance looks at what’s going on with your data. Tableau, one of the biggest data visualization companies on the market, makes it incredibly easy to create your first dashboard.
Let me show you how it’s done.
What you’ll need
To create a dashboard, you’ll need a Tableau account and some imported data. I’m going to demonstrate with sample data, which you can also add to Tableau for practice purposes. I highly recommend you do this.
How to add the sample data source
The data I’m working with is called Superstore Datasource and can be found in Data | New Data Source (Figure A).
Once you connect the data source, you should see a listing of Tables, People and Returns in the left navigation (Figure B).
How to create a new dashboard
At the bottom left corner of your Tableau window (Figure C), click the second icon from Sheet 1 (a small square of squares) to create a new dashboard.
How to add Sheets to your dashboard
Now that you’ve created the dashboard, you have to fill it with sheets. Click on Sheet 1 to the left of Dashboard 1. In the left navigation, any of those views can be easily added to the new sheet.
Let’s say you want to add the Top Customers by Profit sheet to the dashboard. To do that, click and drag that entry into Sheet 1. You should then see a new element added to Sheet 1 (Figure D).
Now that you’ve added something to Sheet 1, go back to the Dashboard 1 tab and you should see Sheet 1 listed in the left navigation (Figure E).
Click and drag Sheet 1 to the Dashboard and then you can go back, create a new sheet and then add the new sheet to the Dashboard.
Keep going back and forth creating sheets and adding them to your Dashboard until it contains all the data you need. Rename your Dashboard accordingly, and when it’s complete, click Publish As at the top right of the window, which will open the Workbook Publisher window (Figure F).
Once published, you can access that Dashboard from within your Workbook (Figure G).
And that, my friends, is all to create a new Dashboard in Tableau. With the help of filters and other tools, you can turn those Dashboards into seriously powerful and efficient tools to help make the daily work of your data analyzers exponentially easier.
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