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Tableau design best practice tips

Links to Tableau Best Practice help files:

Best Practices (
bestpracticesfordesigningefficientworkbookseldridgev2.pdf (
Best Practices for Effective Dashboards - Tableau

Best Practice Tips

  1. Know your audience and the type of data presentation they need.
    What problem are you trying to solve?

  2. The general rule is to design a high-level view with ability to drill down to detail. But your audience might want only the detail, or only the high level.

    1. Does your audience only care about the high level and patterns?
      Focus on charts for to show visual patterns rather than tabular to simply list data.

    2. Does your audience end up downloading the data to view it regardless of how you present it?
      Design to optimize downloading.

    3. Does your audience prefer exploring and drilling down in one view?
      Design custom hierarchies to optimize drilling down.

    4. Does your audience prefer clicking on a high-level item and showing the detail about it in another view?
      Design a multi view dashboard with highlight action links.

  3. Design with viewer flexibility in mind to provide what they need to explore the data without leaving Tableau. Provide all the calculated fields, parameters, filters, hierarchies, and subtotals they need.

  4. The typical western culture reading pattern is from upper left to lower right.
    Present your flow of data the same way.  

  5. Keep it clean, not cluttered.
    It is tempting to add all kinds of features, links, and data, because it’s cool. But you risk distracting the viewer from what they really need.

  6. Dashboard Design

    1. Be aware of display size and type. How will the primary audience be viewing this?
      Multi-monitors, Laptop screen, Tablet, Phone. Design with this in mind.

    2. Less is more. Limit number of dashboard objects to 4 or less.
      If it’s too busy, the viewer won’t use it.

    3. Include interactive tools for the user to explore the data. Dimension Filters, Action Filters

Next: Deeper dive - workbook design

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