The Beginner’s Guide to Tableau Worksheets
This post will be made with the assumption that you’ve at least opened Tableau and inserted a data file to look around the UI. I’ll be using my already finished ICE 11.2 assignment to give us some context on everything that will be defined.
Let’s compartmentalize each part of the worksheet for a better understanding of what we’re looking at, starting with the Data tab in the left-hand column.
Here we can see all of the tables that are given to us from that particular sheet in the excel file. Normally, your excel file will have another sheet with definitions for you to navigate which tables mean what.
You’ll notice next to Data, there’s an Analytics tab. This is typically used for more advanced analysis which should be discussed in an entirely different post, but I can show you how to place an average line since it seems relatively simple. Just drag Average Line over to any existing graph you have, I’ll go with the table since that seems relevant.
Now, let’s move on to the next column of options.
Pages lets you add multiple pages of a view so you can analyze how certain changes affect a set of data.
Filters let you include and exclude certain data within a table.
Marks are useful for customizing certain parts of your data to make them stand out against other pieces (color, size, labels, etc.).
At the very top, you’ll see the toolbar! Here’s a quick rundown of what each button does.
Returns you to the start page
Undo and redo
Create a new data source or pause updates to your view when changes are made to your data source
When automatic updates are turned off for your dataset, you can click this to manually update
Create a new worksheet, duplicate your current worksheet, or clear your current worksheet
Swap your rows and columns, sort by ascending and sort by descending
Highlight values on your sheet, create groups by combining values, toggle mark labels, and toggle locked and unlocked axis on your view
Show/Hide specific cards in your worksheet or present your worksheet
Share your workbook with others
Choose a view type that best works with your dataset, changing it to charts, graphs, etc.
Under the toolbar you can see the Columns and Rows section. This is essentially where you’ll be dragging your table datasets in order to compare information.
You might notice that AVG was not originally next to the Min/G table name. You can define how exactly you want your data to aggregate by right clicking your dataset within the column or row. There are a lot of options:
It would be useful to understand the difference between Dimensions, Attributes and Measures- as it can get confusing. Here’s the most basic way to understand the differences:
Dimensions contain qualitative values such as names or geographical data
Measures contain quantitative values (numbers).
Attributes can be used within dimensions to determine which characteristics are unique, otherwise an asterisk will appear.
In my experience of jumping around different software, once you understand the capabilities of the software’s UI setup, you have a much easier time navigating and exploring to learn the program on your own. Hopefully this quick rundown of the Tableau workspace helped you fill in the blanks!
Costello, T. (2018, April 13). ATTR() – tableau’s attribute function explained. InterWorks. Retrieved January 30, 2022, from https://interworks.com/blog/tcostello/2014/05/15/attr-tableaus-attribute-function-explained
Jena, S. (2019, July 28). Tableau - A beginners guide. Medium. Retrieved January 30, 2022, from https://medium.com/@sj20997/tableau-c9d6962991ca
Ryan. (2019, March 4). Why use Tableau? A guide to Tableau uses for Big Data Analysis and viz. DataCrunchCorp. Retrieved January 30, 2022, from https://datacrunchcorp.com/tableau-uses-and-applications/
Shelves and cards reference. Online Help. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2022, from https://help.tableau.com/current/pro/desktop/en-us/buildmanual_shelves.htm
The Tableau Workspace. Online Help. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2022, from https://help.tableau.com/current/pro/desktop/en-gb/environment_workspace.htm