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Tips for creating impressive Dashboards!


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Dashboard in Tableau

A dashboard is a collection of different kinds of visualizations or views that allow us to do the analysis of different views simultaneously. Building dashboards with Tableau allows the creation of real-time visualizations in minutes. Tableau's easy-to-use interface helps even nontechnical users build optimized visualizations or views.


Create Dashboards in Tableau

Let's discuss how to create dashboards in Tableau Public.


1. Open a new dashboard

You can open a new dashboard window either from the Dashboard given on the menu bar or from the bottom bar of the sheet as shown in the pictures given below. You can change the name of the dashboard based on your wish.

Open new Dashboard from menubar
Open new dashboard from bottom bar
2. Dashboard Pane

Dashboard Pane shows the option to add sheets and objects to the dashboard, give a title, and change the size of the dashboard.

Dashboard Pane

2.1 Customize the size of the Dashboard

The Size field shows the minimum and maximum range of width and height of the dashboard. we can customize this size according to our requirements.

2.2 Adding sheets to the Dashboard

All available worksheets in the workbook will be displayed in the Sheets field. To add a sheet, drag and drop (or double-click) a sheet from the Sheets field present in the Dashboard Pane. It will display all the visualizations we have on that sheet on our dashboard.

2.3 Adding objects to the Dashboard

The objects field gives us the option to add a wide variety of objects such as a Text box, image, Horizontal and vertical containers, web page, button, text box, extension, etc. to our dashboards.

2.4 Give a Title to the Dashboard

When you click the check box button "Show dashboard title" a text box will appear on the top of the dashboard where you can give a suitable title for your dashboard.



Tips to make the Dashboard impressive

In this blog, we are discussing a bunch of tips to make our dashboard impressive.

1. Size the Dashboard to give a perfect fit look in every environment.

Tableau is a visualization tool that can be accessed even through mobile phones so always design your dashboard to fit comfortably in the available space by customizing the pixel height and width. Tableau has predefined sizes to help you lay out the dimensions of your dashboard. Tableau's custom size feature makes it easy to define custom size ranges if the default values don’t look perfect for your dashboards.


Step 1: Select the Size field on the Dashboard tab and do the changes.

2. Employ optimized dashboard design

when you design a dashboard try to avoid clutter while adding sheets. Limiting the number of sheets to 4 or 5 is always a best practice and thus results in a best-performing dashboard. Using a grid layout for your dashboard is also recommended.

I have added 4 sheets to my dashboard which show different views of the sample superstore datasets (Source: www.kaggle.com )

"Sample superstore" analysis Dashboard

3. Standardization of Fonts

Typography is important to keep our dashboard looking consistent and neat. Instead of using different font styles and sizes follow a fixed hierarchy for your typography. Always try to limit the number of fonts in a dashboard to 4 to give standardization of fonts. Please consider the consistent font structure for each content in a dashboard.

In my design I followed the following Typography :

 

Font style:

Times New Roman

Font Size:

Dashboard title – 20pt

Subtitles and Chart Titles – 16pt

Labels and Text – 14pt

 

4. Select relevant objects to the Dashboard

Tableau public has the option to add different objects such as Text, web page, Extension, images, buttons, etc. to your dashboard. Always select the object which is relevant to your Dashboard. Here I show how to use a Text box in your dashboard as an example.

Step 1: Select Text from the Objects field of the dashboard pane, and write the text that you want to include in your dashboard.


Step 2:Drag and drop the text box to the appropriate position in the dashboard.

5. Give a Suitable Title to the Dashboard

Always choose a precise and short title for your dashboard. The title could able to convey the idea of what should be the dashboard content.

Step 1: Select the Check box for Show dashboard Title in the Dashboard pane and give a Title and do the typography.


6. Removal and placement of Legends to appropriate positions

Consider placing all legends to best-fit positions in the dashboard and when possible, it’s best to label data directly and then you don’t even need to include a legend. Remove unwanted legends from the dashboard to give it a neat look.

In my dashboard Sales data is already available in the Funnel chart, so consider removing of sales legend from your dashboard.

Now, let's discuss how to remove Legends from your dashboard:

Step 1: Select the Sales legend, from the drop-down menu click on "Remove from Dashboard".

Step 2: sales legend has been removed from the dashboard.

7. Consider Giving a drop-down option for Filters

Tableau defaults to showing filters as a list, but the dropdown menu option is much better.

In my dashboard, the Region filter shows a list, which is space-consuming so let's consider changing it to a drop-down presentation.

How to give a filter box drop drown menu option:

Step 1: Select the Region filter and click "Multiple values (dropdown)" from the list.

Step 2: Now, the Region filter has been changed to the drop-down menu option.


8. Limit the Use of colors on your sheets

Use Color Strategically, Too much color on a dashboard is confusing and can not offer a professional look to your dashboard. Try to limit the use of the color to expressing one dimension or one measure. Also, try to follow a similar color pattern while applying border and background color for each individual sheet. Right next to the Dashboard pane is the Layout pane where we can enhance the appearance and layout of the dashboard by setting the position, size, border, and background.

Choose one or two colors to do most of the work and then use neutral colors such as black, gray, and white where needed.

Let's discuss how to give Give Borders and Background color to each sheet.

Step 1: Select a single sheet on the dashboard, In the Layout pane, apply desired border and background color.

Step 2: The border and background color of the selected sheet has been changed.

Step 3: Apply similarly to all sheets, Legends, Objects, and Dashboard Title.

9. Dashboard Formatting

we can modify our overall dashboard according to our requirements using the dashboard options which is available in the menubar. Here I modified my dashboard background color. follow the below steps to change the background color of your dashboards.

Step 1: Select the Format option from the Dashboard dropdown list.

step 2: From the "Format Dashboard" pane select your desired color from Dashboard Shading.

In the Format Dashboard pane do explore the options to modify your worksheet title, Dashboard title, and Text objects.

10. Share your project with others

We can share our dashboard with other Tableau Public users. Sharing your work is a best practice to get feedback from others so that we can improve our analytics skills. Always save your work to your Tableau public account so that you can share it with everyone.

Steps to save your dashboard to Tableau public:

Step 1: Select File from the menubar, then click " Save to Tableau Public as" from the drop-down list.

Step 2: Give a Workbook Title and hit the save button.

To see the above dashboard visualization please visit my Tableau Public account: Dashboard Tips | Tableau Public

So, here is our final visualization of the Sample superstore dashboard.

I hope this blog shares some ideas and thinking about how to optimize your own dashboards. This concludes my tutorial on how to create impressive dashboards in Tableau Public.


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