1. Building Tableau Visualizations


Visualizations are the most powerful feature within Tableau. In this opening lesson, I'll show you how to create different types of charts using the Show Me dropdown.

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Visualizations in Tableau

- Tableau offers a wealth of visualization options for your data
- This course will show you how and when to deploy the most useful visualizations
- Visualizations are created using the Show Me dropdown in the top-right corner

How to create a visualization

- To get started, simply drag the measures and dimensions you want to visualize into shelves
- Tableau will then automatically choose which visualization best suits your data
- This may not be the best option, so experiment with the different available options
- Also experiment with the different options in the Marks card to improve your visualization
- To undo a change in a visualization, simply press Undo or use the shortcut, CTRL + Z


Perhaps Tableau's greatest strength as a software product is its ability to create compelling visualizations quickly that help you gain greater insight into your data, particularly, for large data sets. In contrast to traditional visualization tools like Excel, Tableau has many more options to choose from.

However, when starting off, it can take some time to learn the most effective visualization options available in Tableau. This course is here to teach you how to create these visualizations. Over the course of the next 10 or so lessons, we will learn how to create interactive maps, understand box plots, create custom interactive visualizations, shapes, and much more.

However, in this opening lesson, we're going to take an in-depth look at how to create various charts in Tableau and the options available for each type of chart.

In this course, we're going to be using a number of different datasets to create different types of visualization. But to begin with, I'm going to use the fee earner dataset from the accountancy firm in the first course. To view this data, let's go to the data source.

And as you can see, each row of data corresponds to a particular task completed by a fee earner for various clients at different charge out rates and generating different amounts of value.

As we learned in the first course on Tableau, the show me option was the various visualizations available in Tableau. When you drag different types of data into the columns and rows shelves, Tableau will recommend a particular visualization, which is not necessarily always the best one. When you have data included in the rows and shelves, the show me option only includes the available charts in color. So for example, the pie chart, it would also include colored cells, and in this case, the box plot and public chart.

One available visualization options will remain grayed out. If a chart is grayed out, it means that the current view does not contain the correct number of dimensions and measures to create this chart. For example, I currently have one dimension, which is fee earner, and one measure, which is value. As a consequence, I can create a scatter plot, which requires more than one measure to create the visualization. If I add another measure, this chart will now become available. So let's do this.

I'll bring the data pane back.

I'll add minutes.

As you can see, the scatterplot is now available.

Let's now remove minutes again, and the scatterplot is again grayed out.

Although you may start off with a measure on one shelf and a dimension on another shelf, these will move around as you change the visualization. For example, if I flip this bar chart into a bubble chart, you can now see that the sum of value corresponds to size and the fee earner is the label. And these values are no longer in the columns and rows chef.

If I flip back to the bar chart, the values return again. With every visualization in Tableau, we always have the marks card which governs the formatting of the visualization, and it contains six different options that you can change in your visualization.

The first of these options is the dropdown which determines the shape of each point on your visualization.

For example, I might want to change my bar chart to circles.

And when I do this, you can see the chart update accordingly.

Alternatively, I can select area or I can even select a line chart.

In this scenario, I think bars work the best. So I flip these back to the original. This drop down option becomes especially useful when we want to combine two charts in one, which I'm going to be doing in a later lesson.

Five formatting options remain in the marks card, and I'll show you how to use these in the next lesson.

Tableau Essentials
Creating Visualizations in Tableau


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