TTIPEC: Data Visualization (top tips for using tableau)
Using Tableau Public is Easy. Before you begin there are a few things you should bear in mind:
1. Data visualisation can only be successful if underpinned by robust data.
2. Have an idea of what story you want your data to tell.
3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Explore Tableau.
Notes about Excel Sheets:
Excel is the foundation for all the visualisations we create in Tableau Public. Before we begin using
Tableau we should ensure that our Excel Data is correctly formatted.
1. Remove any unimportant headings.
2. Column headers should describe what is in every column e.g. Country, Ranking, Year, Name
3. Ensure you have one piece of data per row.
4. Remove unnecessary data from your excel document.
For more useful tips on using Microsoft Excel visit:
Some definitions and functions to guide you when using Tableau:
DIMENSIONS: Categorical fields that describe your data fields.
MEASURES: Contain mathematical/numerical data that can be used for mathematical
calculations e.g. SUM, AVERGAGE or COUNT
SHOW ME: Choose different dimensions and measures then show me highlights feasible
visualisations using data provided.
FILTERS: Build interactivity.
COUNTRY DATA: Tableau automatically configures geo-political information and adds
longitude and latitude data to the measure.
Understanding the options in the “Show Me” Panel:
1. Horizontal bars: compares one measure across one or more dimensions.
2. Stacked bars: elaborate on horizontal bars and further divide things by category.
3. Side by side bars: compares how things differ e.g. year by year.
4. Pie charts: proportions of a measure by one or more dimensions. Works best if dimensions
have few categories.
5. Scatter Plots: when you want to show a lot of different data. You can choose 2-4 measures
plus more dimensions.
6. Circle view: shows a range of measures by dimension. This is a good tool to identify outliers.
7. Filled maps: good for looking at sums of one measure.
8. Symbol map: shows more than one measure. Use different colours for each
9. Line graphs: for showing continuous data.
10. Area charts: shows changes in proportion over a continuous measure.
11. Tree maps: show multiple measures by categorical dimensions. Good to identify outliers.
12. Packed bubbles: shows differences in measure across one or more dimensions.
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