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Tableau for Dummies


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Part I: Getting Started with Tableau Desktop 1 Part II: Bringing in Data 2 Part III: Analyzing Data 2 Part IV: Publishing and Sharing 2 Part V: Advancing to a Higher Level 2 Part VI: The Part of Tens 2 Conventions Used in This Book 2 Foolish Assumptions 3 Icons Used in This Book 3 Beyond the Book 4 Where to Go from Here 4 Part I: Getting Started with Tableau Desktop 5 Chapter 1: A Brief Introduction to Tableau Desktop 7 Starting with Tableau 7 Downloading the Tableau trial 8 Installing the trial software 8 Looking at the Tableau Workspace 10 Starting Tableau 10 Viewing a sample workbook or data source 11 Seeing what Tableau can really do 14 Chapter 2: Seeing What You Can Do with Tableau 17 Analyzing Data 17 Looking back at data analysis 17 Connecting to your data in Tableau 18 Understanding Tableau worksheets 21 Starting to analyze data 23 Enhancing the analysis 24 Creating Dashboards 30 Telling the Story 33 Chapter 3: Understanding the Basics 35 Getting to Know the Tableau Desktop Environment 35 Looking at the Tableau Start page 36 Understanding the Data Source Page 37 Using worksheets to explore data 38 Getting to know the Dashboard workspace 40 Understanding the Story workspace 42 Connecting to Your Data 43 Editing your data source 43 Replacing a data source 46 Working with Dimensions and Measures 49 Understanding dimensions 49 Understanding measures 50 Choosing Chart Types 51 Modifying Your View 54 Part II: Bringing in Data 57 Chapter 4: Understanding Data Connections 59 Understanding Data Sources 59 Considering how data is stored 59 Using file-based data sources 61 Understanding Different Editions of Tableau Desktop 61 Considering Live Data versus Data Extracts 62 Chapter 5: Connecting to Data 67 Preparing Your Data 67 Using the data preparation features 68 Targeting data sources for manual corrections 70 Establishing a Connection to Your Data Source 71 Keeping Your Data Fresh 73 Chapter 6: Visualizing Data 75 Using the Shelves and Cards 75 The Columns shelf 76 The Rows shelf 78 Using a quick filter to exclude data 80 The Filters shelf 84 Pages shelf 88 Marks card 90 Modifying the View 93 Fitting the space 93 Adding annotations 94 Adding mark labels 96 Part III: Analyzing Data 97 Chapter 7: Understanding the Tableau Desktop Environment 99 Looking at the Menus 99 File menu 100 Data menu 101 Worksheet menu 103 Dashboard menu 104 Story menu 105 Analysis menu 105 Map menu 108 Format menu 108 Server menu 109 Window menu 111 Help menu 112 Making Use of the Toolbar 113 Organizing Sheets 115 Chapter 8: Considering Data Display Options 119 Using Show Me 119 Understanding the Chart Options in Show Me 120 Area charts (continuous) 120 Area charts (discrete) 121 Box-and-whisker plot 121 Bullet graphs 123 Circle views 123 Dual combination 124 Dual lines 124 Filled maps 126 Gantt 126 Heat maps 127 Highlight tables 127 Histogram 128 Horizontal bars 128 Lines (continuous) 130 Lines (discrete) 130 Packed bubbles 132 Pie charts 132 Scatter plots 133 Side-by-side bars 133 Side-by-side circles 135 Stacked bars 135 Symbol maps 136 Text tables 136 Treemaps 138 Viewing Your Data 138 Examining the data used in a view 139 Examining a subset of the data 141 Chapter 9: Adding Worksheets 145 Seeing Why Multiple Worksheets Are Useful 145 Naming and Organizing Worksheets 150 Naming worksheets 150 Organizing worksheets 151 Chapter 10: Creating Dashboards 155 Understanding the Purpose of Dashboards 155 Adding a Dashboard 156 Organizing Your Dashboards 161 Adding a logo 161 Adding a web page 161 Moving and resizing content 163 Ensuring Ease of Use 166 Synchronizing quick filters 166 Hiding the panel 167 Promoting Exploration through Actions 169 Using a view as a filter 169 Adding additional actions 170 Chapter 11: Building Stories 175 Discovering the Value of Stories 175 Telling Stories with Purpose 179 Part IV: Publishing and Sharing 183 Chapter 12: Publishing Workbooks 185 Understanding Publishing 185 Sharing Your Tableau Workbooks 186 Providing Access to Analysis 192 Chapter 13: Sharing Files with Tableau Reader 195 Looking at the Reader App 195 Providing Access 199 Part V: Advancing to a Higher Level 203 Chapter 14: Advanced Visual Analytics 205 Using Advanced Analytics 205 Calculations 205 Parameters 206 Totals 206 Reference lines, bands, distributions, and boxes 209 Trend lines 214 Forecasting 216 Chapter 15: Creating Calculations 221 Seeing How Calculations Can Be Useful 221 Calculated fields 221 Table calculations 222 Creating Calculations and Parameters 223 Creating calculated fields 223 Creating table calculations and percentages 227 Creating parameters 231 Customizing Your Data with Parameters 234 Chapter 16: Unlocking the Language of Calculated Fields 237 Looking at Data Types 237 Understanding Functions 238 Considering Operators 239 Part VI: The Part of Tens 241 Chapter 17: Ten Great Tableau Tips 243 Don't Wait for Your Source Data to Be Perfect 243 Reuse Data Connections 243 When in Doubt, Right-Click 243 The Undo Button Is Your Friend 244 Pay Attention to Visual Cues 244 Leverage Your Previous Work 244 Visual Best Practices Are Worth Learning 244 Test for Performance 244 Keep It Simple 245 Save Early and Often 245 Chapter 18: Ten Tableau Resources 247 Free On-Demand Training 247 In-Person and Virtual Classroom Training 247 Community and Forums 247 Knowledge Base 249 Support 249 Tableau Visual Gallery 249 White Papers 251 On-Demand and Live Webinars 251 Events and Conferences 251 Tableau-Related Blogs 253 Index 255

About the Author

Molly Monsey joined Tableau in 2009 as a technical product consultant. She and Paul Sochan work together to lead the Tableau training team. Today she recruits, trains, and supports instructors who educate Tableau users all over the world. Paul Sochan joined Tableau in 2010 and serves as the Senior Director of Global Education Services. The training team he built with Molly Monsey develops all Tableau training offerings. Paul has been in the Business Intelligence space since 1994.

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