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Data Visualization - Tableau

What is a dashboard?

  • A collection of several worksheets and supporting information shown in a single place.
  • Allows you to create a single page containing more than one worksheet.

Key terms

  • Workbook: Workbook consists of one or more sheets. A workbook is a file that has a .twb extension.
  • Sheets: Sheets can be either a worksheet, dashboard or story.
  • Worksheet: A worksheet is a sheet that contains a single visualization created by dragging fields onto shelves.
  • Story:  A story allows you to create a guided tour through a series of sheets.

How do I create a dashboard in Tableau?

  • Tableau has created a series of video tutorials on how to create a dashboard. As well, Duke University Libraries had created an excellent tutorial.

Best practices for effective dashboards


  • Purpose
  • Audience
  • Display size
  • Number of views (or visualizations)
  • Security
  • Addition of interactivity

How can I create a more effective dashboard?

  • Group related worksheets together
  • Anticipate potential questions that your audience may have and add interactivity and filters to support exploration
  • Keep dashboards simple to more effectively communicate your message

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