Creating a Tableau Dashboard

by Matthew Barlowe

If you read my last tutorial on Pivot Tables and followed along you would have created a graph where you could select a player from the drop down menu and the visual would show you that player's values for each stat. But what if you wanted to compare two different players at one time? Well that's where Tableau's dashboard comes in handy, and with a couple clicks you'll have a nice comparison feature up and running.

So once you have the intial graph created from the Pivot Table tutorial created, the next step in creating your comparison dashboard is to right click on the Sheet 1 tab (or whatever you have renamed it to) and select Duplicate. As you would expect from the name this will create an exact replica of your first graph. Now you have two graphs that do the exact same thing it's time to move on and create the comparison dashboard.

Creating the Dashboard

Now that you have the two graphs created its time to create a new dashboard in Tableau. This is done by click on the icon next to the worksheet tabs that looks like four squares with a plus on it. This will change the screen to the dashboard work space that looks like this:

A blank dashboard

The first step I do when create a dashboard is to change the size of the dashboard to fit what my needs are. You can see the size dropdown menu on the left of the screen. It is preset to a Range of values which adjust depending on the screen of the viewer. For this dashboard I'm just going to set a fixed size. So I click on the size and then next I click on Range and select Fixed instead. Next I click on the size underneath fixed and select Laptop Browser which will then increase the size of the white space.

So next all you have to do is drag the two sheets from the left hand menu onto the dashboard space. Once you do that you will have something like this:

A blank dashboard

The only other move I would do is drag the drop boxes to the top of the dashboard so they are over the top of their respective graphs and that's it. You've now created your first true dashboard and it's that simple. As you can see most of the work is done in the worksheets themselves before you start creating the dashboard itself. Now this isn't everything you can do in a Dashboard, but to get a simple, yet powerful and informative, up and running only takes a couple of steps once you have the original graphs created. Here is what your final product should look like:
A blank dashboard

The finished dashboard can be found here if you want to download the workbook and play around with the dashboard. This is just the beginning of what one can do with dashboard as there are many aesthetic options one can tweek to change the finished appearance of the dashboard itself. I'll get into all the options in a later tutorial one can do to customize their dashboard, but to get you started on sharing your data with the world this is a good first step.