Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Rough Guide to Tableau Dashboard Actions

As you probably can tell by now, I really enjoying building data visualisations in Tableau. Whether for this blog or for work, I strive to build dashboards that people will be able to use to explore the data at their own pace and discover their own insights.

One way I attempt to do this is by using, what I hope is, engaging visual design. The other is by building in interactive features into the dashboard that people can play with to start changing the views of the data. This is accomplished in three primary ways: Quick Filters, Parameters and Dashboard Actions. Of these three Dashboard Actions have become my favourite as they are probably the most flexible and offer the most immersive experience. So here's my rough guide to Tableau Dashboard Actions. Its not completely exhaustive, and its not particularly technical,  but if you are fairly new to Tableau, or even an experienced user, I hope you will find it a useful guide.

What is a Dashboard Action?

A dashboard action is an interactive element on a Tableau dashboard that is driven from the worksheets within that dashboard. There are three types of dashboard action:
 - Filter
 - Highlight
 - URL

Tableau themselves provide a good run down of how to build in Dashboard Actions here So rather than repeat what Tableau have already documented, I am going to show a variety of use cases for using Dashboard Actions and how to implement them. Those use cases are:

Use Case 1: Basic Chart to Chart Filtering
Use Case 2: Pre-Filtering a Large Table
Use Case 3: Creating a 'Cross-Blend' Filter
Use Case 4: Showing Images
Use Case 5: Dynamic Text or Titles
Use Case 6: Linking Out to Web Pages
Use Case 7: Highlighting and Labelling
Use Case 8: Switching Dashboards
Use Case 9: Mixing Things Up