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Tableau is an industry-leading business intelligence (BI) tool that focuses on data visualization, dashboarding, and data discovery. It connects to a wide range of data sources and enables users to gain valuable insights, show trends quickly, and create reports. Establishing a data-driven foundation can help organizations discover insights and trends through data visualization. Here's how simple it can be: 

1. Connect to your data

Your data can come from a PDF or text file but using a Microsoft Excel file offers the smoothest data transition. Tableau creates a direct connection to the file. There is no importing or storing of the data, meaning that any changes you make to the spreadsheet will be directly tied to your Workbook.

Select the Spreadsheet you want your data to be sourced from and drag it into your Workbook.

You will be able to see all the columns in your spreadsheet as well as the first 1000 rows. Once you have connected to your data and have Selected the spreadsheet you want to work with, it's time to create your first Worksheet.

2. Analyze it by creating visualizations

Select Sheet 1 and Go to Worksheet. First, look over the Data Pane to make sure you have selected the correct Excel Spreadsheet.

Next, change any of the properties or formatting you would like in your Dashboard ($, decimals, numbers, etc.).


Since Tableau is a drag-and-drop application, go ahead and drag whichever data field you want to be represented in the Column shelf. Once on the shelf, you can format the Pill to show specific data.


Next, take a corresponding value and drag it over to the Rows shelf. You will now be able to visualize and interact with the data you have created.

If you would like to make the data set more interactive for an end-user, add some data sets to the Filter panel and edit what you would want to see. Try and change the Color, Size, and Label in the Marks panel as well!

Once you have finished editing your Worksheet, double click on Sheet 1 and rename it accordingly. Continue creating as many worksheets as needed for your Dashboard. 

3. Share the visualizations using dashboards

After you've created multiple Worksheets, it's time to make a Dashboard. A Dashboard is used to combine the information from your worksheets and allow end-users to interact with them and discover insights and trends in the data.

 First, you'll want to make the size Automatic to fit the screen.

Next, you'll start dragging and dropping your worksheets into the desired spaces on the Dashboard.

If you want to make your Dashboard even more interactive, add a Filter for all the worksheets. Click the down arrow on More Options, Scroll to Apply to Worksheets, Click Apply to Selected Worksheets, Click the All on Dashboard Button, and click Okay.


Now, every Worksheet will only show data from that selected year! Allow end-users to interact and find their own trends in the data. Congrats! You’ve just finished making your very first Dashboard.    

Want more information on Tableau? Click here to check out our free resources and the latest courses we offer as a Tableau Authorized Training Partner!