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Tableau Your Data!: Fast and Easy Visual Analysis with Tableau Software, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-00119-5
736 pages
January 2016
Tableau Your Data!: Fast and Easy Visual Analysis with Tableau Software, 2nd Edition (1119001196) cover image

Description

Transform your organization's data into actionable insights with Tableau

Tableau is designed specifically to provide fast and easy visual analytics. The intuitive drag-and-drop interface helps you create interactive reports, dashboards, and visualizations, all without any special or advanced training. This all new edition of Tableau Your Data! is your Tableau companion, helping you get the most out of this invaluable business toolset.

Tableau Your Data! shows you how to build dynamic, best of breed visualizations using the Tableau Software toolset. This comprehensive guide covers the core feature set for data analytics, and provides clear step-by-step guidance toward best practices and advanced techniques that go way beyond the user manual. You'll learn how Tableau is different from traditional business information analysis tools, and how to navigate your way around the Tableau 9.0 desktop before delving into functions and calculations, as well as sharing with the Tableau Server.
Analyze data more effectively with Tableau Desktop

  • Customize Tableau's settings for your organization's needs with detailed real-world examples on data security, scaling, syntax, and more
  • Deploy visualizations to consumers throughout the enterprise - from sales to marketing, operations to finance, and beyond
  • Understand Tableau functions and calculations and leverage Tableau across every link in the value chain
  • Learn from actual working models of the book's visualizations and other web-based resources via a companion website

Tableau helps you unlock the stories within the numbers, and Tableau Your Data! puts the software's full functionality right at your fingertips.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xxv

Part I Desktop 1

1 Creating Visual Analytics with Tableau Desktop 3

The Shortcomings of Traditional Information Analysis 4

The Business Case for Visual Analysis 5

Three Kinds of Data That Exist in Every Entity 5

How Visual Analytics Improves Decision Making 6

Turning Data into Information with Visual Analytics 8

Analysis as a Creative Process 8

Tableau’s Desktop Tools 9

Tableau Desktop Personal Edition 9

Professional Edition 9

Tableau File Types 9

Tableau Reader 11

Tableau Online Help 11

Introducing the Tableau Desktop Workspace 11

New Workspace Design 11

Using the Start Page Controls Effectively 12

The Start Page 12

The Tableau Desktop Workspace 17

Summary 41

2 Connecting to Your Data 43

What You Will Learn in This Chapter 43

How to Connect to Your Data 44

Connecting to Desktop Sources 45

Understanding the Data Source Page 47

What Are Generated Values? 57

Knowing When to Use a Direct Connection or a

Data Extract 61

Using Tableau’s File Types Effectively 63

Dealing with Data Shaping and Data Quality 65

The Data Interpreter 68

3 Building Your First Visualization 93

Fast and Easy Analysis via Show Me 93

New Features 94

How Show Me Works 94

The Analytics Pane 103

Sorting Data in Tableau 118

Enhancing View with Filters, Sets, Groups, and Hierarchies 121

How Tableau Uses Date Fields 143

4 Creating Calculations to Enhance Data 155

What Is Aggregation? 156

Dimension versus Attribute 157

What Are Calculated Fields and Table Calculations? 159

How Do Calculated Fields Work? 159

Creating Calculated Fields with the Calculation Editor 160

Performing Ad Hoc Calculations 161

How Do Table Calculations Work? 161

A Word on Calculations and Cubes 162

Using the Calculation Editor to Build Calculated Fields 163

Ad Hoc Calculated Fields 164

Building Formulas Using Table Calculations 166

Adding Flexibility to Calculations with Parameters 177

Why You Should Learn Level of Detail Expressions 183

5 Using Maps to Improve Insight 191

New Map Features 192

Creating a Standard Map View 192

How Tableau Geocodes Your Data 195

Searching for Items in Maps 197

Typical Map Errors and How to Deal with Them 199

Plotting Your Own Locations on a Map 200

Replacing Tableau’s Standard Maps 205

Using Custom Background Images to Plot Spatial Data 211

Notes 219

6 Developing an Ad Hoc Analysis Environment 221

Data Discovery as a Creative Process 221

Preparing Your Team for Success 222

Qualities of a Good Data Analyst 223

Doing Effective Discovery Work 224

What IT Can Do to Help 224

Spreading Discovery to Information Consumers 225

Generating New Data with Forecasts 225

Providing Self-Service Ad Hoc Analysis with Parameters 231

What Are Parameters? 231

How Can Parameters Be Used? 231

Basic Parameter Controls 232

Advanced Parameter Controls 236

Editing Views in Tableau Server 239

7 Tips, Tricks, and Timesavers 243

Saving Time and Improving Formatting 243

Double-Click Fields to Build Faster 243

Reduce Clicks Using the Right Mouse Button Drag 245

Quick Copy Fields with Control-Drag 246

Replace Fields by Dropping the New Field on Top 246

Right-Click to Edit or Format Anything 247

Editing or Removing Titles from Axis Headings 247

Quicken Your Presentation Page Views 248

A Faster Way to Access Field Menu Options 250

Zooming the Formula Dialog Box 250

Drag a Field into the Formula Dialog box 250

Swap Data in Pane and Reference Line Fields 251

Improving Appearance to Convey Meaning More Precisely 251

Changing the Appearance of Dates 251

Formatting Tooltip Content 252

Change the Order of Color Expressed in Charts 252

Exposing a Header in a One-Column Text Table 253

Unpacking a Packaged Workbook File 255

Make a Parameterized Axis Label 255

Using Continuous Quick Filters for Ranges of Values 256

Create Your Own Custom Date Hierarchy 256

Concatenating to Make Custom Fields 258

Using Legends to Build Highlight Actions 258

Formatting Null Value Results 260

When to Use Floating Objects in Dashboards 264

Combined Axis Shading in a Scatter Plot 266

Creating Folders to Hold Fields 268

Customizing Shapes, Colors, Fonts, and Images 269

Customizing Shapes 269

Customizing Colors 271

Customizing Fonts 272

Customizing Images in Dashboards 273

Advanced Chart Types 274

Bar-in-Bar Chart 274

Pareto Charts 275

Sparklines 280

Bullet Graphs 281

8 Bringing It All Together with Dashboards 285

How Dashboards Facilitate Analysis and Understanding 285

How Tableau Improves the Dashboard-Building Process 286

The Wrong Way to Build a Dashboard 287

The Right Way to Build a Dashboard 289

Best Practices for Dashboard Building 290

Size the Dashboard to Fit the Worst-Case Available Space 291

Employ Four-Pane Dashboard Designs 291

Use Actions to Filter Instead of Quick Filters 293

Build Cascading Dashboard Designs to Improve

Load Speeds 293

Limit the Use of Color to One Primary Color Scheme 294

Use Small Instructions Near the Work to Make

Navigation Obvious 295

Filter Information Presented in Crosstabs to Provide

Relevant Details-on-Demand 296

Remove All Non-Data-Ink 298

Avoid One-Size-Fits-All Dashboards 298

Work to Achieve Dashboard Load Times of Less

Than Ten Seconds 299

Building Your First Advanced Dashboard 299

Introducing the Dashboard Worksheet 299

Position the Worksheet Objects in the Dashboard

Workspace 304

Using Layout Containers to Position Objects 308

Positioning the Select Year Text Table and Legends 311

Inserting and Moving Text Objects 312

Positioning and Fitting the Dashboard Objects 315

Ensure That Each Worksheet Object Fits Its Entire View 316

Create More Descriptive Titles for Each Data Pane 317

Improving the Bullet Graph and Sparkline Charts 318

Improving the Text Tables and Scatter Plot 326

Using Actions to Create Advanced Dashboard Navigation 328

Using the Select Year Text Table to Filter the Main Dashboard 329

Adding a Column Heading to Select Year 331

Adding Dynamic Title Content 332

Auto-Generating Highlight Actions from Legends 333

Understanding the Action Dialog Box 336

Embedding a Live Website in a Dashboard 340

Assemble Dashboard 2 345

Adding Details on Demand with Tooltips 354

Enhancing Tooltips and Titles 356

Adding a Read Me Dashboard 358

Bonus: Adding a Floating Dashboard Object 359

Finishing the Titles in the Main Dashboard 363

Sharing Your Dashboard with Tableau Reader 364

Security Considerations for Publishing via

Tableau Reader 365

Using the Tableau Performance Recorder to Improve

Load Speed 366

Sharing Dashboards with Tableau Online or Tableau Server 367

9 Designing for Mobile 369

The Physics of Mobile Consumption 370

Security Considerations for Mobile Consumption 370

Offline Access 371

Typical Mobile Usage Patterns 373

Just-In-Time Use 373

Mobile Design Implications 374

Design Best Practices for Mobile Consumption 374

Design Implications Related to Screen Resolution 375

Best Practices for Mobile Design 375

Design for a Specific Orientation 375

Consider the Limits of Finger Navigation 375

Reduce the Number of Worksheets Being Displayed 378

A Tablet Dashboard Example 378

Mobile Authoring and Editing 382

A Note on Project Elastic 383

10 Conveying Your Findings with Stories 385

Turning Analysis into Insight 385

Building a Story 386

The Story Workspace 387

A Story Example 389

Formatting Story Points 390

Sharing Your Story Point Deck 391

Part II Server 393

11 Installing Tableau Server 395

What’s New in Version 9? 396

Reasons to Deploy Tableau Server 397

Data Governance 398

Efficiency 398

Flexibility 399

Licensing Options for Tableau Server and Tableau Online 399

Determining Your Hardware and Software Needs 399

New Feature: Persistent Query Cache 401

Determining What Kind of Server License to Purchase 401

Tableau Server’s Architecture 402

Sizing the Server Hardware 403

A Scale-Up Scenario 404

A Scale-Out Scenario 404

Environmental Factors That Can Affect Performance 405

Network Performance 405

Browser 405

Resource Contention 405

Configuring Tableau Server for the First Time 405

General Setup Menu Tab 406

General: Run as User, User Authentication, and

Active Directory 407

General: Gateway Port Number 408

General: Open Port in Windows Firewall 408

General: Include Sample Data and Users 408

Data Connection Tab 409

Alerts and Subscriptions 410

Server Processes 411

Security Options 412

External Secure Sockets Layer 414

SAML—Security Assertion Markup Language 415

Kerberos—A Ticket-Based Security Protocol 416

Managing Ownership Through Hierarchy 417

Workbooks and Views 417

User 418

Project 418

Group 418

Site 418

Permissions 419

Permissions for Web Edit, Save, and Download 420

Providing Data Security with User Filters 421

Applying a User Filter to a Data Source 424

Creating a Hybrid Filter from the Data Source 425

What Is the Data Server? 427

When and How to Deploy Server on Multiple Physical Boxes 428

Deploying Tableau Server in High Availability Environments 429

Three-Node Cluster 429

Four-Node Cluster 430

Leveraging Existing Security with Trusted Authentication 432

Deploying Tableau Server in Multi-national Environments 434

Tableau Server Performance Recorder 436

Show Events Filter 438

Timeline Gantt Chart 439

Events Sorted by Time 439

Query Text 439

Performance-Tuning Tactics 439

Query Execution 439

Geocoding 439

Connecting to the Data Source 440

Layout Computations 440

Generating Extract 440

Blending Data 441

Server Rendering 441

Managing Tableau Server in the Cloud 441

What Does It Mean to Be in the Cloud? 441

Tableau’s Cloud-Based Versions of Server 442

Putting Tableau Server in the Cloud 443

Monitoring Activity on Tableau Server 443

Status Section 445

Analysis Section 445

Log Files Section 445

Rebuilt Search Index Section 446

Editing Server Settings and Monitoring Licensing 446

Server Settings General Page 446

Server Setting License Page 447

Partner Add-On Toolkits 448

12 Managing Tableau Server 449

Managing Published Dashboards in Tableau Server 449

Project 451

Name 452

Tags 452

Views to Share 452

Options 452

Edit 453

Navigating Tableau Server 454

Organizing Reports for Consumption 457

Adding Tags to Workbooks 458

Creating a Favorite 459

Options for Securing Reports 461

The Application Layer 461

Defining Custom Roles 462

A Permission-Setting Example 464

Improve Efficiency with the Data Server 469

Publishing a Data Source 469

Consuming Information in Tableau Server 474

Finding Information 475

Authoring and Editing Reports via Server 480

What Is Required to Author Reports on the Web? 480

Server Design and Usage Considerations Related to

Web and Tablet Authoring 481

Differences Between Desktop and Web or Tablet Authoring 482

Saving and Exporting via the Web-Tablet Environment 488

Export 488

Save and Save As 489

Recommendations for Implementing Web/Tablet Authoring 489

Sharing Connections, Data Models, and Data Extracts 490

Offering a Common Data Library 490

Sharing Data Models 490

Embedding Tableau Reports Securely on the Web 491

When to Embed a Dashboard 491

When Your Reports Are a Piece of a Larger SaaS Offering 491

Providing a More Robust Environment 492

How to Embed a Dashboard 492

Further Control Using Passed Parameters 494

Tips and Tricks for Embedding Dashboards 494

Using Trusted Ticket Authentication as an Alternative Single

Sign-On Method 495

Using Subscriptions to Deliver Reports via E‑mail 496

Creating Subscription Schedules 496

13 Automating Tableau Server 501

Tableau Server’s APIs 501

What Do Tabcmd and Tabadmin Do? 502

Installing the Command-Line Tools 502

Setting the Windows Path 505

What Kind of Tasks Can Tabcmd Do? 506

Learning to Leverage Tabcmd 507

Manually Entering and Running a Script in Tabcmd 508

Running Tabcmd Scripts via Batch Files 509

The Steps Required to Create Batch Processing Scripts 509

Using Windows Scheduler to Fully Automate Scripts 511

Common Use Cases for Tabcmd 513

Automating Extracts with the Extract API 515

Data Extract API 515

Using the Extract API with Python 517

Data Extract Command-Line Utility 520

REST API 521

Initial Transactions 521

Part III Case Studies 527

14 Ensuring a Successful Tableau Deployment 529

Deploying Tableau—Lessons Learned 529

Effective Use of Consultants 529

Your Team’s Current Knowledge 530

The Data Landscape 530

The Tableau User Group at Cigna 531

Taking Care of Vizness 531

Resourcing 532

Cadence 532

Format 533

Topics 533

Effectiveness and Attendance 534

Tracking Participation 535

Success 535

Part IV Appendixes 537

A Tableau’s Product Ecosystem 539

B S upported Data Source Connections 543

C Keyboard Shortcuts 547

D Recommended Hardware Configurations 551

E Understanding Tableau Functions 555

F Companion Website 657

Glossary 659

Index 673

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Author Information

DANIEL G. MURRAY founded the InterWorks Tableau/BI practice in 2008, laying the foundation for InterWorks to become the premier Gold Professional Consulting Partner for Tableau Software. He is an in-demand speaker and was a Tableau Zen Master from 2014 to 2015.

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Chapter 1 :: Data Files 6.03 MB Click to Download
Chapter 2 :: Data Files 17.98 MB Click to Download
Chapter 3 :: Data Files 13.86 MB Click to Download
Chapter 4 :: Data Files 9.06 MB Click to Download
Chapter 5 :: Data Files 31.52 MB Click to Download
Chapter 6 :: Data Files 3.67 MB Click to Download
Chapter 7 :: Data Files 16.03 MB Click to Download
Chapter 8 :: Data Files 27.02 MB Click to Download
Chapter 9 :: Data Files 2.39 MB Click to Download
Chapter 10 :: Data Files 8.11 MB Click to Download
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