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Tableau Training Manual Version 9.0 Advanced: From Clutter to Clarity

Tableau Training Manual Version 9.0 Advanced: From Clutter to Clarity

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Tableau Training Manual Version 9.0 Advanced: From Clutter to Clarity

221 pages
1 hour
Dec 2, 2015


Now in its 6th edition with version 9.0, my goals remain the same – to write this document through the eyes of the average and advanced users. Early on the average Tableau user can be overwhelmed by the array of features and functions that repeatedly use menus or right-click options to yet another set of choices. This manual is intended for new users who range from days to a few months. It was not written for those who seek Tableau Certification(s) or highly advanced users. It does contain some lessons that introduce advanced material to enable the user to “see” what the future can be with Tableau. The manual begins at a level geared to the average user and is written in simple language unaffected by a need to promote extraneous features.

I believe (and our customers tell me) that this manual provides the best examples and descriptions in a step-by-step process that is the most efficient way to learn about Tableau. An array of Tableau Packaged Workbooks (software examples) complements the written word in the manual. These Workbooks present the end result of following the lessons step by step.
Dec 2, 2015

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Tableau Training Manual Version 9.0 Advanced - Larry Keller


Section 1 – Analytic Lessons Introduction

Introduction – This manual was written for Tableau Desktop users who are familiar with most Tableau concepts, i.e., the creation of calculated fields, all chart options and the basics for connecting to data including extracts. It is impossible to cover every Tableau feature and function, as the manual might then be well in excess of 500 pages. The inclusion of Tableau Packaged Workbooks, which complement this manual, will provide the user with a solid foundation of advanced skills to prepare for various Tableau Certification options: Tableau Desktop 9 Qualified Associate; Tableau Desktop 9 Certified Professional; Tableau Desktop 9 Delta exam. (The latter course is for those who are 8.0 certified.) Below are some of the examples of advanced content included in this manual.

Drag and drop analytics:

Tableau 9.0 has a new Analytics pane that provides quick and easy access to common analytic features. You can drag reference lines, forecasts, trend lines, and other objects into your view from the Analytics panel. It is now easy to edit, format, and remove the analytic items that you have added so that you can experiment with different techniques as you explore the insights the data has to offer.

Ad hoc calculations:

Ad hoc calculations make it easy to add and edit calculated fields for your analysis. Example – Double-click an existing field on the Rows, Columns, Marks, or Measure Values shelf to begin editing; or double-click an empty area on a shelf to create a new calculation. As you type, a list of auto-complete options appears in a dropdown list, making it easier to find and pick the right elements.

Instant analytics:

Instant analytics provides an interactive experience to compare summary information about a subset of marks with all the marks in your view. For example, you can compare the average for a few marks to the average for all the marks. After you’ve added trend lines, reference lines, reference bands, or distribution bands to your view, select one or more marks to see the new analytical indicators appear for the selection in addition to the analytical indicators for the whole view.

Level of Detail (LOD) Expressions:

New expression syntax in the Tableau calculation language enables the user to quickly create calculated fields that compute at the specified levels of detail. LOD calculations help the user to compute at multiple levels of aggregation and make it easier to create fields for analytical comparison (such as cohort analysis and totals or Average across segments), simplifying calculations that previously took several steps.

BPT – Best Practice Tip or BPTs are added to various lessons to reinforce best practices when using Tableau.

1) Analytic Lesson 1 – Profitability as a % of Total – Open Tableau 9.0. Data Source – Sample Subset (Excel)

a) Create a new worksheet – Rename it #1 – Profitability as a % of Total. Drag Sales to Columns; Drag Order Date to Columns to the left of Sales. Drag Customer Segment to Rows, and Drag Product Category to Rows to the right of Customer Segment ( Figure 1.0 ).

Figure 1.0

b) Right-click anywhere in the Dimensions or Measures Data Window and select Create Calculated Field. Name the calculation Profit or Loss. Enter this expression in the Formula field ( Figure 1.1 ).

IF [Profit] > 0 Then Profit

Else Loss


Click OK

Figure 1.1

c) On the Columns Shelf right-click on Sales and select Add Table Calculation, then make these selections:

•Click the Calculation Type and then Percent of Total

•Click the Summarize the values from: drop-down list and select Cell

•Click OK ( Figure 1.2 )

Figure 1.2

d) From the Dimensions Data Window, drag the Profit or Loss calculation highlighted in yellow to the Color Card. Place the cursor on the Green Sales Pill on Columns. Make a copy of the by using the mouse to control and drag the copy of Sum of Sales with the calculation to the Label Card. Right-click on the Sales Calculation to format and round off the percentages to whole numbers. There should now be a Sales Pill on Columns and a second Sales Pill just below the Blue Pill for Profit or Loss ( Figure 1.3 ).

Figure 1.3

2) Scope and Control of Quick Table Calculations – This lesson addresses the multiple ways of presenting Quick Table Calculations. Data Source- Sample Subset (Excel). There are three major levels of control for Table Calculations. References to Quick Table Calculations for worksheet naming and images will be abbreviated to QTC. This lesson includes the use of brand new features in 9.0.

•Quick Table Calculations – These are built-in calculations accessible to the user by placing the cursor on the measure in the view and right-clicking or using the pull-down arrow.

•Add Table Calculation – This option enables more control in creating a Table Calculation from an existing measure and is accessible from the measure in the view.

•Edit Table Calculation – This option is accessible from the measure in the view. Once a Table Calculation has been applied, the user has more control over direction and scope.

a) Create a new worksheet – Rename it #2– QTC Scope and Control. Drag Order Date to Columns. Drag Product Category to Rows and Product Sub-Category to the right of Product Category. Drag Sales to the Text Card ( Figure 1.4 ).

Figure 1.4

b) Refer to the Analysis Menu – Select and apply Show Row Grand Totals, Show Column Grand Totals and Add All Subtotals ( Figure 1.5 ). From Quick Table Calculations select Percent of Total.

Figure 1.5

c) The default direction of Tableau Calculations is Across the rows giving each row a Grand Total of 100% ( Figure 1.6 ).

Figure 1.6

d) Place the cursor on Sales, right-click and

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