Create Your First Dashboard in Tableau

Shipra Saxena 11 Dec, 2023 • 6 min read


Suppose, the Superstore leadership has tasked us to do an analysis and designing a report that includes the sales number of the Superstore. Now here is the challenge, they don’t want to see four different pages of reports or four different Tableau worksheets.

Executives do not have the time or the patience to flip through pages or tabs to discern what’s going on. This is when dashboards come in handy for us. Dashboards are a powerful way to showcase different visualizations and analyses under one umbrella.

Note: If you are more interested in learning concepts in an Audio-Visual format, We have this entire article explained in the video below. If not, you may continue reading.

In this article, we are going to design our first dashboard to help the superstore team understand the sales number at an overall as well as at a granular level.

Let’s Begin

Before you start creating the dashboard with Tableau, it is a good practice to design it by hand with pen and paper. That means you must story down first. You should have a clear picture of what you want to show on the dashboard before you open up and start designing the visualization.

In this dashboard, I am going to show four things

  1. The Sales numbers by Category.
  2.  Sales numbers over time.
  3. Performance of Sales by States
  4. Sales by City

So, these are the four visualizations that I want on my superstore sales dashboard. Let’s start creating the dashboard with Tableau.

Also Read: A Step by Step Guide for Data Visualization using Tableau

Sheet 1: Sales by Category

The first visualization is sales by category. For this, I will select  Category and Sales from the data pane and drop them in Row and Column shelf respectively.

Dashboard Tableau Sheet 1

Remember to rename all the sheets, as they come in very handy while designing a dashboard.

Sheet 2: Sales Overtime

The second sheet is for Sales over time. That means how the sales number performed over the years or months. For this, select Sales and drag to the Rows and drop Order Date into the columns.

To move this visualization to a more granular level. Click on the + on year in the columns shelf. On clicking first, the Quarter will appear and on another click on the Quarter, Month will appear. Now drop the Year and Quarter.  It will create a Month view of sales.

Dashboard Tableau Sheet 2

But what I want is Month wise sales comparison over the years. That means how was the performance in January 2016 in comparison to January 2017. To do this, pick Order Date from the data pane and drop it on the colors card. Here is your result.Sheet 2.2

Sheet 3: Sales Across States

Now let’s create our third sheet. In this chart, we will represent the sales distribution across the states. That means it’s going to be a geospatial analysis.

Select Sales and State by pressing ctrl+ click and click on show me. Out of the recommended visualizations select the map. Click on the 49 unknown messages. Go to “Edit Locations” then go to country/Region, select  “from field”.  The United States will appear itself and click ok. and we have Sales by State.

Dashboard Tableau Sheet 3

Sheet 4: Sales by City

Finally, let’s create our fourth visualization. Here, we will show Sales by City distribution. similar to the last chart, select Sales and City and click on the show me. Then click on the recommended visualization. Again we have 530 unknowns, click on that then edit locations. Go to the country and click on them from the field. You will see the United States poped out, click OK.

Here, we have city sales numbers. For a better idea of cities, select State from the data pane and drop it on the details card.

Dashboard Tableau Sheet 4

Now our all sheets are ready, let’s create the Dashboard.

Create a Dashboard

To create a new dashboard click on the icon given on the bottom bar for showing the text ” New Dashboard”. When your dashboard appears, you can see all the worksheets you have created on a side panel.

In a dashboard, you have an option to change the view of the dashboard. It can be a default or a phone view. I don’t like the current half view of my dashboard, to change this, click on the size drop-down and select automatically. It may seem a small thing but trust, it can break your entire dashboard experience.

Now just drag and drop all the sheets from the sidebar to the dashboard. Here, you have your first dashboard.

Dashboard 1

Still, there are some small things that you can work with, As I don’t like the space we left on the right due to the legends. We can utilize that space creatively. Tableau allows us to either completely remove these legends or move them somewhere else by making them floating.

To remove the sales legend as it’s not contributing anything to the dashboard, click on the cross icon and it will be gone. For others, click on the legend and then to the arrow and select floating as shown below. Now you can drag and drop it anywhere you want on the dashboard.

TD 2

Similarly, you can move the Year of order date to the respective visualization. So we have our superstore sales number ready for the leadership to infer and plan accordingly. Here is the final dashboard.

final tableau dashboard


So that’s all about the dashboard in tableau in this article. You can make your dashboards more interactive using parameters. The parameter is an interesting concept in Tableau that gives more power in the hands of the user and makes the visualization dynamic.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I create my own dashboard?

A. To create your own dashboard, open your data visualization tool (e.g., Tableau), import data, drag and drop visual elements, customize layouts, and save the dashboard for future use.

Q2. How do I create an automated dashboard in Tableau?

A. In Tableau, automate dashboards by using actions, filters, and calculated fields. Utilize parameters to allow user interaction. Schedule data refreshes to keep information current.

Q3. How do I create a real-time dashboard in Tableau?

A. Develop a real-time dashboard in Tableau by connecting to live data sources. Use features like data blending and live connections to ensure your visualizations reflect the latest information.

Q4. How do I create a start page in Tableau?

A. Design a start page in Tableau by selecting a blank dashboard, adding images or buttons for navigation, and embedding hyperlinks to direct users to specific dashboards or content. Customize for a user-friendly experience.

If you have any queries let me know in the comment section!

Shipra Saxena 11 Dec 2023

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