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Communicating Data with Tableau by Ben Jones

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Chapter 14. Advanced Dashboard Features

“Communication works for those who work at it.”

John Powell

There are many ways to take a basic, functional dashboard to the next level, and we’ll consider some of these features in this chapter.

Warning

A word of caution: basic, functional dashboards don’t necessarily need to be taken to any other level. You shouldn’t add “bells and whistles” if the only reason for doing so is because you know how to add them or you want to show that you know how to add them.

Bells (churches) and whistles (soccer coaches) can really be useful, but they just distract if they’re present but not useful (toasters). Of course the trick is that one person’s “useful” is another person’s “distracting.” You, as the communicator, get to choose. Have fun with it, but be your own toughest critic and be crystal clear about what you’re trying to accomplish, and let that be your guide.

That being said, let’s consider how to do the following to provide a new and useful dimension to our dashboards, when appropriate:

  • Using the Pages shelf to “animate” dashboards

  • Showing multiple tabs

  • Adding navigation between tabs via filters

  • Adding custom header images

  • Embedding web pages like Google Maps and YouTube videos

Once we’ve decided that one of these features will serve our purposes, we can decide how to best implement it, and make use of the tutorials in this chapter to do so.

Animating Dashboards

If we return to our Internet usage study from Chapter 13, we can make a pretty good case that ...

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