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Tableau Your Data!


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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

About the Author

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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