Book Image

Tableau 10 Complete Reference

By : Joshua N. Milligan, Tristan Guillevin
Book Image

Tableau 10 Complete Reference

By: Joshua N. Milligan, Tristan Guillevin

Overview of this book

Graphical presentation of data enables us to easily understand complex data sets. Tableau 10 Complete Reference provides easy-to-follow recipes with several use cases and real-world business scenarios to get you up and running with Tableau 10. This Learning Path begins with the history of data visualization and its importance in today's businesses. You'll also be introduced to Tableau - how to connect, clean, and analyze data in this visual analytics software. Then, you'll learn how to apply what you've learned by creating some simple calculations in Tableau and using Table Calculations to help drive greater analysis from your data. Next, you'll explore different advanced chart types in Tableau. These chart types require you to have some understanding of the Tableau interface and understand basic calculations. You’ll study in detail all dashboard techniques and best practices. A number of recipes specifically for geospatial visualization, analytics, and data preparation are also covered. Last but not least, you'll learn about the power of storytelling through the creation of interactive dashboards in Tableau. Through this Learning Path, you will gain confidence and competence to analyze and communicate data and insights more efficiently and effectively by creating compelling interactive charts, dashboards, and stories in Tableau. This Learning Path includes content from the following Packt products: • Learning Tableau 10 - Second Edition by Joshua N. Milligan • Getting Started with Tableau 2018.x by Tristan Guillevin
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Title Page
About Packt
Deeper Analysis - Trends, Clustering, Distributions, and Forecasting

Using Show Me

Show Me is a powerful component of Tableau, which arranges selected and active fields into the arrangement required for the selected visualization type. The Show Me toolbar displays small thumbnail images of different types of visualizations, thus allowing you to create visualizations with a single-click. Based on the fields you select in the data pane and the fields that are already in the view, Show Me will enable possible visualizations and highlight a recommended visualization. Explore the features of Show Me by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Show Me sheet.
  2. If the Show Me pane is not expanded, click on the Show Me button in the upper-right corner of the toolbar to expand the pane.
  1. Press and hold the Ctrl key while clicking on the Postal Code, State, and Profit fields in the data pane to select each of those fields. With those fields highlighted, Show Me should look similar to this:

Observe that the Show Me window has enabled certain visualization types, such as text tables, heat maps, symbol maps, filled maps, and bar charts. These are the visualizations that are possible given the fields already in the view, in addition to any selected in the data pane. Show Me highlights the recommended visualization for the selected fields and also gives a description of what fields are required as you hover over each visualization type. Symbol maps, for example, require one geographic dimension and up to two measures.

Other visualizations are grayed out, such as line charts, and histograms. Show Me will not create these visualization types with the fields that are currently in the view and selected in the data pane. Hover over the grayed out line charts in Show Me. Show Me indicates that line charts require one or more measures, which you have selected, but also require a date field, which you have not selected.


Tableau will actually draw line charts with fields other than dates. Show Me gives you options for what is typically considered a good practice for visualizations. However, there may be times when you know a line chart would accurately show your data. Understanding how Tableau renders visualizations based on fields and shelves, instead of always relying on Show Me, will give you much greater flexibility in your visualizations and will allow you to rearrange things when Show Me doesn't give the exact results you want. At the same time, you will need to cultivate an awareness of good visualization practices.

Show Me can be a powerful way to quickly iterate through different visualization types as you search for insights into the data. But as a data explorer, analyst, and storyteller you should consider Show Me as a helpful guide that is giving suggestions. You may know that a certain visualization type will answer your questions more effectively than the suggestions of Show Me. You may also have a plan for a visualization type that will work well as part of a dashboard but isn't even included in Show Me.


You will be well on your way to learning and mastering Tableau when you can use Show Me effectively, but feel just as comfortable building visualizations without it. Show Me is powerful for quickly iterating through visualizations as you look for insights and raise new questions. It is useful for starting with a standard visualization that you will further customize. It is wonderful as a teaching and learning tool. Be careful not to use it as a crutch without understanding how visualizations are actually built from the data. Take time to evaluate why certain visualizations are or are not possible. Pause to see what fields and shelves were used when you selected a certain visualization type.

Conclude the Show Me example by experimenting with ShowMe, clicking various visualization types and looking for insights into the data that may be more or less obvious based on the visualization type. Circle views and box and whisker plots show the distribution of postal codes for each state. Bar charts easily expose several postal codes with negative profit.