Knowledge Base

Creating an Interactive Dashboard

Product(s): Tableau Desktop
Version(s): All
Last Modified Date: 19 Jun 2014

Article Note: This article is no longer actively maintained by Tableau. We continue to make it available because the information is still valuable, but some steps may vary due to product changes.

With large or complex data sources, you may have difficulties reviewing the detailed views. To see these views more clearly, you can create an interactive dashboard to limit the data shown. Using Tableau's interactive features, you can use one overview worksheet to filter the customer-level detail of interest.

Create an overview worksheet

A simple and easy way to display categorical outliers is by using a heat map.

Step 1

Connect to the Superstore sample.

Step 2

Hold down the CTRL key, and select DepartmentCategory, Customer Segment, Sales, and Profit, and then click Show Me.

Step 3

In the Show Me dialog box, select the Heat Map chart.

The Show Me function creates a heat map.

Step 4

Right-click one of the Customer Segment labels at the top, and select Rotate Label so that the labels display more clearly.

Step 5

Right-click the sheet tab, select Rename Sheet, and type Heat Map.

Create a detail worksheet

In this example, you can drill into customer-based detail. One way to do this is to focus on the top 25 customers in sales.

Step 1

For Tableau Desktop 7.0 and later, select Worksheet > New Worksheet.
For Tableau Desktop 6.1 and earlier, select Edit > New Worksheet.

Step 2

From the Dimensions pane, drag the Customer Name and State fields to the Rows shelf.

Step 3

From the Measures pane, drag Sales onto the Columns shelf.

Step 4

On the Rows shelf, right-click Customer Name and select Sort.

Step 5

In the Sort dialog box, under Sort order, select Descending.

Step 6

In the Sort dialog box, do the following tasks:

  1. Under Sort by, select Field. Keep the default settings of Sales and Sum.
  2. When finished, click OK.


Step 7

Right-click the sheet tab, select Rename Sheet, and type Customer Details. Now you have a long bar chart of every customer from Sample - Superstore data source, along with how much they have spent.

Create the dashboard

Next, you create the dashboard that filters the customer list to only the results you want.

Step 1

For Tableau Desktop 7.0 and later, select Dashboard > New Dashboard.  
For Tableau Desktop 6.1 and earlier, select Edit > New Dashboard.

Step 2

In the Dashboard pane, double-click Heat Map, then drag Customer Details to the right side of the dashboard and release when a grey bar appears.

The two worksheets are placed side by side.

Step 3

Drag the Color Legend to the bottom of the Heat Map so it is easy to read.

Step 4

Click the menu arrow on Heat Map and select Use as Filter.

With this selection, the Customer Details are filtered based on your selections in the Heat Map.

Step 5

Click any label on either axis in the heat map to see the Customer Details view refresh to display data about your selection.

Alternate Search Terms:dash, report, interactive
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