Lecture 18: Dashboards in Tableau

Nick Huntington-Klein

23 June, 2022

Dashboards in Tableau

  • Tableau is designed for dashboards, and they make it easy
  • Most of what we’ll cover today you could probably figure out yourself by clicking “New Dashboard” at the bottom and clicking around
  • So we’ll keep this brief and then get to trying stuff out

Creating a Dashboard

  • Create your visualizations and tables
  • Then down at the bottom, next to the Sheets, there’s a + icon for “New Dashboard”
  • Click it!

Adding Worksheets to the Dashboard

  • From here you’ll see:
  • The Layout option (in a sec)
  • Your worksheets - drag them in!
  • Options at the bottom to add navigation, images, text, web pages

Adding Worksheets to the Dashboard


  • Tableau Dashboards can be laid out for desktop, mobile, or tablet
  • Check your Size options, and try Device Preview with a few things on
  • Also check the Layout tab for other options
  • Keep the audience in mind, and whether some visualizations might not translate to tiny sizes!


  • You can “float” elements of the dashboard but this isn’t generally a good idea
  • What is a good idea is moving things like legends (if you have them) close to where the actual viz that uses them is
  • You don’t want the legend for Viz B sitting next to Viz A - confusing!


  • Format \(\rightarrow\) Dashboard brings up the formatting panel for things like overall coloring, fonts, etc.
  • You can also format the individual worksheets included by clicking on them as normal
  • Any re-decoration you want to do at this point is on the table!



  • You can add interactive filters to look at different parts of the data, and apply those filters broadly
  • Select a viz that uses the variable you want to filter on and hit the “use as filter” button (looks like a funnel) and then the down arrow and Filter to select the variable to filter on
  • A filter will appear. On the down arrow for THAT, you can change the kind of filter you get (dropdown, etc.) and also which worksheets the filter applies to - can update the whole dashboard at once with one filter if you like!

Considerations for Dashboards

If you’re planning to end up with a dashboard…

  • Hold off on annotations until the end; what looks good on a single image might get cramped on multiples
  • Consider how you might reduce the number of legends required to understand things. Lots of legends can get confusing
  • Try to make dashboard and worksheet formatting consistent
  • Use a grid layout! Don’t get wild
  • Consider including the “Export to PDF” option