Tableau Invisible Shape Trick

Have you ever been frustrated with that light blue background when you select something in Tableau? This is particularly problematic when you have white text, because you can’t read the selection. Recently I figured out that I can use a fully transparent shape to change this effect. I’m sure that someone else must have figured this out by now, but I’ll share my technique here.

Take this awesome phone ready dashboard example by Zen Master Kelly Martin. On my phone it looks great, but it is really easy to fat finger selecting a KPI and then it makes the text white on a light blue background. So let’s take 2 minutes to fix that.



Tableau Color Palettes

While there are a number of great posts on how to create a custom color palette in Tableau, they don’t necessarily give you examples to start with. I have taken 25 different color palettes from around the web and added them into this single dashboard in hopes to inspire future Visualizations. If you have other palettes to share, list the HEX numbers in the comments below.

Click on the image to view the Palette Generator on Tableau Public

Slidedocs Style Infographics

For a long time I’ve been working with PowerPoint for presentations and dashboard wireframes. I even rebuilt the 820 grid for web design in PowerPoint, which is why the Duarte Slidedocs style really appeals to me. In practicing this style, I’ve tried translating some infographics samples that I’ve found around the web using this format with native PowerPoint objects. Furthermore I’ve attempted to make as many elements data driven as I could.


Read on for some tips and to download a copy of the file. (more…)

Career Path Dashboard in Tableau

Creating simple dashboards with Tableau is very fast and easy. I’m trying to understand the full limits of more customized dashboards compared to what I would have done in the past with Xcelsius/SAP Dashboards or even Excel. Today I have finally recreated my career path dashboard on Tableau Public, and I admit that it was a bit tricky to build the 30 different parameters into the one skill chart on the bottom right.


Click the image above or the following link:!/vizhome/CareerPath_0/CareerPath


Simple Tableau Mobile Dashboard

Now that I’m working with Tableau on a regular basis at work, I’ve also decided to recreate my existing dashboard examples so I can better understand the exact differences (pros/cons) between Tableau and SAP Dashboards / Xcelsius. This first posting on the topic covers the simple mobile sales dashboard that I originally posted about here.

The main point of this exercise is to leverage design elements from PowerPoint to create a more polished looking dashboard on a mobile device. I experimented with the new transparency options in Tableau 8.1, but found that my dashboard would crash when trying to layer transparent sections over graphics in the dashboard. Trying an alternative approach, I used version 8.0 and just set the backgrounds of each section to match the image.

Click on the image to seeing the working Tableau Public version. Try it on your desktop and mobile devices!

I had to make a page for each KPI (budget, actual, variance) because putting them into a single table wouldn’t show correctly over the graphic bubbles. Other than that, it was much faster to build this dashboard in Tableau and the separate pages wasn’t much of an inconvenience. I was also able to use the x/y positioning and exact sizing of elements to make sure that they were all aligned correctly and easily.

The ‘sales rep’ quick filter at the top adjusts all of the numbers, and the entire dashboard is mobile ready by default… so I’m pretty happy with the outcome on this one!

Xcelsius Slide-Out Menu with Inovista

Today I’m going to show you a slide-out menu using the Inovista component suite. One key thing to note is that many of the ‘mobile’ components can add good value to your desktop dashboards. In trying to review what I’ve done in this example, I’ve found that there are a lot of details, so I’m going to summarize the process and provide the source file.

You can view this on the iPad by downloading the ‘Dash Reader’ app from Invoista. Then you load this URL.


Click on the image to see the desktop version in action.


SAP Dashboards Loading Progress Bar

Some dashboards have a lot going on and maybe a simple loading spinner doesn’t cut it. One solution would be to use a loading bar. If you have several queries, you could count the number of them that have returned data to update the overall progress. Or, if you know roughly the speed to update the dashboard, you can just ballpark the loading progress using the SAP Dashboards / Xcelsius history component. Want to know more?