Data Viz Done Right

October 14, 2014

Facebook Jeopardy: Maintain Context by Creating Pop-up Charts in Tableau

Alex, I'll take No Assembly Required for $100 please. The answer is:
I like drilling down, but I hate losing context by switching tabs. 
One of our internal dashboarding tools is really good at pop-up charts, so Rob Koste on our team came up with this nifty trick for creating pop-up charts in Tableau. In the end, it's pretty simple:
  1. Create a dashboard
  2. Create a worksheet that you want to "pop-up"
  3. Add this worksheet to the dashboard as a floating object
  4. Create an action to trigger this worksheet to display. The action should exclude all value in order to hide the sheet when the action is deselected.
Here's the demo of the hack from #DATA14 (the hack starts at 14:32 if it doesn't start there automatically):

Give it a whirl in the viz below. Click on a Customer Segment on the upper right chart and see the pop-up in action.

Download the Tableau workbook here.


  1. Thanks for this tip! I love your blog. I know this post is relatively old, but I have a question I haven't found an answer to.

    Do you know of a workaround that allows the content 'behind' the pop-up to be interacted with? Take your map for example -- even though the pop-up is inactive, we can only hover over the marks in the western states. All marks east of Colorado are still blocked by the invisible pop-up.

    I've seen some active ideas on Tableau's site that touch on this, but didn't know if there's a workaround out there somewhere.

    Thanks again!

    1. The short answer is no, because Tableau layers objects on a dashboard.