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July 8, 2024

Build an interactive Tableau dashboard in 3 minutes!

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Build 80% of your dashboards with these 4 charts, a bit of interactivity, and that's it.

You probably won't need to create anything fancy, formatting will be minimal, and you won't need to wrestle with containers.

This video show you how to create it in only 3 minutes!

June 30, 2024

How to Rank & Filter the Top 5 in Tableau in Under 60 Seconds!

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In this tip, you will learn how to show the rank of each team in MLB by homeruns for 24 seasons. 

We'll start by computing the RANK table calculation for each Season before filtering to only the top 5 Teams in each Season.

June 28, 2024

How to Replace a Datasource & Fields in Tableau

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Need to change a datasource but don't want to rebuild the workbook? Has a field name changed? 

It can be a real pain to update each sheet in a workbook one by one. 

Conveniently, Tableau allows you to change the entire datasource with the "Replace Datasource" option.

Or, if you only need to change a field, Tableau has an option called "Replace References" that allows you to swap one field out for another all in one shot. 

In this example, I take you through the whole process. 

You could also apply this method when you simply want to swap out all existences of one field for another. 

For example, you want to change all used of Order Date to Ship Date. 

Easy peasy!

June 25, 2024

How to Create a 9-Box Matrix in Tableau

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In this video, I show you how to build a 9-box matrix. 

These are commonly used in talent management and HR to map a company's workforce along two dimensions, potential and performance. 

Each of these two dimensions is split up into three categories, low, medium, and high, depending on the score. 

For each employee performance is then plotted horizontally and potential is plotted vertically. From there, we summarize the number of employees that fall within each box. 

June 20, 2024

How to Simultaneously Highlight & Deselect with a Parameter Action in Tableau

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In this video, we’ll dive into an advanced technique to enhance your Tableau visualizations: simultaneously highlighting and deselecting marks using parameter actions. This is a great skill for making your dashboards more interactive and user-friendly. 

What You Will Learn:
- Highlight & Deselect Marks: Learn how to use parameter actions to highlight selected marks while deselecting others, improving the clarity and focus of your data stories.
- Dynamic Labeling: Discover how to label ONLY the selected bar, making it easier to convey specific insights without cluttering your visualizations.

Tutorial Highlights:
1. Introduction to Parameter Actions: A brief overview of what parameter actions are and why they are powerful tools in Tableau.
2. Step-by-Step Guide: Follow along as I demonstrate how to set up parameter actions to achieve the simultaneous highlight and deselect effect.
3. Labeling Techniques: Learn the trick to dynamically label only the selected mark, enhancing the readability and professionalism of your dashboard.

By the end of this tutorial, you will have the skills to create more interactive and visually appealing Tableau dashboards that can captivate and inform your audience effectively.

June 4, 2024

Find Red Flags in Your Data in ONLY 5 MINUTES with Control Charts

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If you like this video, you'll love learning from me 4 hours per week in Next-Level Tableau. Join here.

Control charts are one of the best charts you can use for identifying outliers in a series of measurement. So what are they?

Control charts are used to monitor whether a process is performing consistently over time. It's basically a line graph that tracks data points collected at specific intervals, but with three key additions:

1. 𝗔𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲: This horizontal line represents the average performance of the process based on historical data.
2. 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗹 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝘀: These are two additional horizontal lines, one above and one below the center line. They are typically 2-3 standard deviations from the average, but can be whatever number of standard deviations work for your situation. These limits reflect your "stable" range.
3. 𝗢𝘂𝘁𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: Color-coding the outlier marks helps you more easily identify the problems.

The line chart you create will help you see if measurements fall within the control limits. 

- If they do, it suggests the process is in control. 
- If they fall outside the control limits, it indicates a potential problem that needs additional analysis.

Control charts are widely used for quality control purposes (especially in manufacturing), but they can be applied to any process where you want to track performance over time. 

Download the workbook here.

May 26, 2024

How to Create a Barcode Chart in Tableau

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Like dot strip plots, barcode charts are good for displaying all the data in a table, they work best when highlighting individual values.

May 25, 2024

How to Calculate Year over Year Change in Tableau

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With Level of Detail Expressions, calculating year over year change is simple with the 7 steps.

How to Create a Dot Strip Plot in Tableau

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Dot strip plots help visualize the frequency and distribution of small, discrete data sets. Dots placed in order on a strip are a space-efficient method of laying out ranks across multiple categories.

May 15, 2024

#MakeoverMonday 2024 Week 20 - Exporting Freedom, One Bullet at a Time

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I struggled mightily with this week's #MakeoverMonday. My goals was to replicate the original visualization by Bloomberg.

I knew I need to create path to connect the US at the center to each country.

I wanted to make the US the center of the of the map.

Sounds simple, right? I made it way harder than it needed to be.
  • I overthought the data prep.
  • I forgot how to create the paths.
  • I couldn't get the math right to offset the longitude.

The coloring and labeling was straightforward for me.

Adding the US as a circle in the middle was pretty simple.

To overcome the problems I faced
  • I looked at a previous visualization I created using paths.

  • I opened the workbook and the data to see the configuration.
  • I replicated that set up by adding a second set of records to the data set.
  • Viewers on the livestream helped me figure out the math to offset the longitude.

The simplest way to explain the location of each country is to think of the lat/lon for the US as 0,0. Then you compare that to the lat/lon for every other country to create the offset.

I got there in the end. What do you think? Was the juice worth the squeeze?

Click the image below to access the viz. 

May 3, 2024

How to Make Your Cycle Plots Actionable in Tableau

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Cycle plots are a fantastic way to identify seasonality in a data set. And you can make them even more useful by adding indicators for whether they are above or below the average.

Here's how you can do that in Tableau in only 2 minutes.

Like this? You'll love Next-Level Tableau. Learn more at

May 1, 2024

Which chart should you use for your analysis?

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Over on Tableau Public, Judit Bekker create this fantastic directory of charts to help you pick the one that's most appropriate for your analysis.

Check it out below.

How to Create a Cycle Plot in Tableau

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A cycle plot is used to display cyclical patterns or trends over time, such as days of the week or months, to identify patterns, compare groups, and visualize seasonality in data.

April 30, 2024

How I Create a Unit Histogram in Tableau

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A unit histogram is a chart that shows the distribution of data points across a series of bins of a measure.

Unlike a traditional histogram that uses bars, a unit histogram consists of a set of marks, each representing a member of a dimension. 

In this example, our final result is a unit histogram showing the distribution of states by their average sales.

If you like this, you'll love Next-Level Tableau. You get over 175 hours of live training with me, 130+ on-demand videos, workshops, office hours, workbooks, data sets, lots of new videos each year, any new courses I create, and a great Community.

Get more info and sign up today at

April 29, 2024

How to Create a Comet Chart in Tableau

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A comet chart is a type of visualization used to display the trajectory of data points over time. 

They’re often used to compare one time period to another to see the direction of the change.

The tail starts at the first time period and grows like a comet to the second period.

April 26, 2024

Jumpy Curvy Things in Tableau

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I received a request to teach how to build a jump plot during Next-Level Tableau office hours. The idea was to recreate this visualization that I created for Makeover Monday back in 2018.

The problem, though, was that the data preparation was done in Alteryx, which I no longer have a license for. Thanks for a member of NLT that had an Alteryx license, we were able to decode what the workflow was doing.

Then, in office hours, we recreated the data prep in Tableau Prep before building the visualization in Tableau. Download the Prep flow here. Download the workbook below.

This is just one example of one thing learned as a member of NLT. Sign up today and I guarantee you'll become a Tableau expert.

April 25, 2024

The ULTIMATE Guide to Custom Visualizations in Tableau

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Here's the ultimate guide to custom visualizations in Tableau. Each chart contains a link to a tutorial so you can build it too.

I rarely use these charts on a day-to-day basis, but they are a fantastic way to build your technical skills.

Have you used any of these in a business context? Click on the image to view on Tableau Public.

April 24, 2024

20 Dashboard Design Best Practices

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Understanding best practices when designing dashboards is critical for ensuring they are used, useful, and help drive the business forward.

April 23, 2024

How to Create Rounded Bar Charts in Tableau

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A rounded bar chart is a type of bar chart where the ends of the bars are rounded instead of being straight. They create a more visually appealing and softer look to the chart.

April 21, 2024

How to Create Custom Date Hierarchies in Tableau

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Custom date hierarchies are one of the most underutilized features in Tableau. They allow you to define specific drill-downs not automatically available.

For example, you may want to allow your users to only drill-down from Year to Month.