Vizuators' guide

4 steps to Improve Development in Tableau

By Olga Britko, BI developer
April, 2022

You need beauty in visualizations on a dashboard and all that is behind it. In your Tableau documentation, for example. Why and what do we mean by beauty in documentation?

We mean convenience — no need to do extra steps to find what you need.

We mean clearness — the names speak about the content, and the comments suggest the logic of calculations.

We mean speed — it's easy to start with other developer dashboards or were made a long time ago, and now they need improvement.

Here are our 4 cards to examine your dashboard work

  • Fields from data source
    • Use Comments to fields. Help to understand the specifics of the data.
    • Try not to use Aliases. Not used in calculations, at least. If necessary, create a copy of the field with aliases for signatures, and do the calculations on the original field.
  • Further work and documentation
    • Folders. Use them to group similarly used fields: filters, formatting, fields with aliases, meaning groups, and numbering.
    • Caption. Brief description of the visualization. It can be used for reference or to make your comments.
    • Describe sheet. Contains the main visualization parameters: Caption, Marks, Filters, Rows, Columns, etc.

    It can be used for documentation.


    Worksheet > Describe Sheet

    or Ctrl+E (Cmd+E)

  • Calculated fields
    • Names.
    • Give names your mom can understand.
    • Formulas. Break the logic into steps. Use hyphens to make the formula easier to read. Be careful with duplication. Replace constants with parameters. Create a validation sheet
    • Comments. Describe the purpose of the calculation and the calculation process. Use Describe to Understand the Value of a Field and display metadata.

    //single line comment

    /* multi-line comment */

  • Packing work
    • Remove unused fields
    • Use color coding sheets
    • Add update log

Try to avoid similar names of calculated fields

Check out how many similar names we've found on one of the projects we've worked on. A large number of practically identical names generate an error snowball.

word cloud of practically identical names
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Rules of development in Tableau (English subs)

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