Tableau Reporting – ‘Coz the ball’s in your court with Tableau Report
The aim behind learning any Business Intelligence tool is to be able to utilize it and analyze data to the best of its capabilities. And to analyze data in a proper way, we must know how to portray the data in a report with the help of Tableau reporting.
Through this tutorial, we will be learning the same, that is, about reporting in Tableau. Here, we will start with gaining theoretical knowledge on reporting, that is, what are reports, how does reporting work and the significance of it. Followed by this, we will take some practical knowledge and learn how to create a report in Tableau.
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What is Tableau Reporting?
We use BI tools like Tableau to collect, prepare, visualize and analyze the data. By doing this, we are basically making sense of raw data by converting it into meaningful information like charts, tables, graphs, maps, etc.
Reporting is used for the same purpose in any BI tool. More the reporting options in a BI tool, the better the tool. Tableau has managed to secure a top spot in the charts for its wholesome reporting functionalities.
Tableau supports an ad-hoc type of reporting where anyone can try their hand at creating reports and data analysis without necessarily coming from a technical background.
Through Tableau reporting, Tableau users can see data trends, analyze forecasts or analyze their data at finer levels by slicing and dicing it as per their requirements. Reports can be of various types such as PDFs, tables, spreadsheets, workbooks, custom dashboards, etc.
Before reading further, get yourself aware of forecasting in Tableau to analyze your data better.
Working of Tableau Reporting
Whenever you work in Tableau with an intention to create a report, Tableau first gathers all the data from the data source. The data might come from an on-premise data source or on-cloud source. Next, it sorts the data as measures or dimensions depending on the data type of the field. You can then use these measures and dimension fields to create visualizations like charts and graphs from the Tableau Show Me menu.
Creating reports is made easy in Tableau by its user-friendly drag-and-drop functionality. You can create and use a wide range of charts available in Tableau and create dashboards. Finally, you can share your dashboards or Tableau workbooks as reports with users.
Ultimately, the goal of performing the process of report creation and sharing is to provide meaningful data insights to support decision making in businesses. Tools like Tableau make data reporting convenient by being user-friendly so that non-technical users can easily work with data to analyze it and draw insights from it. This makes the main aim of reporting in a BI tool to enable its users of visualizing, understanding, analyzing and taking informed decisions on the basis of it.
Also, Tableau reporting eliminates and prevents data silos as all the concerned users work together with a single vision, with the same dataset, on the same platform, that is, Tableau.
Creating Reports in Tableau
In this section, we will learn how to prepare a report in Tableau. Open your Tableau Desktop and follow the steps given below.
Step 1: Open a Tableau Worksheet
The first step in creating a report is to know your Tableau worksheet and its elements completely. A Tableau worksheet or sheet is like a report canvas or editor where we have all the tools and functionalities to create a complete report using our data.
As we can see in the screenshot above, we have numbered each essential element in a typical Tableau sheet. The description of each element is given below.
Data Pane: The Data pane shows all the available fields from the data sources that are currently connected to Tableau.
Dimensions Section: From the Dimensions section, we can access all the dimension type fields like Order id, Date, Category, Sub-category, Region, City, etc.
Measures Section: The Measures section has got all the measure type fields such as Sales, Profit, Loss, Quantity, etc.
Columns and Rows: The columns and rows sections are the places where you drag and drop your dimension or measure fields while creating charts. If you drag a field in the Rows section it will be displayed vertically on the empty sheet or horizontally if you drag and drop a field in the Columns section.
Drag and Drop Area: The area in the center of the sheet is where our visual or chart is created. We can see it taking shape as we create it here. You can also directly drag and drop your fields of choice here instead of Rows or Columns.
Marks: The Marks section is loaded with useful tools that make your visual interactive, detailed and presentable. This panel has got several options such as Color, Size, Text, Label, Tooltip, etc. You can customize any visual as per your liking from the options given in the Marks card.
Show Me: The Show Me section is the rack having all kinds of visualizations, that is, charts and graphs available in Tableau. You can select whichever visualization you wish to create from here.
Filters: You can drag and drop fields in the filter section and apply filters as per your requirement in the analysis.
Pages: You can place different fields in the Pages section and Tableau will divide a report preview based on those selected fields.
Data Sources: From here you can go to the data sources page from where you can manage and handle the data at the data source level. You can add new data sources, create joins and edit the old ones.
Sheet: This tab takes you to an active sheet. You can also name a sheet from here. If not named, a sheet is shown as Sheet 1, Sheet 2 and so on.
New Sheet: This will open a new sheet.
New Dashboard: This opens a new dashboard.
New Story: It opens a new story.
Step 2: Add Dimensions and Measures
To create a report you need to create visualizations as per your business requirements like a pie chart, bar graph, stacked bar graph, map, histogram, etc. To initiate creating a visualization, drag and drop a field in the Rows or Column section.
Step 3: Create a Visualization
After following certain steps, your visualization will be ready. You can learn how to create different types of visualizations available in Tableau in separate tutorials available in our Tableau tutorial package. Here, we have shown a discrete area chart.
Step 4: Create More Visualizations
We can create more visualizations on separate sheets so that we can bring them together while creating a report.
Step 5: Create a Dashboard
The best way to represent your data is by creating a dashboard. Dashboards are constituted of different visual elements that we create in Tableau.
From a dashboard, we can understand the story behind data by the means of graphs, tables, charts, maps, and other visual objects. Also, we can interact with the visuals by selecting and filtering a set of values and seeing the trends in data according to it.
To create a dashboard, open a fresh dashboard from the dashboard tab and add visuals to it. You can drag and drop visuals from the list of them given in the Sheets section. After adding visuals, you can adjust them on the dashboard as per your liking.
Step 6: Share Dashboard as Report
Once you complete a dashboard with all its elements in place you can share it as a report with other users. The dashboard can also be called a workbook as it contains a collection of worksheets.
In this way, we have created and shared our report created in Tableau with others.
Best Practices for Reporting in Tableau
In order to successfully perform reporting in Tableau, you must take care of a number of things considered as best practices for reporting in Tableau.
1. You must have a plan or blueprint before you start creating your report as it should have the output that we need. Also, you must know your audience who are going to use the report.
2. Set up the permissions required for a report with the support of IT.
3. The report must be easy to understand and analyze.
4. The data visualizations must be attractive, comprehensible and interactive.
5. The report must be flexible enough to adapt to new and advancing technology.
This concludes our lesson on Tableau reporting. Here, we learned about what is reporting in Tableau and how it works. Then we learned about creating a report in Tableau.
We hope you were able to understand about reporting in Tableau through our tutorial. If you have any queries, mention them in the comment section.
Check out DataFlair’s next Tableau tutorial, that is, trend lines in Tableau.