Tableau Quick Start – Day 2 – User Interface and Terminology
Welcome to day two. After day one, we understand all the different pieces in Tableau and how they fit together. Today we’re gonna dive in and take a look at Tableau Desktop, the user interface, and the terminology. I’ll see you back here again tomorrow. All right now let’s dive in to the UI and terminology. Here I have a screenshot of Tableau Desktop, and I’ve built a simple bar chart here. Now this is using Tableau version 10, which is very similar to all the other versions. I wanted to use the latest and greatest of what’s out there, so by the time you watch this, or if this is down the road a little bit, you won’t be thinking, what the heck is this? What old version is this? I’m trying to get ahead of the curve here. The first thing to think about here are marks. Now a mark, in Tableau terms, what that means is that’s the shape that we’re drawing. In this case we’re drawing bars. Tableau auto-selected that, I’ll explain that later. Now there’s other types of marks like lines, you can do shapes like a scatter plot, there’s maps and all those kind of things, but a mark is something we’re drawing on the page. Remember, tableau is a painting term, so imagine if I’m painting on a canvas, putting a mark on the canvas is what I’m doing when I’m actually visualizing some data. The next thing to think about is, where my marks are being drawn. Now, this is inside of a window and sometimes called a pane. Now, when we add other dimensions here, and we create multiple series of charts, what’ll happen is we have multiple panes. Then we also have something called a table. This is a bit advanced right now, but you will come across it when you’re doing things like table calculations and other calculated fields, so just be aware, when you see that term it’s essentially saying, where am I drawing my marks? Down on the bottom here, we have an axis. In this case, we only have an X axis. If we were drawing things, we had another measure there, we could draw a Y axis as well. We can right-click on that axis, change the format of those numbers, change the title, do all those kind of things. Over here we have the marks card, so we draw marks on the page. Right now we’re drawing bars. Now is where we can actually affect those marks, so we can change their color, we could draw something like by profit and add profit to color, we could change the size, change the label, affect the tool-tip, all those kind of things there in the marks card. Now, it’s a collection of shelves. I’ll explain that in just a second. There’s the filter shelf, so this is where we filter our data. In this case what I’ve done is I built a simple bar chart, and then I dragged order date from my data window on the left up to my filter shelf, and it gave me that filter menu on the far right there. The data window on the left side is where we pull all of our data from. After we connect to data, we’re gonna see multiple connections. Right here you just see sample superstore sales, and then down below, you see all the different elements of your data in the window, and I’ll go into that a little bit later. I’ll be breaking down every aspect of the data window, because it’s really important to understand what that is and how to find things in there. Up top you have your shelves. Here we have the row and column shelf. Kind of think of these like a pivot table in Excel. You can drag things onto rows, you can drag things onto columns. Same concept here. The things that we drag on there are known as pills. Sometimes they are called fields. I tend to call them fields or attributes, but the old school terminology, if you’ve been using Tableau for a while, is pill, so you’ll hear people say that for a little while. All right that’s it for the UI and terminology. I’ll see you back here tomorrow where we talk about connecting to your data in Tableau.