Tableau tips and tricks for beginners

business intelligence is Tableau

Data analytics has gained rapid popularity in various industries and businesses. With that, there has also been a steady increase in the innovation of data analytics tools in the market. One such popular tool used in business intelligence is Tableau. From data visualization to automation, Tableau is programmed to carry out all the necessary functions.

If you are new to the field, learning the basics of Tableau is essential. In this article, we will learn what Tableau is, along with all the vital tips and tricks that will help you make the most of this application.

What Is Tableau?

Tableau is a business intelligence and data visualization application for reporting and analyzing vast data. It assists users in producing a variety of graphs, maps, dashboards, and stories. With Tableau, one can visualize data quickly and analyze it better to help make a business better decisions.

The Tableau dashboard design is kept simple enough for anyone to understand, making this an excellent tool for beginners. It is one of the most well-liked business intelligence products because of its many exciting and distinctive features.

While we won’t go too in-depth about the features of this tool in this article, we will give you some Tableau tips to make your journey easier.

Top 10 Tableau Tips and Tricks

Most of you know Tableau for making data visualization easier, but that’s not all the tool does. From data mining and cleaning to sorting all the data into graphs, all can be done with Tableau.

So let’s look at some of the most valuable tips and tricks:

1. Start with the Fundamentals

It’s always better to know the application and how it works before you use it. This is why taking up a fundamental introductory course for Tableau will be beneficial. It will give you various scenarios and help you understand how to use Tableau. Then, irrespective of your industry, you can find Tableau helpful in your business to analyze data and make better decisions.

2. Learn from the Tableau Community

The Tableau community is spread far and wide. Experts from all over the world contribute their knowledge and experiences on forums and blogs, as well as during discussions. Sometimes these discussions are hosted online on platforms like Twitter spaces or Instagram Live; other times, these are conducted offline.

Start with exploring online platforms are finding like-minded people. They can add to your network, and if these people live in the same city as you, you can even meet them and exchange ideas and practices you have picked up along the way.

3. Practice with Sample Data

Many of the Tableau training courses you find online will provide you with sample data sets you can practice with. Any concept is always easier to grasp when you try your own hands at it.

If you aren’t training with any institution or platform for Tableau, you can also find sample data online that can be used to sort and analyze given a scenario to work with. Then, download the desktop version of the application and start practicing before you are confident in your knowledge and skill.

4. Focus on understanding your Data

Once you are familiar with Tableau and how the software works, you can work with any data. But usually, where a lot of data analysts might feel stuck is while understanding the data before letting the software take over.

This is where practice with free data sets can help you prepare for handling accurate data, and with time you will better understand all types of data.

5. Use the right chart

Reimagine your Tableau dashboards as a rough canvas. To visualize the data in the most creative and understandable way, you need to pick the correct type of charts and graphs. So try a few variations and see which designs go well with the data you want to present.

6. Simplify your Visualizations

No good will come out of a data set that is full of clutter. While Tableau software is resourceful, you need to use only some of the visual elements. Keeping the graphics simple will only help your audience understand your presentation better.

Ensure that your elements lead the readers to the results or the conclusion without complications.

7. Tableau’s Calculation Functions

In Tableau software, you can enable ‘join calculations’ to leverage various formulas and equations presented in Tableau. These will help you map different data sources in a singular field.

When dealing with various data sources, you can use these calculation functions to make things easy for yourself.

8. Superscript and Subscript

Another way to make data visualization easier is using superscript and numerical subscript symbols. Tableau does not have an inbuilt feature to enable superscript or subscript, but if you use a third-party application, the characters used will still be displayed on your screen.

You can use any free GitHub tool to implement superscript and subscript in your Tableau dashboard.

9. Use color effectively

Colors can be a great way to indicate variations in the same data. Additionally, it will also make your visuals more attractive. But simultaneously, you must be careful with using color in Tableau. Using multiple colors will make your data visuals look cluttered, and it will be less helpful.

So create a color palette and stick to it. Using colors associated with sentiments will only make your data easier to understand. For example, a visualization of weather will be easy to process when hot weather is indicated in red and cold in blue.

10. Use the right labels

When you use all these elements and graphics to make your data understandable, you must label them appropriately. Adding these label indicators at the bottom of your graphs is always better so a viewer can always return to the labels if necessary.


Tableau is a very important tool for anyone who deals with data for a business regularly. There are various ways one can learn to operate this software. You can opt for a training course or Tableau book for dummies if you are a theoretical learner. As for visual learners, there are YouTube tutorials available for free.