By Elissa Fink April 29, 2008
If you're like most people, one way you like to learn new stuff is by example. So recently several people at Tableau Software put together over 40 different examples of data visualizations based on many different types of data. Each is accompanied by a Tableau packaged workbook which contains additional visualizations and the data behind them. Everything is available as free downloads.

One way to view these visualizations is to use just your browser. You'll be able to view the viz and read a little about each scenario. But, a much more interesting thing to do is to find a visual example you really like, download the associated Tableau packaged workbook and use Tableau Desktop to view, edit, filter and interact with the visualizations or to create your own. Get a free time-based trial of Desktop if you don't already have it. Or, use our free application, Tableau Reader, which will let you view, filter and interact with the workbook.

The cool thing is not only will you learn more about business analytics and interactive data visualization, you'll also find some very interesting and useful information. For example, did you know...

+ over the last 50 years, the destructive potential of hurricanes has increased as sea surface temperatures have increased?

+ Idaho seems to have the largest population of black bears early on, but experiences a major population decrease in 1972?

+ the largest numbers of people who watch both Fox News Channel and CNN tend to be moderate Democrats, conservative Republicans and moderate Independents?

+ energy prices between 1982 and 2003 have typically stayed much lower than other goods but have risen dramatically since 2003?

Anyway, we hope you get a chance to enjoy these visualizations. And we'll keep adding more. So, if you see any you particularly like or dislike OR if you have suggestions or comments OR if you have or know of interesting data, please let me know.


Excellent examples that are very inspiring. Can you add some helpful hints to them to aid in our understanding of how they were created? We worked with one workbook for about an hour before realizing the step required to get the visualization. In this instance it was turning off the stacking, but others are likely to have comparable teaching points.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Thanks, David. Glad they are inspiring.

Good idea on adding some helpful hints on how we created these. We'll likely be updating many/most of these around our Tableau 4.0 launch and we can incorporate your suggestion.

In the meantime, if there are ones you are particularly interested in, let me know and we can share insight on how those were created.

Hi Elissa,

These are great examples. I particularly like the ones that go beyond basic numeric representation, and combine axes in interesting ways, such as the visualizations of condo sales in Florida, CNN & FNN, and the flight delays graph.

If you're interested, I'd love to have a conversation about information visualization techniques. I've been studying effective information visualization for the last 4+ years, and I believe there are a few different design choices that would greatly improve the accessibility of these visualizations.

For more about my work with visualization, check out my master's thesis at

Best, Noah

Hi Noah,

Thanks for your note - glad you liked our examples.

Would love to have a conversation about information visualization techniques - your thesis looks very interesting. Many of the design choices in our visual examples are driven by the original users who created them - even still, we're always interested in improving accessibility especially since our software makes it easy to see alternate views and designs.

I'll drop you a note and we can touch bases. Or email me at


Great gallery of visualizations- it's nice to see several together when thinking about how to present a data set. Davids vs. Goliaths is my favorite of these.