Format This Interactive Key-Metrics Dashboard in Just 10 Minutes

By Anika Martynowych 2015/12/09

Note: Check out our follow-up post featuring our revamped key-metrics dashboard.

Want more of your colleagues to dive into data? Introduce them to the data-informed way of life with an elegant dashboard of key metrics.

A high-level dashboard that keeps the company updated at all levels and also drills down in seconds can help people evolve from passive data consumers to self-service can-doers. How? The key is interactivity, which allows people to ask and answer their own questions and find valuable insights in real-time. This self-service approach not only empowers end users to make better business decisions but also gets everyone excited about the vast possibilities of the data at their fingertips.

With Tableau, there are many ways to format an approachable, beautiful, and interactive dashboard. Here’s one approach that takes just 10 minutes:

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to format your own interactive dashboard:

Learn More about Building a Culture of Self-Service Analytics

Data Diaries: Defining a Culture of Self-Service Analytics
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Data Diaries: A Hiring Guide for Building a Data-Driven Culture


Submitted by Andy Gibson (not verified) on

Where are you supposed to get this data from? Seems like you'd need the data file first...

Submitted by Cristian V. on

In my opinion this dashboard is a complete failure.

I don't know who Anika Martynowych is but she obviously does have a clue about data visualization and most shockingly the video tutorial is posted on official Tableau's youtube account.

Submitted by Dan Peters (not verified) on

Hey Andy! It looks like it's the Superstore data set, which is a sample data set that comes with Tableau. You can find it pretty easily just by opening Tableau - in the opening screen, there should be sample workbooks located at the bottom, and it can also be found under Saved Data Sources.

Submitted by Chris K. on

Cristian, your opinion is a little harsh and really off base. Anika has shown to format a very well designed dashboard which measures profit and sales across various parts of an organization. Visual elements and use of color are well used and proportional. The dashboard is beautiful, and a great example of not only what can be created in Tableau, but more importantly the easy at which it can be done.

Submitted by Cristian V. on

Hello Chris,

It's very harsh, because I love Tableau products, but is not off base at all.

Why someone will create a donut chart is beyond my understanding. Mrs. Naomi Robbins have a great example here:

The heatmap, is a good approach unfortunately spoiled by lack of X&Y axis, I cannot perceive what the chart (in fact dashboard) wants to communicate.


Submitted by Aron (not verified) on

I have to agree with Christian. Terrible dashboard. Made to look pretty but quite useless.
* The removal of all axis labels and legends gives the dashboard a clean look but it means that you have to rely on tooltips to find out what you're looking at.
* Some graphs filter the other graphs and some do not.
* The Profit by Category graph that has stacked bars with positive and negative values is confusing and misleading.
* Even if you don't want to have Sales and Profit in the same graph you could at least have them aligned vertically to invite comparison.


Submitted by Troy Hall (not verified) on

Always a good question...where do you get the data from?

I can tell you that Alteryx is a unique data blending and data prep tool that allows you to pull in most forms of data, cleanse it, prep it, and push it directly into Tableau. No coding involved. SImple drag and drop UI.

Submitted by Andy C. on

Hi Christian and Aron
You know what? You're not wrong, we think this dashboard went too far in simplifying the charts. But hey, this is Tableau, so we took a fresh look and remixed the dashboard to make it more functional. We've added a new post showing the update.

What do you think? It's still not perfect, but hopefully an improvement.

Also, you MUST check out the remix done by up-and-coming superstat Bridget Colgey:

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