The first idea that came to mind would be to pre-aggregate each state and just add it to the Excel template. However, in many cases, that is not possible.
To get actual data on the map from a different data source, I blended my map template in Excel with the superstore data (which ships with Tableau). Both data sources must have a matching state field. Depending on your fields, you may need to adjust the relationships. Here are the steps:
1. From the superstore data, put state onto detail and remove the generated latitude and longitude from the rows and columns.
2. From the dummy example, I followed steps 1 and 2 (put "rows" to rows and "space" to columns).
3. Instead of adding the random calculation to color, add the superstore measure that you want to measure to color.
4. Follow the rest of the steps from the dummy example.
And here’s my tile grid map made in Tableau (click to interact):
Want to go one step further? Check out Matt Chambers's guide on creating hex tile maps in Tableau.
For more works by Brittany, visit her Tableau Public page and her blog, bfongdata.com.