Inspire and engage your Tableau users with custom sample workbooks

Learn how to replace the default sample workbooks in Tableau Desktop with custom sample workbooks to inspire and connect your analytics users.

How do you find inspiration when you’re staring at a blank canvas?

There are so many great places for Tableau users to find inspiration, including the Tableau Community Forums, Tableau Public, and all the amazing blogs and websites where Tableau Zen Masters, Ambassadors, and partners publish their incredible work. But all of these sources of inspiration have one thing in common: they’re outside of the Tableau product! How about giving folks a relevant starting place, right where they’re getting into the flow of analysis? 

We’re excited that with the Tableau 2021.3 release, you can now replace the default sample workbooks in Tableau Desktop with custom sample workbooks, tailored for your business and community of users. We’re handing over that precious space within the product so you can better serve your organization. This is a highly anticipated feature that you’ve asked us for, and we can’t wait to see the creative ways you’ll use it.

The Tableau Desktop interface upon opening the application, with a row of sample workbooks highlighted along the bottom of the screen.

Onboarding, engagement, competitions, and more—how will you use the sample workbook space?

The Superstore, Regional, and World Indicators sample workbooks are fantastic playgrounds for people to familiarize themselves with Tableau. They’re tried and true, having been around longer than my middle school-aged daughter (and don’t fret—they’re still available by default to your users). But we understand that having data that’s closely related to your business can be even more helpful for onboarding new users and inspiring your Creators. 

You can use custom samples for a variety of solutions. Here are some great ideas to get you started:

  • Get new users up and running in Tableau with sample data sets that relate to their department so they can play around risk-free.
  • Pre-populate workbooks to distribute corporate data sources that you want new dashboard authors to become familiar with. Maybe you send them on a scavenger hunt to answer questions about the business as part of an onboarding program or corporate certification.
  • Use the space to bring teams together for fun viz challenges or contests. Perhaps you even dedicate a few spaces to showcase the first, second, and third-place winners!
  • Create a workbook to highlight a specific part of the business—maybe it’s a new product launch, or an important monthly or quarterly update.

The possibilities are endless—we know you’ll find amazing new ways to use sample workbooks that we would never think of ourselves. 

Get started with custom sample workbooks in Tableau Desktop

Are you an admin that manages a fleet of Desktop licenses and you want to broadly roll out a set of custom samples to your whole user base? Great news for you: all of this can be scripted and deployed with ease, whether you're a Windows shop, a Mac shop, or anything in between. 
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Some Tableau packaged workbooks (up to five .twbx files—please note that .twb is not supported)
  • A local directory to host your packaged workbooks (network directories aren't supported)
  • Our great Tableau Help content with step-by-step instructions to follow

No one knows your business or your data sets better than you do—so go forth and use that expertise to enhance your analytics with custom sample workbooks that meet your users’ unique needs. We can’t wait to see the ways you supercharge the sample workbooks and creatively engage your analytics users. If you haven’t yet, upgrade to Tableau 2021.3 today!