Dashboards done right

Tips to build effective dashboards

Get the basics down

Once you’ve created one or more views on different sheets in Tableau, you can pull them into a dashboard in two simple steps:

Step 1: Open a dashboard sheet: select Dashboard from menu, then New Dashboard
Step 2: Add views to your dashboard by dragging sheets onto the dashboard

Learn dashboard basics

Ready, set, (dashboard) actions

Adding actions to your dashboard allows users to not just look at your dashboard, but interact with it too. Get a general overview of actions in this video.


Filter actions trim down the amount of data displayed in the dashboard in order to help the viewer zero in on the information that's most valuable to them. For example, a filter could let you select a school district to see only the schools in that district rather than all schools in the state or region.

Highlight Actions

You can call attention to particular marks and dim others with highlight actions in a number of different ways: use the legend to select related marks, use highlighter to search for marks, or create an advanced action defining the highlight criteria.


Hyperlink to a browser. Alternately, if there's a web page element in the dashboard, open the page embedded in the dashboard with URL actions. This is particularly helpful when you want the user to be able to see more information that is hosted outside of Tableau.

Build the best dashboard

Know your audience

Ask yourself: who am I designing this for, why do they need it, and what is their level of understanding with the subject matter and data?

Use the sweet spot

Most people instinctively start scanning a screen in the upper left-hand corner. Put your most valuable data point there.

Give direction

Don't assume your audience knows where to start interacting with your dashboard. Provide guidance or instructions of how to get started.

One dashboard does not tell all

Trying to cover every business challenge with one dashboard can result in information overload for viewers. Remember: you can always create additional dashboards.

Limit views & colors

Stick with two or three main views and only use colors when meaningful. Too many views and colors can create visual overload and get in the way of analysis.

Format tooltips

Tooltips can add great context or information for the viewer without taking up any precious real estate. Using tooltips helps to build interactivity and reinforce your data’s story. For example, when you hover over a mark, you get information just about that mark.

Share your work

Share insights with colleagues by publishing to Tableau Cloud or Tableau Server

Share workbooks to Tableau Cloud or Tableau Server so your colleagues can view, interact, and ask their own questions of the data. Once published, alerts and subscriptions can be set up to help you stay in the know.

Publish a workbook

Data-driven story telling

Using dashboards to tell a story can create impact and evoke emotion, helping to move people, and make decisions.

Building dashboards that inform and inspire

Dive into five webinars hosted by Tableau dashboard experts that cover topics from eye tracking and how we can apply it to dashboard creation, design tricks, and dead-end dashboards and how to avoid them.

Watch a webinar