Enhancing Visual Analysis by Linking Multiple Views of Data

Dr. Chris Stolte, CDO - Tableau Software,
Ellie Fields, Sr. Director of Product Development, Tableau

Understanding your data is rarely as simple as knowing a single number. You often need to answer multiple questions at once, and at the same time see trends and context. Whatever your data, it can be difficult to find the real story while focusing on a single answer at a time.

Linking multiple views can help you make sense of data. The concept of brushing and linking is to tie together different views while you explore your data interactively. Seeing related data in multiple views can help us understand issues in a more complete way.

Highlighting and filtering related data in dashboards allows the analyst to answer questions such as:

  • What else was happening at that time?
  • What else is happening with that type or that one?
  • And what’s the next level of detail?
In this paper we’ll discuss several ways to link perspectives. These include highlighting by entity, highlighting by date & time, highlighting by category, highlighting to show detail, and visual filtering.

About the authors

Dr. Chris Stolte, CDO - Tableau Software


Ellie Fields

Sr. Director of Product Development, Tableau

Ellie Fields leads product development teams at Tableau responsible for building analytics that reach more people. Responsible for product strategy and execution for mobile apps, collaboration, alerting, server experience, onboarding and Tableau Public. She's also a regular speaker on Tableau's approach to business intelligence. Prior to Tableau, Ellie worked at Microsoft and in late-stage venture capital. She has an engineering degree from Rice University and an M.B.A. from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.