Tips for Customizing Analytics Dashboards in Tableau ONLC Training Centers

Tableau is one of the most powerful pieces of business intelligence software ever created. With Tableau, you can connect to a myriad of different data sources to pull information together forming a comprehensive study of what is going on inside your business and then share that information in a variety of ways.

Tableau provides reporting tools, charts and graphs as well as a multitude of analytical controls that allow you to analyze and uncover trends in your data. You can visually create dashboards using any number of different data sets without having to know how to write technical queries. So, let’s take a look at how you can effectively customize analytics dashboards in Tableau.

What Types of Metrics Should I Be Reporting?

Probably one of the most common barriers to starting an analytics project is deciding exactly what you want to measure. Metrics can vary widely depending on your intended audience and type of industry. Let’s go over some of the most common tools involved in displaying metrics in different analytics dashboards.

Forecasting Models

You can forecast the measurements of data over a specific time series by using exponential smoothing models. With exponential smoothing, recent data points are assigned more weight than older observations, so the newest data is the most relevant. Forecasting models capture the developing trends or the seasonality of the data and can provide a glimpse into the future. Forecasting is fully automatic and configurable. These forecasted results can be included as fields in visualizations.

Data Access

Usage statistics can be captured and displayed to provide a sense of the usefulness and relevance of included data sources. This allows you to collect metrics on the base of your metrics. If users aren’t accessing the data then maybe it isn’t that important, and the search for a more relevant data source might be worthwhile.

Website Metrics

Everyone wants to know how well their website is performing. Probably the most sought-after figure is the traffic on the site. This metric tells you how effective your website is in attracting potential customers. The conversion rate is also very important. The conversion rate lets you know well your website is converting clicks to actual sales or sales leads. The average pages visited on your site will also let you know what users think of your content. They will quickly bounce to another site if your content doesn’t hold them there and make them want to explore the other pages on your website.

Marketing and Sales Figures

Every business at the end of the day wants to know how well they are doing. This is especially vital over a specified period to let them know what decisions in the past or present are creating or inhibiting sales. Tableau includes many different easily constructed visualizations to easily display sales data.

What Should I Consider When Customizing Dashboards?

Device Types

Will your dashboard be mostly viewed on desktop or laptop computers or will they be viewed on the tablets and mobile devices of busy network executives? This will help you to define your dashboard layout so that it maximizes the user experience on their preferred devices.

Intended Audience

Who will be accessing your dashboard? Will it be for researchers that are very analytical and want to be able to deep dive into extensive datasets? On the other end of the spectrum, do you need to design your dashboard so that managers and executives can quickly derive the bottom line from your data?


What is the intended purpose of your dashboard? Most dashboards are usually designed to either persuade, inform or engage their intended audience. This will impact the design and layout of your dashboard so that it makes sense to your audience while still accomplishing your goal of building it in the first place.


Different industries will be collecting data for many different purposes. Data can be accumulated from a never-ending stockpile of different data sources and combined into meaningful, easy to use dashboards for a multitude of different audiences in different industries. Here are some common examples.

  • Marketing companies will always want to know if they are driving traffic to a company and converting their advertising into real-world sales.
  • Gas and oil companies want to know the throughput in their pipelines and how many barrels they are producing from a specific area during a specified week, month or year.
  • Construction companies will want to know how long it takes to complete projects, how much manpower was involved, and the costs associated with each project.
  • Software companies always want to know how many developers were required, their average skill level and their salaries so that they can map out appropriate resources for similar projects.

All of these different industries want to view different metrics. Some types of dashboards make sense for the different types of data they wish to view. That’s why Tableau Analytics lets you easily customize your dashboards in ways that make sense to their specific group of viewers.

The easiest way to learn how to use all of that vast functionality is to obtain professional training through one of ONLC’s many certified training courses. With more than 300 remote learning classrooms around the country, chances are you can easily find a location where you can start your journey to becoming a Tableau master. Contact us today to get started.

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