About Ryan Sleeper

Ryan Sleeper is founder and principal of Playfair Data. He is a data visualization designer, author, speaker, trainer, and consultant specializing in Tableau. Ryan is a current Tableau Zen Master, 2013 Tableau Iron Viz Champion, author of the 2015 Tableau Public Visualization of the Year, and author of Practical Tableau (O'Reilly).

How to Add an Image to a Tableau Tooltip

Tableau Image Viz in Tooltip FeatureThis year marked the introduction of a long-awaited Tableau feature: Viz in Tooltip. I believe this will be a game-changer in how we analyze data, but I have been taking my time to process its applications and see how I intend to use them as a consultant. There’s no doubt this feature has the ability to reduce the time to insight and make our visualizations more engaging; two of my three tenets of good visualization. For me, it will also blur the line between descriptive and prescriptive analytics. It’s a lot to take in! My friend, Jeffrey Shaffer, has already shared twenty different ideas for using the Viz in Tooltip functionality (see Tableau Tips Volume 12 and Volume 13). While I’m still working my way through the most practical and useful applications of this, I’ve come across my first real-world usage. This post shares how to use Tableau’s Viz in Tooltip and how to use this feature to add an image to a tooltip.

By | 2018-02-13T14:22:11+00:00 February 13th, 2018|Tableau Tips|

Tableau UI Tip 3: How to Add a Cross-Workbook Menu to a Dashboard

Tableau UI Tip 3 Feature Cross Workbook MenuThis is the third in a series of five posts about improving the user interface of your Tableau workbooks. For future Tableau tips, subscribe for weekly updates. As a consultant, I’m often asked to consolidate many views on a single dashboard, or even many dashboards within a single workbook. Putting too much in a single dashboard or workbook has several disadvantages including (1) less efficient processing (2) increased difficultly in managing fields and (3) loss of focus on answering the business question at hand. My solution for handling the too many views on a single dashboard request is to strategically group the views into separate dashboards. In the first Tableau UI tip, I illustrated how to make an integrated navigation to link multiple dashboards together. But sometimes this is not enough. Sometimes the separate dashboards warrant their own workbooks, and your user interface should provide an intuitive way to link those workbooks together. This post shows you how to use dashboard actions to add a cross-workbook menu to a Tableau dashboard.

By | 2018-02-06T13:51:38+00:00 February 6th, 2018|Tableau Tips|

Tableau UI Tip 2: Alert-Style Splash Page with Cross Dashboard Filters

Tableau UI Tip 2 Feature Splash Page with Cross Dashboard FiltersThis is the second in a series of five posts about improving the user interface of your Tableau workbooks. For future Tableau tips, subscribe for weekly updates. In the post, 3 Ways to Add Alerts to Your Dashboards, the third idea is to create a “heat map dashboard” meant to highlight data points of interest to the viewer. An alert-style dashboard like this provides the benefit of not making your end users work too hard before deciding if they should dig deeper. If using Tableau Server or Tableau Online to subscribe to the view, they may decide that nothing needs further investigation and not interact with the dashboard at all. Of course, if you went through the trouble of making a dashboard to monitor the performance of a particular business objective, insights are likely to emerge fairly regularly. At that point, you have a lot of control in designing the dashboard user interface in a way that helps the end user take the next step as efficiently as possible. This post shows you how to make an alert-style splash page, or dashboard introduction, and two ways to link in to deeper analyses.

By | 2018-01-30T13:16:42+00:00 January 30th, 2018|Tableau Tips|

Practical Tableau: 3 Ways to Add Alerts to Your Dashboards

Practical Tableau 3 Ways to Add Alerts FeatureThis chapter is excerpted from the Early Release version of Practical Tableau: 100 Tips, Tutorials, and Strategies from a Tableau Zen Master published by O’Reilly Media Inc., 2017, ISBN: 978-1-4919-7724-8. Shop for Practical Tableau. One of the biggest advantages to using a tool like Tableau is that the software can do much of the ‘heavy lifting’ for you. For example, you can build in logic to improve the usability of your dashboards once, and have it work for you or your end users from that point on. One application of this is to add alerts to your dashboards that help communicate notifications or insights. You may want to use alerts to notify users or remind yourself that a certain filter is on. Perhaps you have specific performance thresholds that are tolerable to your business, but want to be alerted somehow if performance is ever higher or lower than expected. Adding alerts to your dashboards helps reduce the time to insight and elicit action that helps your business – the primary goal of analytics. This chapter will cover three different examples of dashboard alerts.

By | 2018-01-23T13:04:07+00:00 January 23rd, 2018|Tableau Tips|

Tableau UI Tip 1: How to Create a Custom Top Navigation

How to Make a Tableau Top Navigation FeatureThis is the first in a series of five posts about improving the user interface of your Tableau workbooks. For future Tableau tips, subscribe for weekly updates. In my data visualization mission statement, I mentioned that I constantly try to (1) reduce the time to insight (2) improve the accuracy of insights and (3) increase engagement. Engagement is more than making pretty charts. It is also about providing an intuitive user experience to help your end users find additional value-adding insights. This series aims to provide several ideas and inspiration for improving your Tableau workbooks. These tips will be applicable for Tableau Desktop, Tableau Public, Tableau Online, and Tableau Server. The first tip in this series will show you how to recreate something similar to the Tableau Online / Server interface within your own Tableau workbook. This is a great technique any time you need to provide an intuitive and professional-looking interface for your end users to navigate between multiple dashboards.

By | 2018-01-17T11:58:26+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Tableau Tips|