Do you already use reporting software such as Access, SSRS or WebI? Or is this your first reporting software tool? Either way, welcome.
In just a couple of hours, find out how to create reports in one of the common reporting tools, and add another tool to your CV.
Tableau is one of the most requested reporting tools that are requested in the job market, and the ability to being able to use it now could be very useful for your current work, and your next job hunt.
We'll download and install for free a trial version of Tableau Desktop. We'll investigate existing sample reports and create reports of our one. These will include bar charts, line charts and maps, using colors, labels and tooltips to help the user understand the data.
We'll create dashboards and storyboards, so that you can tell a story. We'll also have a look at some free resources, so you can see what the professional do.
The course will take around 3 hours to complete - less than half a day - but completing this will enable you to create reports of your own, and know how to overcome common problems.
The course increases in difficulty slowly, so you'll create for instance a basic bar chart, then turn it into a stacked bar chart, and adding coloring and information through tooltips and labels, step by step.
The course is fairly relaxed - there will be a few "wrong turns", so you can see what problems might arise, but every lesson works towards an end goal at a relatively slow pace, so you can follow on your own computer easily. I assume that you know how to use a computer, including installing programs, but the actual analysis will be at a basic level, and I'll introduce every component as we go on.
At the end of the course, you can download a certificate of completion, so you can show everyone your new-found skills, and be able to start creating analyses for yourselves.
Download Superstore sample files
We'll use an existing Excel spreadsheet as the data source, look at the necessity to add data types to columns, and import into Tableau.
Let's create our first basic report, and then have an overview of what type of reports can be created, and what data you need to do so.
Just like in Excel, numbers can be formatted so many different ways. Let's find out how to go to that dialog box, and what formats you can use.
Let's expand our line graph with a second axis, dividing our analysis into quarters and months. We'll find out that there are two ways to present this - discrete and continuous - and why that matters.
We've previously formatted numbers. Formatting dates can be just as easy. Let's do it using the date axis in our graph.
Having created a line chart, then create a basic chart.
Now it gets more complicated. Let's turn our bar chart into a stacked bar chart, and add labels and tooltips to give the end user the information he needs.
Most of the time, you will be lucky if all you have is one data source. Let's add a second data source from an Excel spreadsheet, join to our existing data, and create an analysis which uses data from both sources.
Sources can be more ad hoc that Excel sources. Let's paste in some data from the clipboard, join it to our existing data, and then reconcile any conflicts between the two sets of data.
At the end of the day, you might want to have an interactive presentation. Let's start with creating a basic dashboard.
Our presentation has a few problems. Let's expand the dashboard, adding additional interactivity for the end user, and resize it for different audiences. Also, let's find a free resource of published dashboards, so that we can get a few ideas for our next one.
One screen might not be enough for your presentation. Let's create a story - several graphs or dashboards which, like a PowerPoint presentation, present your message in a cohesive way.
That's a wrap. Let's save your work, you can load it again. Finally, we'll have a look at all of the menus, and cover any that we have missed.
A lot of good ideas can be got by looking at existing presentations. We'll look at one now, and then create our first basic geographic analysis.
You can present information on maps in so many ways. Let's color locations, and bubbles, and so forth.
Sometimes we might need to tweak the analysis. Let's use functions to create our first calculated field, and then find that we need a workaround to use it as a filter.
Now that we've created our first calculated field, let's have a look at some of the more common functions you can use.
You might want to treat values before a certain figure differently from those above - but does that figure need to be hard coded? Let's create a parameter, and let the user decide what that figure should be.
A bin is a holder of a range of values - for example, the bin "Small numbers" could contain the numbers 0 to 99. Let's create our first bin of values
Well done for completing this course. Here's a little thank you.
Congratulations for getting through the course. Let's take a moment to view what you have learnt. Don't forget to get your Certificate for completing this course - and thank you for joining me.
Phillip is a Computing Consultant providing expert services in the development of computer systems and data analysis. He is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. He has also been certified as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert for Business Intelligence, Microsoft Office 2010 Master, and as a Microsoft Project 2013 Specialist.
He enjoys investigating data, which allows me to maintain up to date and pro-active systems to help control and monitor day-to-day activities. As part of the above, he also developed and maintained a Correspondence Database in Microsoft Access and SQL Server, for viewing job-related correspondence (110,000 pdfs in one job) by multiple consultants and solicitors.
He has also developed expertise and programmes to catalogue and process and control electronic data, large quantities of paper or electronic data for structured analysis and investigation.
He is one of 9 award winning Experts for Experts Exchange's 11th Annual Expert Awards and was one of Expert Exchange's top 10 experts for the first quarter of year 2015.
His interests are working with data, including Microsoft Excel, Access and SQL Server.