Learn Data Visualisation with Tableau 9

Learn how to visualise your data using Tableau Desktop, guided by a Tableau Zen Master and Wannabe Data Rockstar.
4.2 (161 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,460 students enrolled
Take This Course
  • Lectures 48
  • Length 4.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 7/2015 English

Course Description

  • Do you have data that you want to see and understand?
  • Do you want to create data visualisations?
  • Do you want to know how to use the latest version of Tableau?
  • Do you want to know data viz best practises from a Tableau Zen Master and dataviz expert?
  • Do you want a step by step guide through the world or data visualisation?

If you answered yes to any of the above then this course is for you.

By taking this course you will learn how you can use Tableau to see and understand your data.

The course is structured in such as way as to guide you step by step through the process of visualising data with Tableau. We'll begin with connecting to your data and understanding the structure. We'll look at the best ways of visualising that data. We'll look at ways to analyse the data using visual analytics. And we will put it all together into a fully interactive dashboard.

Using example datasets you will be able to follow along and each section has exercises that build on what you have learnt.

Unlike other courses that just teach you how to use the interface, by taking his course you will learn not only how to create interactive visualisations using Tableau but also why. You will learn the most effective ways to present your data and best practises on when particular chart types should be used.

What are the requirements?

  • A copy of either Tableau Desktop, a 14 day trial version is available or the free Tableau Public. Some of your own data would be useful but not necessary as data sets will be provided.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Create interactive data visualisations using Tableau that adhere to best practises
  • Connect to datasets
  • Re-shape and transform data sources into ones that are optimised for use in Tableau
  • Understand the difference between blue and green pills
  • Organise your data using Groups and Sets
  • Create filters to enable you to visualise large data sets
  • Enhance your data using calculated fields and parameters
  • Understand the importance of picking the right colours
  • Add extra detail to visualisations using shapes, sizes and labels
  • Use tool tips to show extra details when needed
  • Know the best chart types to use for your data
  • Create bar charts
  • Create Line charts
  • Create scatterplots
  • Create heatmaps
  • Create histograms
  • Create Maps
  • Create Dual Axis Charts
  • Create Line Charts
  • Use the new visual analytics pane in Tableau 9 to quickly add reference lines, trend lines and forcasts
  • Create dashboards that combine multiple sheets and allow interaction between them
  • Tell a story by creating Tableau Story points.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for anyone new to Tableau, or those that have a basic understanding and what to take it to the next level
  • The course is structured so that no prior knowledge of Tableau is necessary but will also show experienced users new ways of using the software.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Data Visualisation with Tableau
Introduction, who i am and what the course is about
What you materials you will need for the course.

In this lecture we go step by step and show you how to create a dashboard in 10 minutes using the skills you will learn in this course.

Section 2: How to connect to your data

Learn how to connect to data that is stored in files such as text files or excel spreadsheeds


How to combine multiple tables in your data into single data sources using database style joins. The result of the joined data is a single datasource that can be queried.


Understand the difference between a live data connection and a data extract, the pro's and con's of both and when to use them.


Often excel files contain extra headings, footers and other fields that are not data. In this lecture i will show you the new data intrepeter that will strip this out.

Data Connection Exercise
Section 3: Understanding the difference between Green and Blue pills

How the colour of the pills affect Tableau's behaviour when creating a viz. By understanding this behaviour you will gain a greater understanding of how a viz is built. This will enable you to create the viz that you want faster and easier.

When a pill is dropped on the row and column shelf what happens next depends on whether its a green or blue pill.
  • A blue pill will create a header,
  • A green pill creates an axis.

By understanding this behaviour you can build any chart type you want.


The type of filter that is created depends on the type of pill used for the filter.

  • Blue pills create a discrete filter where you have a checkbox to select individual dimensions
  • Green pills create a range filter so you filter for a range of values

Dropping a green or blue pill onto the colour shelf creates a colour palette. The type of colour palette depends on the pill type

  • Blue pills create a discrete colour palette, each value in the pill is assigned a specific colour
  • Green pills create a continuous colour palette, a range of shades wlll be assigned for the values in the data
In both cases the colours can be changed to suit your design or colour scheme.

Tableau handles dates in a number of different ways depending on the nature of the data.

  • Blue pills use discrete dates, Years, months,quarters etc so you can compare the same periods eg look at Q1-Q4 over a number of years
  • Green pills create continuous dates
Green/Blue Quiz
2 questions
Section 4: Organising your data

Setting the data defaults means that every time you use that particular dimension or measure the default settings for things such as colour, aggregation, format will be the same across all sheets in your workbook


Sometimes your data has levels of detail that you would like to be able to roll-up and drill-down eg


By creating a hierarchies you can define these relationships within your dataset. Then then you add these to your viz you can drill down as and when you need to.


Often you will find that values within a particular dimension need to be grouped together. For example you might have a list of countries and you would like to categorise them by continent. But this information is not present in your data. You can create this higher level of category by highlighting the countries, create a group and name that your continent.

  • Groups allow you to select items within your data and categorise them.
  • This can then be used like any other dimension.
  • They can be used to create top level hierachies.

Sets are similar to groups in that you can create sub-sets of data values. However groups that you create are static, if a new value is entered into your data, this will mean you need to manually update the group. Sets allow you to set-up dynamic groupings based on rules

  • Sets are dynamic
  • You create a rule, for example the top 10 countries by profit
  • If the data changes, then the contents of the set will also update to reflect that.
  • Sets can be used to colour marks

By default Tableau will try to display every record in the data. Filters allow you to only show a subset of data. There are a number of different filter types which depends on whether a green or blue pill is being used as the filter source.

  • Filters can include or exclude data
  • They can be used on dimensions and measures
  • They can work on single sheets, across selected sheets or on every sheet using the datasource
  • Filters can be dynamic and only show relative values
Data Organisation Exercise
Section 5: Enhance your data

Calculated fields let you enhance your data by creating new values. This could be as simple as doubling a measures value such as SUM(Sales)*2 .

  • Create new values in your data
  • Uses similar functions as in Excel
  • Functions include string, logical, dates and number functions

Often you might have data in several places. You might have data in an Oracle database and additional data in Excel. These data sources cannot be joined, instead they can be blended together to allow you to create a viz based on both data sources.

  • Unlike joins blending allows you to combine data from disparate data sources
  • You can define the relationships between the data sources
  • You have a primary data source and one or more secondary sources
  • Data is first aggregated together and then joined
  • The * means that Tableau found more than one record when attempting to make the blend

Parameters are dynamic values that can replace values in calculations and can then be used as filters. For example, a calculated field, if Sales are greater than $500,000 then return true, and otherwise return False. Using a parameter, you can replace the constant value of in the calculated field with a parameter than you can change dynamically using the Parameter control.

  • Allows you to create filters based on dynamic values
  • Allows you to filter across several sheets that are from separate data sources.
  • Parameters can be free text, a selectable list of values, or a range of values.
Enhancing Data Exercise
Section 6: Use colour to enhance your viz

Colour is a great way to add both interest and detail to a viz. It's important to know the right colours to use and which combinations work well together. Equally its vital to know which colours to avoid. Choose wisely and you can enhance your viz. in this lecture you will learn

  • How to add colour to your viz
  • What colour combinations work well and which ones don't
Colour Exercise
Section 7: Add extra detail to your viz using the Marks Shelf

Adding a dimension or measure to the size card allows you to encode data in the size of the mark in a viz.


Shapes allow you to display multiple values as shapes, particuarly useful in scatter plots where u want to show clustering of a particular dimension.


Putting a measure or dimension on the label card allows you to label the marks in your viz.

  • Labels can be manually edited to show more information
  • Labels can apply to all, selected, highlighted marks in the view.

Putting a dimension onto the detail card adds that to the level of detail in the viz. For example consider a scatter plot of profit vs sales. Adding customer to the detail shelf will show the profit/sales per customer. Add country and it will show it for county.

  • Add a level of detail to the viz based on the dimension places on the card

Tool tips appear when you hover over a mark in your viz. By adding pills to the tooltips card they will appear in the tooltips, but unlike the detail card they will not change the look of the viz

  • Add more detail to tooltips without adding it to the viz
Mark Shelf Exercise
Section 8: Know which chart types to use
Bar Charts
Lines Charts
Dual Axis Charts
Pie Charts
Chart Type Quiz
2 questions
Section 9: Use visual analytics to find answers in your data

Sometimes you might find something interesting in the viz that you wish to highlight. This is done using Annotations.

In this lecture we will look at 2 types of annotations

  • Mark annotations - these are linked to a mark(s) and will move if the mark moves.
  • Point annotations - these are linked to a point on an axis rather than a mark. This means that as the data changes, the point will remain the same.

Annotations behave in a similar way to tool tips and we can add extra detail by adding more dimensions and measures to the detail marks card.


Tableau 9 introduced the analytics pane which allows you to perform drag and drop analytics.

  • Create reference lines on vizzes based on either the data in the viz or a constant value
  • Easily create box plots
  • Create multiple reference lines for all measures in the viz
  • Create trend and forecasting by simply dragging them into the viz
Visual Analytics Exercise
Section 10: Create interactive dashboards

Tableau allows you to combine multiple sheets together into one single dashboard.

  • Dashboards can be exploratory or explanatory
  • Show related visualisations from multiple data sources
  • Allows multiple questions to be asked of a single dashboard.

Once you have assembled your dashboard the next step is to link the sheets together. This is done using dashboard actions. There are 3 kinds of actions that can be used for this

  • Filter actions : Selecting a mark or group of marks on one sheet will filter the other sheets to only show the same data as selected.
  • Highlight actions : Selecting a mark or group of marks on one sheet will highlight the same marks on the other sheets in the dashboard.
  • URL actions: When a mark is selected the URL is opened in a browser. This allows linking to webpages, either internal or external. Values in the data can be passsed as URL parameters.

Once you have created your dashboard the next step is to format it. There are many layout and format options available to you so you can create your perfect dashboard

  • Set your dashboard to be a fixed size so you know it will fit your users screens.
  • Change the background colours, fonts to create a distinct look and feel.
Dashboard Exercise
Section 11: Storytelling with data with Story Points

Telling stories with data is a great way of conveying information to your users. By using Tableau story points you can link together dashboards and sheets to create a narrative.

  • You highlight certain insights and provide additional context
  • Use a narrative structure to break the story into pieces that build on each other
  • Can be used very effectively as a presentation tool with the advantage that the "slides" are not static but are interactive dashboards/sheets
  • Allows you explain your findings in a dashboard remotely.
Story Exercise

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Matt Francis, Data Wrangler, Data Viz Creator, Tableau Zen Master

I love data and using Tableau to create interactive data visualisations

By day I work at one of the world's largest DNA sequencing labs. There I create Tableau dashboards that enable the DNA sequencing pipelines to keep track on the thousands of DNA samples and the data they produce. Since discovering and installing Tableau 4 years ago, I am now the champion for Tableau within the institute and love to share the good news of data viz to anyone that will listen.

By night I create vizzes on Tableau Public on topics ranging from Sunspots, Premier League injuries, a treasure hunting game, Malaria, and more. I am heavily engaged in the Tableau community through my blog that contains tutorials and commentary as well as twitter (about 1/3 of my tweets are tableau related)! I am co-host of the Tableau Wannabe Podcast, where we have a mix of discussion, guests and good banter that makes it a must listen to all that love Tableau. We have interviewed many of the biggest names in Tableau, including Tableau CEO Christian Chabot.

I have attended the last 7 Tableau Customer Conferences in London and have presented at 5 of them on topics ranging from Story Telling with Data to dashboard design and expert tips and tricks. I've also attended and presented at the last two Tableau Conferences in the U.S.

My proudest achievement to date occurred in 2014 when my contributions were acknowledged with the title of Tableau Zen Master.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course