Wish You Happy New Year 2016


Do you feel that you are Tableau Expert? Then try this challenge 2

Here I am coming with real time challenge. Those who are interested can try this and test your knowledge.

Output look likes below:



Here you are seeing stacked bar chart with 3 different colors.

See below image how to calculate each color value:



See Output for different filter selections:


























































For dataset please download below workbook:





For more challenges: Click Here

Do you feel that you are Tableau Expert? Then try this challenge 1

Here I am coming with real time challenge. Those who are interested can try this and test your knowledge.
Sample Data looks like below:



In above sample data we have Items, Sub Items, Hour and Sales Count.
We have 7 Items (Item 1, Item 2, Item 3, Item 4, Item 5, Item 6 and Item 7), 4 Sub Items for each Item and we have Sales count by Hours, means how many items sold in that hour. For example 0 hour means how many Items/Sub Items sold between 12 Am to 1 Am.

Using this data we have to build 3 reports:

Report 1:

This is simple one. Look like below.



Report 2:

This is intermediate level.  You need to do Bin Analysis.

Bins are like : 0 – 20, 20 – 40, 40 – 60, 60 – 80, 80 – 100, 100 – 150, 150 – 200 and 200 – 500



In above image for 0 hours, 0 – 20 bin size is 6. How we got 6? Look at below image



Report 3:

This is Very Complex level.



Above report we are calculating Higher Frequency of the Hour and Max Sale Count (Hourly)

Max Sale Count (Hourly): Second Row in above Report
This is simple we are just calculating Max value of Sale Count for each hour.

For example let’s see first report image. We have sale count for 0 to 23 hours by Item and Sub Item.

In that we need to calculate Max value for each Hour Column.

So we will get values 123, 133, 176 ……70 with respect to 0, 1, 2, 3 ……23 hours.

Still if you have confusion at below image:



Higher Frequency of the Hour: First Row in Report 3

This is very complex to calculate. This needs expert level knowledge.

To know how to calculate please look at below image:





















Final output of 3rd report should look like this:



For dataset please download below workbook:




For more challenges: Click Here

Taking Dashboards from Good to Great with Custom Shapes

Contributor & Author: Tiffany Spaulding
Reference: Click Here

Many people struggle with bringing graphic design elements into their Tableau dashboards. Last week, we focused on building better dashboards using custom color palettes. This week, let’s dive into best practices for using custom shapes to enhance your Tableau visualizations.

What image file type is best?
When you perform a search on the internet for icons or shape files, typically you will have multiple file types returned: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. Tableau can use all 5 file types; however PNGs (portable network graphics) should be your go to for two key benefits.

PNG Benefit #1: Transparent Background
On a white background, you do not notice the difference between a JPEG shape and a PNG shape. It's only when the shape is placed on a colored background that it becomes obvious why to use the PNG. PNGs have a transparent background which allows shapes to be placed on any color background without concern of an ugly white square around the icon.



Often, we need shapes to appear in close proximity to other shapes in view, overlapping at their edges in certain scenarios. Because PNGs have a transparent background, they can be arranged close to each other without concern of the background overlapping a neighboring shape. With JPEGs, the background will overlap eventually, causing undesirable effects.


Furthermore, if you use JPEG shapes on a map, you’ll be able to see the background white space quite prominently. PNGs reveal elements of the underlying map in a cleaner fashion since their backgrounds are transparent.




PNG Benefit #2: Receive Color Encoding
In Tableau Desktop, if we use JPEG shapes and add a field to color on the marks card, the entire rectangular area of the JPEG is colored, not just the icon. One-color PNGs receive color encoding as we expect since their background is transparent.



Where can I find high quality PNG libraries?
My go-to is always the Noun Project simply because I love the concept. They are an open-source global initiative whose mission is to develop a freely accessible library of icons that will translate across all cultures and languages as a visual language. The site welcomes and encourages contributions from around the world and hosts “iconathons” to encourage constant growth to their libraries. Thanks to the Creative Commons license, most are available for use in Tableau or other mediums. To get started, simply search by buzzword, scroll through the library results, and save those you want to your machine (right-click icon preview and select “Save Image As…”).

I maintain a list of other equally wonderful icon libraries on the internet. Make sure to check out the links below for millions of icons available for free.


What tools can I use to build my own PNGs?
My go-to tool is Adobe Illustrator but you can use PowerPoint as well. Yes, PowerPoint can build PNGs. Any shape, textbox, smart art, or element in PowerPoint can be saved as a PNG by right-clicking and selecting “Save as Image." I use this most often to convert text to images when sending Power Points to my team (as I tend to use some non-standard fonts). It also comes in handy when I need to preserve text on a dashboard that is an unsupported font on Tableau Server. Changing specialty text to image prevents the text from returning to a substitute font when they open the file on their machine or device. The same functionality can be used to bring in images and icons to Tableau for marks, highlights, logos, drop shadows and buttons.

To convert PowerPoint graphics to PNGs for use in Tableau, follow these simple steps:
  1. In PowerPoint, right-click the shape or text element you want to convert to PNG.
  2. Select “Save as Picture…” from the right-click menu.
  3. Name the file and choose a save location. The file type will default to a PNG.
What file size is best for PNGs?
The file size will depend on the visualization. Resizing of the shapes is limited in Tableau as the size slider (Size button on the Marks Card) has a predefined range. I tend to save three versions of my PNGs to have a low, medium, and high resolution option. Icons should never be smaller than 32 pixels by 32 pixels. I tend to save a 50x50, 125x125 and 250x250 version.

How do I add custom shape palettes to Tableau?
Once you have identified the icons you want to use, you’ll need to save them to a very specific location on your computer. Browse the “My Tableau Repository” (available to PC users in your My Documents folder). Think of the "My Tableau Repository" as Tableau’s brain. The software looks here for color palettes, log files, map sources, data sources, and more. Double-click the “Shapes” folder inside the "My Tableau Repository" and you’ll recognize that the list of folders within is the exact same as the shape palettes available by default in Tableau. 

To create a new shape palette, add a new folder within the Shapes folder (don’t forget to name the new folder). Inside the new folder, save (or copy) any of the images you want to utilize in Tableau. The next time you open Tableau Desktop, your shape palette will automatically load. If you have Tableau open while adding shapes, you can either save and restart Tableau, or use the “Reload Shapes” button from the Edit Shape menu to refresh the available shape palettes.

Remember if you are sharing your work with others through Tableau Server, you’ll either need to save your workbook as a TWBX (packaged workbook) or ensure your server admin has added the same shape palette name and contents to the Tableau Server’s repository.

Jedi Mind Tricks (Advanced Use Case for PNGs)
Sometimes we need to show worlds of information in very small spaces. Think about the process of finding a new home. We search by price, but just as important are the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, garage size, square footage, and school district. That is a ton of information to show in one view, however we can combine a few key metrics using iconography and place the other details in a tooltip. By utilizing PNGs, we can take advantage of the transparent background to overlay multiple icons into one informative graphic. 




I hope these quick tips help you to think outside the box of the shapes available in Tableau by default. There are multitudes of free sources to enhance the user experience. Adding iconography ensures the data translates to all users (no concern of shape deficient users like we saw with last week’s color palettes). Remember to always check your work across multiple devices (iPhone, Android, etc.) as well as to use the smallest image size needed. 

How to Create a Custom Color Palette in Tableau

Reference: Click Here
Tableau Desktop comes with a set of color palettes that have been carefully designed to work well together and effectively apply color to data in many situations, such as on maps, heat maps, bars, etc.,. Alternatively, you can add your own custom color palettes to match your corporate identity or to describe common data better.

In general, Tableau offers three types of color palettes: categorical, sequential, and diverging. You can create your own custom color palette by modifying the Preferences.tps file that comes with Tableau Desktop. The Preferences.tps file is located in the My Tableau Repository. The preferences file is a basic XML file that you can open in a text editor to modify. Unedited preferences file looks like following example:

Important: Tableau does not test or support custom color palettes, so be sure to back up your workbooks before you continue. Also, there is no guarantee that your custom color palettes will work with future Tableau Desktop upgrades. 

You can add as many custom palettes as you like, each with as many colors as you want. Make sure each palette has a unique name. The colors are indicated using the standard HTML format. This is the hexadecimal value #RRGGBB or Red Green Blue format. When you save the workbook, the color information is embedded in the file, but it is not included as a reusable color encoding. This means that any colors that are in use are shown for anybody opening the workbook; however, if they don't have the modified preferences file, they cannot use the color information for new color encoding.
Step 1: Edit your preferences file
  1. Go to the My Tableau Repository folder in your Documents directory, and open the Preferences.tps file.
  2. Between the opening and closing "workbook" tags, insert opening and closing "preferences" tags.

  1. Choose a color palette option below and follow the procedure to modify the Preferences.tps file.
Option 1: Create a custom categorical color palette
A categorical color palette contains several distinct colors that can be assigned to discrete dimension members. For example, when you put a discrete dimension such as Region on the Color, the categorical color legend is used. The following is an example of what to add between the "preferences" tags to add a categorical color palette. Note that the "type" attribute is specified as regular, which identifies this palette as a categorical palette.

  1. In the Preferences.tps file, between the "preferences" tags, paste the following:
<color-palette name="My Categorical Palette" type="regular" >
<color>#eb912b</color>
<color>#7099a5</color>
<color>#c71f34</color>
<color>#1d437d</color>
<color>#e8762b</color>
<color>#5b6591</color>
<color>#59879b</color>
</color-palette>
  1. Save the Preferences.tps file and then restart Tableau Desktop.
  2. Open the Superstore sample data source.
  3. From the Dimensions pane, drag the selected discrete dimension (e.g., Region) to Color.
  4. Click the color legend menu arrow and select Edit Colors.

  1. In the Edit Colors dialog box, from the palette drop-down list, select your new custom palette.

  1. Click the Assign Palette button to assign the custom colors to each respective field.
  2. When finished, click OK.

Option 2: Create a custom sequential color palette
Another type of palette is the sequential color palette. Typically, this type of palette shows a single color, varying in intensity. This type of color palette is used for continuous fields, typically for measures. The following is an example of what to add between the "preferences" tags to add a sequential color palette. Note that the "type" attribute is specified as ordered-sequential, which identifies this palette as a sequential palette. Also, for sequential palettes you must specify each variant of the color in the sequential color range.

  1. In the Preferences.tps file, between the "preferences" tags, paste the following:
<color-palette name="My Sequential Palette" type="ordered-sequential" >
<color>#eb912b</color>
<color>#eb9c42</color>
<color>#ebad67</color>
<color>#eabb86</color>
<color>#eacba8</color>
<color>#ebd8c2</color>
</color-palette>
  1. Save the Preferences.tps file and then restart Tableau Desktop.
  2. Open the Superstore sample data source.
  3. From the Measures pane, drag the measure (e.g., Sales) to Color.
  4. Click the color legend menu arrow, and select Edit Colors.
  5. In the Edit Colors dialog box, from the palette drop-down list, select your custom palette.
  6. If you want each color gradation to be defined within a box, select the Stepped Color check box, and in the Steps text box, type the number of color steps you want to display in the bar.
  7. Click the Advanced button.
  8. Select the Start check box, and in the text box, type the low end number you want for the continuum.
  9. Click the Apply button to see the result, and make adjustments as needed. The default for sequential color is to make the high end of the continuum pale and the low end intense; select the Reversed check box to make the high end intense and the low end, pale (this is the default when you keep the Automatic palette selection).

Option 3: Create a custom diverging color palette
The third type of color palette is a diverging color palette. A diverging palette shows two ranges of values using color intensity to show the magnitude of the number and the actual color to show which range the number is from. Diverging palettes are most commonly used to show the difference between positive and negative numbers. The following is an example of what to add between the "preferences" tags to add a diverging color palette. Note that the "type" attribute is specified as ordered-diverging, which identifies this palette as a diverging palette.

  1. In the Preferences.tps file, between the "preferences" tags, paste the following:
<color-palette name="My Diverging Palette" type="ordered-diverging" >
<color>#eb912b</color>
<color>#59879b</color>
</color-palette>
  1. Save the Preferences.tps file and then restart Tableau Desktop.
  2. Open the Superstore sample data source.
  3. Click the Assign Palette button. The colors in the palette are used in the order they appear in the Preferences file.

If you add a sequential or diverging palette, remember to change the "type" attribute from "regular" to one of the following:
  • ordered-sequential
  • ordered-diverging
Step 2: Assign a default custom palette to dimensions and measures and publish as a data source (optional)
After you save the workbook, the custom color palette information is embedded in the workbook (for Excel and text file-based workbooks, in the .twbx) and therefore only available for that workbook. This means that colors that are in use are shown for anybody opening that particular workbook. If they don't have the modified preferences file, they cannot use the color information for any new color encoding. To allow new color encoding using the custom color palette or to standardize a custom color palette for the Tableau workbooks in your organization, you can create the custom color palette using one of the options above, and then publish it as a Tableau Server data source.
  1. On the same computer from which you modified the Preferences.tps file, open Tableau Desktop.
  2. Open the Superstore sample data source.
  3. Right-click a field in the Data pane, and select Default Properties > Color.
  4. In the Edit Colors dialog box, associate the field values with the custom color palette, and then click OK when finished.
  5. From the Data menu, select the data source, select Publish to Server, and then complete process to publish the data source.

After publishing the data source to Tableau Server, connect any new workbooks to this data source to use the custom color palette.