Tableau Beginners Tutorial

A Simple Introduction to Tableau.

Photo by Shrey Chapra from Pexels

Tableau is one of the data visualization tool that is used for creating interactive charts , dashboards.

In this article, I have explained some basic components and charts in tableau.

  1. Measure and Dimensions
  2. Discrete vs Continuous
  3. Measure Names vs Measure Values
  4. Marks Card
  5. Show Me
  6. Different types of graphs


  1. Install Tableau public/desktop

2. Connect to data source. [In this blog, I have explained sample data set]

Dataset: In the connect Pane → Under Saved Data Sources → click “Sample -Superstore” [In tableau desktop]

Now let’s dive deep into tableau basic components.

1. Measures and Dimensions

Measures are quantitative information

Dimensions contain categorical and qualitative information


Continuous Variables → Ex. Sales, Profit



  1. Text → Ex. Customer Name
  2. Date → Ex. Order Date, Shipping date
  3. Geographic → Ex. Country, State, City, Zipcode
Dimensions — [Image by Author]

2. Discrete vs Continuous

In the tableau, blue is discrete, and green is continuous.

Discrete will add headers when dragged into the view. Whereas continuous will add an axis when dragged into the view.

Discrete → Ex. category, Sub-Category, Region

Continuous →Ex. Sales, Profit

Image by Author

3. Measure Values vs Measure Names

Measure Names and Measure Values are automatically generated when connected to a data source.

Measure Values

Names of the measures will come under measure names and their values come under measure values. [Drag Measure names to row shelf and measure values to Text]

Image by Author

Marks card

In the tableau, the Marks card gives you more control about how to display the data in the view.

  1. Color
  2. Size
  3. Label
  4. Detail
  5. Tooltip

Example: Sales vs Profit graph (without using marks card)

By using “Marks Card” we can add more detail to this view.

Detail → This will give increase the level of detail. If we drag customer name to “Detail”, this graph will display the Sales vs Profit for each customer.

Size → We can change the size of the shape based on Profit by dragging “Profit” to “size”

Shape → We can change the shape too by selecting the shapes from the “Shape” marks card.

Color → Based on “Profit” we can change the color too.

Tooltip: Tooltip will indicate the customer name, profit and sales. If we want more information to be added, we can drag that variable to “Tooltip”.

By using Marks card, we made our view to be more informative. From the graph, we can know the customer with high profit, less profit, More sales, fewer sales.

Show Me

Show Me → It will highlight the graphs suitable for the selected view.

After selecting the items in the column/row shelf, Show Me will highlight the graphs for that particular view.


Let’s look into different types of graphs in the tableau.

Example: We have to check the sum of sales for each sub-category. It can be shown in many graphs.

1. Text Table

Sub-Category → Row shelf

Sales → Text and Color [Marks card]

[In color → edit color — I have chosen red-green diverging]

2. Highlight Tables

Sub-Category → Row shelf

Sales → Text and Color [Marks card]

Show Me → Selected highlight tables.

3. Horizontal Bar Graph

Sub-Category → Row shelf

Sales → Row shelf and Color [Marks card]

4. Gantt Bar Chart

Sub-Category → Row shelf

Sales → Row shelf and Color [Marks card]

In Marks card — choose ‘Gantt Bar’

5. Heat Map

Sub-Category → Row shelf

Sales → Size and Color [Marks card]

In Show Me — choose ‘Heat Map’

6. Tree Map

Sub-Category → Row shelf

Sales → Color [Marks card]

In Show Me — Choose ‘Tree Map’

7. Stacked Bar Chart

Row Shelf → Sales

Sub_category — Color and Text in Marks card.

In Show Me, Choose “Stacked Bars”

8. Pie Chart

Column Shelf → Sub-category
Sales → Row shelf and Text in Marks card
In Show Me → Choose “Pie Chart”

9. Packed Bubbles

Column Shelf → Sub-category
Sales → Row shelf
In “Show Me” → Choose “Pie Chart”

Download this workbook from this Tableau Public Link


By using tableau, we can create more interactive charts. In this blog, I have explained how to create many charts for a given scenario.

Thanks for reading and hope you all like it!

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