Data Visualization plays a vital role in today’s revolutionized industry scenarios. It holds various composite and combined indicators and displays them in a single space called Dashboards that provide comprehensive insights from data at-a-glance. There are a wide variety of Data Visualization tools available that can be leveraged by businesses to create easy-to-understand and interactive Dashboards.

This article will provide you with an understanding of how you can build a Tableau KPI Dashboard by stitching together various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from numerous worksheets.

Introduction to Tableau

Tableau Logo
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Tableau is a widely used Business Intelligence tool in the current market. Its popularity is due to its capability of handling Big Data and is relatively simple to deploy, learn and use. Tableau generates insights from the raw data and creates a visual masterpiece for businesses to make data-driven decisions.

Visualizations in Tableau are generated as Worksheets, Dashboards, and Stories. Users can create custom Dashboards that provide actionable insights and help drive the business forward. When configured with the proper underlying hardware and operating systems, all products by Tableau always operate in virtualized environments. Tableau can be used to explore data with limitless visualizations.

Tableau Product Offerings
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More information on Tableau can be found here.

Understanding the Key Features of Tableau

The key features of Tableau are as follows:

  • Tableau Dashboard: Tableau houses an intuitive Dashboard with self-explaining wizards, allowing both technical and non-technical users to create and understand complex visualization easily. All Dimensions and Measures can be analyzed by creating Tableau KPI Dashboards which include numerous charts, graphs, and other forms of visualizations that can be created using a simple drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Collaborative Sharing:  Tableau allows users to share Dashboards with their peers for collaborative work or review. Users can also share Dashboards on the cloud, which makes them accessible from any part of the world.
  • Data Sources in Tableau: Tableau has more than 200+ connectors that give users the ability to connect to a plethora of external data sources like RDBMS, Cloud, Spreadsheet, etc., securely. Tableau also provides several monitoring features such as Data Connectivity, Auto-Refresh, etc. 
  • Advanced Visualizations (Chart Types): Tableau has a vast collection of simple visualization such as Charts, Tables, Graphs, Maps, etc. along with complex visualizations such as Area Chart, Bar Chart, Box-and-whisker Plots, Bubble Cloud, Bullet Graph, Cartogram, Dot Distribution Map, Heat Map, etc.
  • In-Memory and Live Data: Tableau ensures seamless connectivity with data extracted from numerous external data sources in the form of In-memory or live data sources. This gives users the ability to analyze data from various data sources without any restrictions. 
  • Robust Security: Tableau implements special measures to ensure user and data security. It houses a security system based on permission and authentication mechanisms for user access and data connections.
  • Predictive Analytics: Tableau houses several data modeling capabilities, including forecasting and trending. Users can easily add a trend line or forecast data for any chart, and view details describing the fit easily.

Introduction to KPI

Key Performance Indicators
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KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator and is very useful to assess business performance. KPI offers a glance at various performance metrics such as Sales, Revenues, Trends, etc., and helps businesses make data-driven decisions. 

Tableau provides excellent interactive services to create appealing visuals, which plays an essential role in effective communication. Tableau KPI Dashboards can be used to visualize various metrics in the form of Charts and Graphs that seek users’ attention. KPIs are usually color-coded with arrows indicating upward or downward trends.


  • Tableau Desktop or Tableau Services subscription
  • Basic understanding of Data Analysis and Visualization. 
  • Access to Tableau’s in-store sample data called Sample – Superstore.xls

Visualizing KPIs Using Tableau

In this section, you will get an understanding of how you can develop worksheets containing various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and later combine them to create a Tableau KPI Dashboard that will provide you with an overall picture at-a-glance. The following steps can be implemented to create a Tableau KPI Dashboard.

Step 1: Creating a Worksheet to Display Profit Information

  • Launch Tableau and log in with your user credentials.
  • Create a new Worksheet and name it Profit-KPI.
  • From Tableau, connect to the inhouse data store and load the file named Sample_Supertore.xls.
  • From the Sample_Superstore data, drag Order to the Workbook page to create Measures.
  • To indicate KPI, you need to create some calculated fields.
  • Create a field called Current_Year_Indicator and apply the following formula: 
YEAR([Order Date])= {FIXED: MAX(YEAR([Order Date]))}
  • Create Duplicate of Current_Year_Indicator and name it Prior_Year_Indicator and apply the following formula:
  • Create a field to calculate the profit for the current year and name it Profit_CY with the following formula: 
IFNULL(If [Current Year Indicator] THEN [Profit] END,0)
  • Create a Duplicate of Profit_CY, rename it as Profit_PY, and apply the following formula: 
IFNULL(If [Prior Year Indicator] THEN [Profit] END,0)
  • Create a field to calculate profit and name it  Profit_Change and apply the following formula: 
(SUM([Profit – CY])-SUM([Profit – PY]))
  •  To get Profit %, create a field called Profit_Change_% and apply the following formula:
(SUM([Profit – CY])-SUM([Profit – PY]))/SUM([Profit – PY])
  • Drag the field Profit_CY to rows and apply all the visual settings you wish to apply, like Font, Color, Borders, Shapes, etc.
Edit Colors
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  • Once the formatting is done, your visuals will look like the image below.
Tableau Worksheet
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Similarly, build the Worksheets for Sales, Profit-Ratio, Country-wise sales, etc.

Step 2: Building the Tableau KPI Dashboard

Now that you have created several KPIs, it’s time to stitch them together to create an interactive Tableau KPI Dashboard to collate all the information and make it presentable in one place.

The following steps can be implemented to create a Tableau KPI Dashboard:

  • From the Tableau menu, select Create New Dashboard and name it Revenue Dashboard
  • In the Dashboard option, change the size of the Dashboard from Desktop Browser – Free to Automatic. 
  • Now Drag all the Worksheets created in the previous step to the Dashboard viz Sales KPI, Profit KPI, Profit Ratio KPI, Country KPI, etc. in a horizontal layout.
  • Use the functionality called Distribute Content Evenly from the Layout Containers to distribute the various KPIs evenly.
Tableau Distributing Content Equally
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  • Once all the fields have been added, your Tableau KPI Dashboard will look something like the following image:
Sales Tableau KPI Dashboard
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  • Add more elements and KPIs to make the Tableau KPI Dashboard more informative as per the requirements of the analysis. You can add as many KPIs as you wish to by creating separate worksheets, and then tying them together in a Tableau KPI Dashboard to make it look something like the image below.
Tableau KPI Dashboard
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This article you with an in-depth understanding of how you can create Tableau KPI Dashboards and easily keep track of the performance of your business.

Choosing a Business Intelligence and Data Analysis tool for your business can be a tough decision primarily because almost all departments in a business such as Finance, Marketing, etc. now make use of multiple platforms to run their day-to-day operations and there is no single tool that can integrate with all these sources easily. Hence, businesses can consider using automated Data Integration platforms like Hevo.

Hevo helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence tools such as Tableau, etc., or desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code allowing you to create Tableau KPI Dashboards seamlessly. It will make your life easier and make data migration hassle-free. It is User-Friendly, Reliable, and Secure.

Details on Hevo’s pricing can be found here. Give Hevo a try by signing up for the 14-day free trial today.

Vishal Agrawal
Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Vishal Agarwal is a Data Engineer with 10+ years of experience in the data field. He has designed scalable and efficient data solutions, and his expertise lies in AWS, Azure, Spark, GCP, SQL, Python, and other related technologies. By combining his passion for writing and the knowledge he has acquired over the years, he wishes to help data practitioners solve the day-to-day challenges they face in data engineering. In his article, Vishal applies his analytical thinking and problem-solving approaches to untangle the intricacies of data integration and analysis.

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