We are excited to announce our UH Tableau Users Group to support, share ideas, and learn from those who are working with Tableau on the UH campus. In our first meeting, we will review current UH Tableau deployments, discuss UH branding, color palettes, and how to publish dashboards to a website.
We first adopted Tableau as our data visualization software back in 2016. Since then, we have implemented approximately 24 dashboards to facilitate decision-making at UH. During a six month period between May and November 2020, we have amassed over 27,000 unique dashboard visits!
UH By the Numbers features 18 dashboards restricted to faculty and staff use only. You must log in with your Cougarnet credentials to access these dashboards. They are organized into these categories:
UH Statistical Handbook transforms our original handbook reporting into interactive dashboards. The Statistical Handbook differs from By the Numbers in the following ways:
It is important that all Tableau dashboards displayed on any university web page have the same look and feel as the overall UH site. Fortunately, University Marketing and Communications outlines various branding guidelines to help you publish dashboards with the Cougar aesthetic.
Tableau desktop comes with many great color palettes to choose from. In this section, I will show you how to manipulate Tableau’s preferences file to incorporate UH colors to your dashboards:
You may also want to use your own colors. I recommend using Color Brewer. This website helps you pick among sequential, diverging, and qualitative colors. You can also select among colorblind safe, print friendly, and photocopy safe colors. These colors are geared towards cartography, but they are great guidelines for any color use!
For more tips on using color and dashboard design, see this presentation a colleague and I gave on Visualizing Assessment Data in Tableau.
Sometimes you need to include some context to your dashboards. Enter the handy info button!
The info button can be incorporated to any dashboard to give your users more detail about the data they are seeing. We use the info button above. Feel free to right click and save the image above for your dashboards.
If you want to include a different info button or any other image of your choice, I recommend using an .PNG image with a transparent background. You can tell if the image has a transparent background if it has a light checkered background like the one below:
Here are the steps to include an info button - or any shape - to your dashboards:
It is now time to publish your hard work for the world to see!
Tableau will automatically open a browser with the location of your published workbook. This is where you can find links and embed codes:
Links can be used to share your workbook with others who have access to your publishing folder. It leads them straight to Tableau Server. Do not use this for displaying your dashboard on a web page.
The embed code is what you need for publishing to a web page. Go to Share at the top of your screen to access the embed code:
If you do not have access to publish web pages using UH’s Content Management System (CMS), you will need to share your embed code with your web administrator to make your dashboard live on your website.
If you have access to publish to your website, take your embed code and place it into the body of you web page. Here is an example:
The embed code is shown in lines 4-10. Line 4 is a script that is pulled from Tableau Server. This script tells the web browser how to render your dashboards on the web page.
The following div creates a container with set dimensions for your dashboard to display on the web page. For most users, you do not need to change any of these elements. However, if you want your dashboard to display full width, you can replace the width='1000’ with width='100%'.
Tableau dashboards are by default responsive in that they adjust to the display medium (desktop computer monitor, laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc.). However, you can set the dimensions of your dashboard to be specific to devices. These settings can be found on Tableau Desktop when you create a new dashboard under dimensions.