Learning Data Visualization with Tableau

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, learners are expected to be able to:

  1. Distinguish between good visualizations vs bad visualizations.

  2. Explain how visualizations are important to the data analysis process.

  3. Conduct full exploratory data analysis including visualizations.

  4. Use appropriate plots and graphs to effectively communicate insights from the data with a specified audience.

  5. Create a compelling narrative for your findings using storytelling.

  6. Connect Tableau to different data sources.

  7. Construct maps, distributions, bar and line plots using Tableau.

  8. Identify the different data fields and data types used by Tableau and when to appropriately apply them to different columns.

Class Instructor




Hayley Boyce



Lesson Meetings

Details about class meetings will appear here as they become available.


Date - India (IST)

Date - Vancouver (PST)




Jun/25 9:00am - 11ish

June 24th 8:30-10:30PM

Introduction to Tableau and Visualization Importance

Lesson 1 - Theory,
Lesson 1 - Tableau


Jul/02 9:00am - 11ish

Jul/01 8:30-10:30PM

Visualization Types and How to Create them in Tableau

Lesson 2 - Theory,
Lesson 2 - Tableau


Jul/09 9:00am - 11ish

Jul/08 8:30-10:30PM

Dashboards and Exploratory Data Visualization

Lesson 3 - Theory,
Lesson 3 - Tableau


Jul/16 9:00am - 11ish

Jul/15 8:30-10:30PM

Good vs Evil, Tableau Stories and Extras

Lesson 4 - Theory,
Lesson 4 - Tableau


Any data that I’ll be using will be available in the data file here.

Class Outline

Lesson 1 - Introduction to Tableau and Visualization Importance


  • Why do we visualize?

    • tables vs graphs

    • Improvements and effectiveness

Tableau Applications

  • Introduce Tableau examples

  • History of Tableau

  • Other Tools available, pros and cons

  • Where is visualization situated in the grand scheme of data science? Can visualization be an end goal?

  • Connecting to csv, excel (differences)

  • Connecting to SQL Server

  • Introduction to data types (Ordinal, Nominal, Quantitative & continuous, discrete, binary, ordered, unordered, DateTime, text, etc.)

  • Tableau buttons (show me menu, filter and marks, sorting)

  • Dimensions and Measures

  • Discrete vs continuous

  • Worksheets vs dashboards vs story

  • Quick viz examples and effectiveness

    • Aggregate

    • Drill down, Hierarchies

    • Maps

  • Distributing and saving


  • Load in the data

  • Create separate plots using worksheets

  • Change datatype

  • Create a bar chart

  • Create a map

  • Asking questions to explore

Lesson 2 - Visualization Types and How to Create them in Tableau


  • Common visualization types (bar, line, points, intervals, geo-spatial, chord, etc.)

  • When do we use what?

Tableau Applications

  • Pie chart

  • Stacked bars

  • Side by side bars

  • Scatter plot

  • Line graph

  • Bins - Histograms

  • Boxplot

  • Heatmap

  • Dashboards

    • Layouts

    • Changes to all sheets

    • Connecting sheets

    • Filtering

  • Publishing data sources


  • Create a histograph

  • Create a time series

  • Heatmap

  • Add to a dashboard

  • Add filters

  • Add tooltips and change the layout

Lesson 3 - Dashboards and Exploratory Data Visualization


  • Developing the 6 types of statistical questions (exploratory, descriptive, inferential {frequentist, Bayesian}, causal, mechanistic, predictive)

  • Why are EDAs important?

  • How to approach an EDA?

  • Conclusion and next steps in an EDA

Tableau Applications

  • Dashboards

  • EDA

  • Facetting

  • Trend lines

  • Forecasting

  • Calculations breifly

  • unions joins, relationships.

  • Chloropleth map


  • Dashboard practice

  • Facetting

  • Calculations (briefly)

  • Combine 2 dataframes

Lesson 4 - Good vs Evil, Tableau Stories and Extras


  • What should you absolutely not do? Data Science Ducks

  • Common pitfalls (8-10 examples)

  • A game of Good vs Evil

  • Best practices

  • Storytelling

Tableau Applications

  • Chloropleth

  • Calculation function

  • Sets

  • Groups

  • Tooltip

  • Formatting Axes, Gridlines

  • Stories

If time:

  • Clicks and hovers

  • Palettes

  • Shapes

  • Extensions

  • Navigation


  • EDA

  • Story telling

  • Add a hover to your dashboard

  • Create a tableau story