This morning I attended the Tableau Desktop introduction training also know as Tableau 101. On this occasion, the training was hosted by my colleague Erik van de Beek. In this blog, I share some practical information and my personal notes containing lessons learned. By sharing this information, I hope to inspire others to follow this great introduction into Tableau.

Target audience

You are totally new to Tableau? You just purchased a Tableau Creator license? Do you love to start using your Tableau trial license, and want to move faster? Then this introduction training is perfect for you! 


The training took two hours.


It is a workshop, so you will work with Tableau yourself. You will bring the visualizations together into one interactive dashboard. Topics that were discussed:

  • Look & feel of Tableau Desktop
  • How to connect to data sources?
  • How to create your first bar chart?
  • How to create your first line chart?
  • How to create your first map?
  • How to create an interactive dashboard?
  • How to create calculated fields?
  • How to create and use parameters?
Lessons learned
  • Tableau uses a lot of visual clues and icons to help you evaluate the type of data that is displayed within the Data pane. Find out more using this article.
  • There is a difference between measures and dimensions. They are not the same as continuous (green) and discrete (blue). For more information about this topic, check out this 15-minute video made by my colleague Daan Verkerk.
  • There are multiple ways to sort your data.
  • Always think about formatting your Tooltip.
  • Stay sharp when using date(time) fields. Check the difference between working with continuous (green) and discrete (blue) dates. Find out more using this article.
  • You can use custom date formats within Tableau. For instance, the ISO-8601 Week-based calendar. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, ISO-8601 calendars have a consistent number of weeks in each quarter and a consistent number of days each week.
  • A dashboard is a collection of worksheets.
  • You can change the default size of your dashboard.
  • There is a difference between the Tiled and the Floating dashboard layout.
  • You can manage the number of sheets shown by hiding and unhiding them.

During the training, we made two interactive dashboards. One each hour. I published both on my Tableau Public account. Tableau Public is – in Eric his words – the Tableau Instagram page.

Helpful resources:
  • Tableau Desktop Introduction training page
  • Introduction into Tableau Desktop.
  • Starting with Tableau Desktop (in Dutch). What to find where?
  • How to make a map using Tableau Desktop (in Dutch).

We offer different Tableau and Alteryx training, both for beginners and advanced users. Our goal is to help as many users as possible to use Tableau and Alteryx proficiently. If you want to have more information, please feel free to contact me (Lars van Hoeve) at any time.