Fan of bright colors? Want something eye-catching in your dashboards? Then look no further! In this blog, I'll explain how to create a dashboard with neon effects in Tableau. I explain step by step how I created my dashboard, and also include some neon icons that you can use yourself.

Step 1: neon dashboard background

We cannot currently create neon text or background in a Tableau dashboard. I therefore created the background including text in another tool. In a later step we will then add the Tableau visualizations to make it a whole. I used Figma myself, but of course you can use similar tools that you like to work with.

Neon background for the Tableau dashboard. Created in Figma.

Step 2: card with neon icons

On the map we show with neon icons whether the profit went up or down compared to last year. The icons are custom shapes, you can download these for free to use at the bottom of the blog. Read here how to add custom shapes to Tableau.

Map of America with neon icons. Dashboard created in Tableau.

First, we create a calculated field that looks at whether the profit is positive or negative. This calculation determines if the profit ratio is positive or negative, and puts positive or negative in a column.

Tableau calculation to determine whether the profit ratio is positive or negative.

Once we have created our map, in the marks pane we set the dropdown to Shape. Then we drag our calculated field to shape so we can choose a custom shape for the positive and negative profit ratios per state.

Custom neon shapes added in Tableau.

Step 3: neon area charts

At the top of the dashboard are neon area charts. These consist of 3 different visualizations superimposed. This was tricky to create, but luckily I got some help from the Flerlage twins. They wrote a blog on how to create shaded area charts in Tableau. I downloaded their workbook and tweaked a few things.

Image of 3 area charts in neon colors in a Tableau dashboard.

First, I adjusted the colors. I used a handy little tool to slowly change the color of the background to the neon color. This way you create a bit of the glow effect. I saved the colors from the tool as custom colors in Tableau(read how to add custom colors here). Here are the color codes I used:

	 <color-palette name="Neon fun blue" type="ordered-sequential">
	 <color-palette name="Neon fun yellow" type="ordered-sequential">
	 <color-palette name="Neon fun purple" type="ordered-sequential">

Finally, I added a loose line in the brightest color. To make an extra neon effect. The three sheets (2 from Ken's blog) and the line you made yourself, must then be placed exactly over each other. Make sure that the backgrounds of all your sheets are transparent.

Line diagram with neon effect. Created in Tableau.

Step 4: neon dashboard buttons

On the left side of the screen I also made some neon buttons. When you click on them they seem to glow. For this I made my own images in Figma which I use as image buttons. After creating the show/hide buttons, you can create your own image buttons as I show below. I have put the image buttons in the neon fun file that you can download at the bottom of the page.


Step 5: Use map as filter

Finally, I added another function so that you can use the map to filter the area charts. Since the axis of the area charts is determined, we need to add a parameter action to adjust the axis when the user clicks in the chart. Therefore, I first calculate what the value of the axis should be. The axis should be able to show the highest value of the past years. Since the map shows all years I use a LOD calculation.


I then make sure that this value is put into the parameter when the user clicks on a state in the map. I do this with a parameter action. This causes the parameter that determines the axis of the area chart to change with it when the user clicks in the chart. When the user undoes the selection, the value of the parameter is set back to maximum.


We then select 'use as filter' in the map. So that all sheets are filtered when a user clicks on a state.


Download the Tableau neon dashboard fun set

That's it! Hopefully you can use these tips to make a nice fluorescent dashboard. To get you started you can download a folder with some of my custom shapes. I am very curious to see what neon creations you come up with. Please send them in!

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