Posts by Robin Kennedy

Using Tableau’s Replace Data Source function

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014

Tableau has a great little feature that allows you to change all worksheets and dashboards in a workbook at once so that they use a different data source. This is useful for a number of reasons such as changing to a more up-to-date version of the data (if the original data file cannot be updated), swapping in a new data source if the original has been lost, changing from a file based data source (e.g. Excel) to a server based data source (e.g. SQL Server) or to migrate from a ‘test’ environment data source to a ‘production’ one. This functionality is accessed either from the Data >...

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Tableau file types and extensions

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013

You can generate quite a few file types when using Tableau. This post looks at all the different file extensions you can save your work in, what they contain, why you would use them and how they are generated Tableau Workbook (.twb) This file type is probably the most common that you will see and create when working with Tableau. It is in XML format (try editing it in a text editor) and contains all the information on each sheet and dashboard that is contained within your workbook. Information such as what fields are being used in each view and how measures are being aggregated, the...

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Fitting a Gaussian (normal distribution) curve to a histogram in Tableau

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013

We were recently asked to help a customer use Tableau to draw a best-fit Gaussian curve from his data of suppliers and their scores. Whilst Tableau doesn’t have this sort of statistical analysis built-in, once you get your head round the normal distribution formula, it’s just a matter of configuring a few calculated fields. First of all, let’s look at our data in it’s raw format. We’re using a simple example here of customers and profit figures. There is 1 row per customer, along with their total profit for all transactions. If your data has more than 1 row per customer (perhaps 1 row per...

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How NOT to use Tableau

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013

Here at The Information Lab we work with a very wide range of different customers; large and small organisations, Tableau beginners and accomplished users, and across many different industries. We have had the privilege of seeing and helping construct some really great output from using Tableau and, well, some of the not-so-great. People often get stuck with Tableau because they’re trying to do something it is just not designed to do. This might be because they are used to using other BI / MI tools and don’t know any other way, or because they don’t fully understand the implications of what...

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The Information Lab is hiring!

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013

As Tableau’s popularity in the UK increases, so has demand for our training and consultancy services! Plenty of repeat business with our existing clients, along with engagements from many new Tableau users means we are now actively looking for additional people to join our team. If you’re as enthusiastic about Tableau and Business Intelligence as we are then take a look at the job description below. If you want to know more or make an application drop us a line at   Tableau Consultant – The Information Lab A Tableau Consultant at The Information Lab has a...

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