Today I want to show you my favourite dashboard action; Set Actions. I like it because this was one of the very first things I learnt about Tableau. But in brief set actions allow you to let audiences interact with your dashboard, allowing them to select and change values within a set. I predominately use them as buttons for filtering purposes. When I made my first Data School Applications, this was the quickest and easiest thing to implement for my viz. I will you show a step by step guide on how I build one.

Step 1: Create your buttons
For this example, I have used the Sample-Superstore dataset in tableau. I use regions as the set that I want to filter. So to start we create a new sheet and have Region in the column and marks pane. We can also have region in the rows, but it will show the buttons vertically.

Step 2: Format your buttons
We will need to format the button sheets, change titles, button shapes and layout. For this example, I went with arrows as my symbols but if you want interesting shapes, you would change them via shapes in the marks card. I also changed the sheet title and changed to “Entire View”.
Step 3: Create a set based on your buttons.
This is where we create sets based on the buttons, and in our example Region.

Step 4: Drag the new Region Set into the Marks Card as Colour.
You do not have to do this, but having the In/Out allows you to see which set is in or out.

Step 5: Apply the Region Set as a filter across all charts that you wish the buttons to interact with
For this example, I just have one basic line chart that looks at sales and profit across years.
Step 6: Put all your elements together in a dashboard.

Step 7: Assign a set action to the dashboard.

I hope this has helped you in understanding how set actions work, and how you can use them as a button for filtering.



Anthony Wong
Author: Anthony Wong