If you use Tableau for data analysis, you know how powerful it can be for visualizing and making sense of complex data sets. But once you’ve created a Tableau workbook with all your visualizations and insights, it’s important to document it properly so that others can understand and make use of your work. In this blog post, we’ll go over some best practices for documenting your Tableau workbook.

First, let’s define what we mean by documenting a Tableau workbook. When you document a workbook, you’re creating written explanations and descriptions of the various elements in your workbook, such as the data sources, the calculations and measures you’ve used, and the visualizations and dashboards you’ve created. This documentation serves as a roadmap for others to understand your work and follow your thought process.

So, why is it important to document your Tableau workbook?

There are a few key reasons:

  1. It helps others understand your work. If you’re sharing your workbook with colleagues or clients, they may not be familiar with the data or the analyses you’ve performed. By providing clear, concise documentation, you can help them understand what you’ve done and why.
  2. It helps you remember what you did. If you’re working on a complex project, it can be easy to lose track of all the different steps you took and calculations you made. By documenting your workbook as you go,     you can create a record of your thought process and make it easier to pick up where you left off if you need to revisit the workbook later.
  3. It helps with collaboration. If you’re working on a team, documenting your workbook can help everyone stay on the same page and avoid duplication of effort. It can also make it easier for team members to contribute to the workbook and build on each other’s work.

With that in mind, here are some best practices for documenting your Tableau workbook:

  1. Use clear, descriptive names for your data sources, calculations, and visualizations. It’s important to use names that are meaningful and self-explanatory. For example, instead of naming a calculation “calc1,” give it a name that describes what it does, such as “profit margin.”
  2. Provide a brief overview of the data source. Include information on the origin of the data, the columns and fields it contains, and any transformations or cleaning you’ve performed on it. This will help others understand the context and quality of the data you’re working with.
  3. Explain the calculations and measures you’ve used. For each calculation or measure you’ve created, provide a brief description of what it does and how it’s used in your visualizations. This will help others understand the logic behind your analyses and make it easier for them to reproduce your results.
  4. Describe your visualizations and dashboards. For each visualization or dashboard you’ve created, provide a brief explanation of what it shows and how it contributes to your overall analysis. This will help others understand the story you’re trying to tell with your data and make it easier for them to interpret your visualizations.
  5. Use annotations and comments to add context and clarify your work. Tableau provides tools for adding annotations and comments to your workbook, which can be a great way to provide additional details or explain why you made certain choices. Use these tools to provide extra information and make your workbook easier to understand.

In conclusion, documenting your Tableau workbook is an important step in the data analysis process. By providing clear, concise explanations of your data sources, calculations, and visualizations, you can help others understand your work and make it easier to share a workbook across your team and other stakeholders.

 

The Data School
Author: The Data School