Sometimes we want to use preemptive attributes to highlight the selected shape or point. For this exercise we will use the Superstore data which many of us are familiar with. Here are steps you need to take to create a parameter and use it to highlight selected values in Tableau:

  • Start by creating a parameter in Tableau. This parameter should be a string, and the current value can be set to any state on the list of states you want to use.
  • Next, create a calculated field in Tableau. This calculated field should be named “Selected (field)” and should be based on the “(Selected field)” field in your dataset. This will allow you to use the parameter you created to filter and highlight specific states.

[State par] = [State/Province]

  • Add the “Selected (field)” calculated field to the size and color of your visualization. This will ensure that the size and color of your visualization are based on the values in this field.
  • Adjust the size of your visualization to ensure that it is not too crowded and that the data points are easily visible.
  • To avoid overlap of the other values in your visualization, change the order of the values so that “TRUE” goes first in the size. This will ensure that the data points are arranged in a logical and readable order.

  • Once you’ve made these changes, go into the size settings of your visualization and click “reverse”. This will help to further improve the readability and clarity of your visualization, as the Tableau changes the sizes automatically after the previous step.

  • Now, add the sheet to your dashboard and create a new action. This action should be an “edit parameter” action.
  • Select “run action on select” and then select the relevant sheets that you want to highlight. Next, choose the target parameter that you created previously (which is a state column in our case).

  • Finally, choose the dimension where the values will be edited to the parameter. This will allow you to highlight specific values in your visualization based on the parameter you created.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created a parameter and used it to highlight selected values in Tableau.

Veronika Varaksina
Author: Veronika Varaksina

Meet Veronika, a dynamic and adaptable individual with a diverse background in economics, accounting, finance, and data analytics. Veronika pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and gained valuable experience in financial analysis, budgeting, and forecasting while working for five years in accounting and finance. However, she soon realized her passion for data analytics and decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in Analytics at Victoria University. Throughout her academic journey, Veronika honed her skills in data visualization, statistical modeling, and machine learning. Her expertise earned her a spot in the highly competitive Data School program, where she further continues to expand her skills in data analysis.