How to Use Tableau Story Points for Dashboards

Tableau story points are a powerful, often underutilized, feature of Tableau.  Most people are used to seeing tables of numbers from Excel, with maybe a chart or two.  It’s a manual process to create and maintain those, and they aren’t always done well.  Further, an Excel chart can encode one or two values at the most.  A Tableau chart can encode several – at least 6+ variables.  When you place several charts like these in a dashboard, it can be overwhelming. 

Tableau story points, along with Actions, can help solve this problem.  Just like Powerpoint has the animations feature, allowing you to have one bullet point appear at a time, you can gradually unfold your analysis step by step using Tableau story points so that your end user doesn’t get lost.  The end goal is to have them arrive at the same conclusion you did.  Storypoints takes them through the process step by step with you. 

How to create a dashboard using Tableau story points

  1. First, and most importantly, think of your analysis as a story.  It’s got to have a start point, a series of steps that move you forward, a climax – a key insight or conclusion you want your audience to take away – and finally a resolution or next steps. 
  1. If you get this step right, then using Tableau story points effectively will fall into line. 
  1. Click on the icon at the bottom far right entitled “Create Story.”  This will create a new tab entitled “Story 1.” 
Tableau Story Points
  1. Add a title to the Tableau story that will apply to your entire dashboard.  This is equivalent to a book title; it covers the entire story. 
Tableau Story Points Examples
  1. Drag your first chart, dashboard, text box, image or webpage, onto the dashboard canvas. 
  1. Make sure there is a title or captions on your charts and images so that this makes sense to your end user.  Think book chapter title here. 
  1. Double click in the “Add a Caption” box at the top and add a descriptive sentence that helps build the action.  Think Tweet length here – 140 characters or less. 
Story Points Tableau
  1. Then click enter.  A new Tableau story point will appear.  This is equivalent to animating in your second bullet point in PowerPoint, or adding a new chapter to your book. 
  1. Repeat the same steps as above as you build your story. 
  1. To format your Tableau story points or Title, click on the Story menu link at the top and click format. 

Following these Tableau story points steps will transform a complicated analysis into more bite size chunks, which will help your end user get to the place you want them to.  If done right, it can lead to big action! Want to learn more tips in making a complicated analysis easier? Check out the courses we offer today.