Customize your Tableau dashboard’s colors

Customize your Tableau dashboard’s colors

 Everybody knows about the power of visually attractive dashboards.Tableau is one of the most powerful tools today allowing to create attractive and meaningful messages thanks to the color palette. Adjusting your colors on the dashboard can be sometimes timeconsuming, but it’s totally worth it.


Let me show my way of doing this!


Let’s imagine that we have the following graph. We’ve already removed all the grid lines


First of all, let’s create a dashboard and insert our picture. Select the picture you want to insert and voila.

Now you need to make a right click on the picture and select Fit Image.

As my picture is horizontal, let’s change the dashboard’s size in order to have something neat. I’ve selected the Automatic size.

Let’s go back to our graph and click on the format.
On the left side of your screen select Format Shading/Sheet/Worksheet/None.

Bring your graph to your dashboard and don’t forget to select Floating Layout

And now let’s move to the most exciting part!
Use the following link and upload your background photo

By magic you have your colors (by the way you can choose the number of colors you want) and you just need to copy-paste the code into your Preferences.tps file

After inserting your code, you should close your Tableau software and re-enter the workbook and you can now assign your customized palette (I named it My_palette).

As you can see it’s not really perfect…

So if you want to continue the customization I propose you to use the following tool.
Upload your picture and click on the element which color code you want to know.


Now it’s up to you, you can rewrite your Preferences.tps file or you can directly adjust the colors.
By double-cliking on the data item you can enter the color code you’ve just obtained

It looks better, doesn’t it?

And if you want you can continue fine-tuning of your dashboard to make it a real masterpiece

Dashboard you always dreamed of

Dashboard you always dreamed of

Tell me who your final user is and I will tell you what type of dashboard you need. We are all different and it’s wonderful, but as a data analyst you should never forget that your point of view and your preferences are just yours. Depending on the role and background of your final user, you don’t need to do the same kind of dashboards. It sounds obvious, but sometimes we feel obliged to use all the data that we have in our disposal to make our masterpiece and to make the most technically complex data visualizations, but the golden rule is still the same : MAKE IT SIMPLE.

So where to start ?

Let’s imagine the following situation :  you’re preparing some dashboards for your Sales Department. As you could notice I’m speaking about the dashboards in plural and it is extremely important. I do know that many of my colleagues prefer to make a single dashboard giving a macro view and the options for filtering and changing the parameters, but let’s imagine the following situation. Let’s say you’re asking someone to show you the way to the Eiffel tour. Your question is simple, but the person you’re asking is telling you about all the sightseeing of Paris. It’s really very kind of him or her, but you have an impression that he or she makes you waste your time, don’t you? Go straight to the point. Please answer the question you were asked.

Depending on the final user you won’t have the same question and the frequency of getting an aswer from you will never be the same. If for the top manager a weekly report will be a perfect option, it can be really insufficient if you deal with, let’s say, a sales person who’s trying to reach his/her target sales level and wants to have a daily report. Adapt the frequency of your reports on the final customers’ needs.

Don’t be afraid to use a simple table in your dashboards. You don’t know how to create a Sankey Diagram ? Don’t panic. A simple table can be still a perfect way to represent your data, especially if you focus on your best customers’ performances. Even though you may have more then a  thousand customers in your database, it still can be interesting to check whether the top 10 customers are doing well (Don’t forget the Pareto rule). Moreover, if you deal with a C-LEVEL manager I really invite you to make it as simple as possible, you are paid to provide some valuable insights ! Don’t expect this kind of final users to « play with filters »,  actions  and parameters. On the contrary, making a dashboard for your sales persons can be very challenging. You should give them the easiest and the most intuitive way to get theinsights on their customers. Don’t forget, they are paid to spend most of their time with the customers not with your beautiful dashboard.

And what if you’ve never seen your final users ?

Don’t forget the golden rule, make it simple.

As a conclusion : before playing with your data, ask yourself do you really know your final user ? If the answer is YES, it won’t help you to master the complex formulas, but it will definitely save you some time.