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How do I create a Highlight Table in Tableau?

The Information Lab Ireland is the leading provider of Tableau and Alteryx training in Ireland. Last week,  we looked at how to reset from the Keep Only Feature in Tableau. This week we want to do something we haven’t done for a while and look at a chart type; a Highlight Table to be specific. On the face of it the Highlight Table looks quite like a heat map. There is one subtle difference however in that Highlight Tables have labels and heat maps don’t.

Highlight Tables in Tableau

Highlight Tables can be useful when comparing figures across dates and/or categories or both and really building them out could not be easier.

In this case we are going to look at sales across different sub-categories from our Superstore data in the years 2015 – 2018.

We start by bringing our two dimensions onto their respective rows and columns shelf…

Already we can see the table beginning to take shape but there are still a few things to do. We next want to fill our years and sub-categories with data and now we can bring our SUM (Profit) onto Colour on the Marks Card. This will automatically create a colour scheme that goes from highest to lowest in terms of profit. It might well default to  a five coulour spread whihc you may or may not want to amend later.

For now it will look something like this…

Even though it looks quite good, there are a number or problems with this particular chart. Firstly, we didn’t wan to include 2019 and so we now have to exclude it. We can do this by filtering 2019 out of the picture altogether.

Simply bring the Dimension Ship Date on to the Filters Shelf and from there select #Years. From there we click on Next which brings to a list of years.

Create A Highlight Table in Tableau

We exclude 2019 simply by unticking the box and hitting OK. It is always best to do a test run beforehand by hitting Apply (above) and seeing what the end result will look like.

Highlight Tables are great for comparing values across rows or columns and give a solid element of hard data on busy dashboards.

Who/What is…?

The Information Lab Ireland

The Information Lab (“TIL”) is a Gold resale partner of Tableau and Alteryx and offers related consulting and training across seven territories in Europe. TIL has offices in Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Clients include Coca-Cola, Close Bros Bank, PepsiCo, Deloitte, UBS, Solar Turbines & Boston Consulting Group. The Information Lab has worked with Close Brothers Bank to support their use of Alteryx for compliance with IFRS 9.

The Information Lab Ireland is at the forefront of creating a data-driven culture in Ireland. As part of its vision, The Information Lab Ireland regularly hosts free events throughout the country to show how being data-driven can improve decision making and lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

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Tableau is the gold standard for intuitive, interactive visual analytics and an established enterprise platform. Over 54,000 customers have adopted Tableau to answer more questions of their data.


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