Sometimes the data sets we want to analyze can contain a large variety of information that we need to understand how our organization works. There are few cases in which the data generated by our organization offers us a single situation that needs to be analyzed. Most of the time, data exploration involves analyzing and visualizing them in several levels of detail. The questions we ask about our data follow a logical chronology, because with each information extracted, we want to find out more. In today’s article we will discuss about dynamic drop-down menus in Tableau. We’ll see how we can build an interactive visualization that displays data from multiple categories, while giving the user the ability to explore them in a single dashboard.
Drop down menus offer us the ability to select the level and data we want to go through in our analysis. They also use certain parameters created to select the details we want to display in our view. But when our dataset gives us more information, creating parameters and multiple drop-down menus can load the final view and can confuse even the end user. That’s why we use dynamic drop-down menus.
Dynamic drop-down menus have similar functionality to the classic drop-down menus that we all use in our analysis. The difference that the dynamic ones offer is to create a connection between the menus so that their values will change depending on our first selection. Thus, users can select in the first menu the parameter they want to highlight, and the following menus will have only the values specific to the first.
Normally to highlight a parameter in a dashboard we would have had to build a drop-down menu for each. Using dynamic drop-down menus, our view will display in the second menu only the values specific to the first. These dynamic drop-down menus have the role of making the analysis much more intuitive and clearer for the end user. Finally, we will have a single parameter that will highlight a selected dimension, and then a second menu in which we will have only the values specific to the first menu. These menus will change dynamically depending on the first selection.
What dynamic drop-down menus do is reduce the number of drop-down menus and give the final view clarity and more interactivity. Dynamic drop-down menus can be used for example to highlight employee performance indicators by department, by their jobs or other parameters that interest us.
In the video below we will show you how you can build dynamic drop-down menus. You can also find all the steps you need to go through to build them.
→ In Tableau Desktop, connect to Tableau: Sample-Superstore
→ Drag Quantity to Columns
→ Drag Sales to Rows
→ Drag countD(OrderID) to Size
→ From Marks, select Circle
→ Drag State to Details
→ Create ‘Highlight By:’ Parameter
• Data type: String
• Add ‘Region’, ‘State’ and ‘Category’
→ Create ‘Highlight Field’:
Case [Highlight By:]
WHEN ‘Region’ THEN [Region]
WHEN ‘State’ THEN [State]
WHEN ‘Category’ THEN [Category] END
→ Create ‘Highlight Set’ from ‘Highlight Field’
→ Create ‘Color’ from ‘Highlight Set’:
• if [Highlight Set] THEN [Region] ELSE ‘Other’ END
→ Drag ‘Color’ to Color
By Eduard Arhire