6 tips to make your dashboards more performant (2023)

We here at Tableau are very proud of how easy it is to see and understand data with Tableau. Once you get started, it’s intuitive to dive deeper by adding more and more fields, formulae, and calculations to a simple visualization—until it becomes slower and slower to render. In a world where two-second response times can lose an audience, performance is crucial. Here are some tips on making your dashboards more performant.

Nicholas Hara

January 15, 2016

Note: Ryan Lempa and Darren McGurran also contributed to this piece.

We here at Tableau are very proud of how easy it is to see and understand data with Tableau. Once you get started, it’s intuitive to dive deeper by adding more and more fields, formulae, and calculations to a simple visualization—until it becomes slower and slower to render. In a world where two-second response times can lose an audience, performance is crucial.

So where do I start?

So how can you make your dashboards run faster? Your first step is to identify the problem spots byrunning and interpreting your performance recording. The performance recorder is every Tableau speed demon’s ticket to the fast lane. The performance recorder can pinpoint slow worksheets, slow queries, and long render-times on a dashboard. It even shows the query text, allowing you to work with your database team on optimizing at the database level.

6 tips to make your dashboards more performant (2)

Now that you know which views or data connections are slowing you down, below are six tips to make those dashboards more performant. For each tip, we’ve listed the most common causes of performance degradation as well as some quick solutions.

1. Your data strategy drives performance

Extracts are typically much faster to work with than a live data source, and are especially great for prototyping. The key is to use domain-specific cuts of your data. The Data Engine is not intended to be a replacement for a data warehouse. Rather, it’s meant to be a supplement for fast prototyping and data discovery.

6 tips to make your dashboards more performant (3)Since an extract is a columnar store, the wider the data set, the slower the query time.

  • Minimize the number of fieldsbased on the analysis being performed. Use thehide all unused fieldsoption to remove unused columns from a data source.
  • Minimize the number of records.Use extract filters to keep only the data you need.
  • Optimize extractsto speed up future queries by materializing calculations, removing columns and the use of accelerated views.

Keep in mind: Extracts are not always the long-term solution. The typical extent of an extract is between 500 million to one billion rows; mileage will vary. When querying against constantly-refreshing data, a live connection often makes more sense when operationalizing the view.

For more information on data extracts, check out these additional resources:

Video: Using and Refreshing Extracts
Online Help for Extracting Data
Understanding Tableau Data Extracts (three-part series)

(Video) 2022 New Feature Workbook Optimizer - Tableau Performance improvement

2. Reduce the marks (data points) in your view

When data is highly granular, Tableau must render and precisely place each element. Each mark represents a batch that Tableau must parse. More marks create more batches; drawing 1,000 points on a graph is more difficult than drawing three bars in a chart.

6 tips to make your dashboards more performant (4)

Large crosstabs with a bevy of quick filters can cause increased load times when you try to view all the rows and dimensions on a Tableau view.

Excessive marks (think: data points) on a view also reduce the visual analytics value. Large, slow, manual table scans can cause information overload and make it harder to see and understand your data.

Here’s how you can avoid this trap:

  • Practice guided analytics. There’s no need to fit everything you plan to show in a single view. Compile related views and connect them with action filters to travel from overview to highly-granular views at the speed of thought.
  • Remove unneeded dimensionsfrom the detail shelf.
  • Explore. Try displaying your data in different types of views.

3. Limit your filters by number and type

Filtering in Tableau is extremely powerful and expressive. However, inefficient and excessive filters are one of the most common causes of poorly performing workbooks and dashboards. Note: Showing the filter dialog requires Tableau to load its members and may create extra queries, especially if the filtered dimension is not in the view.
6 tips to make your dashboards more performant (5)

  • Reduce the number of filters in use. Excessive filters on a view will create a more complex query, which takes longer to return results. Double-check your filters and remove any that aren’t necessary.
  • Use an include filter. Exclude filters load the entire domain of a dimension, while include filters do not. An include filter runs much faster than an exclude filter, especially for dimensions with many members.
  • Use a continuous date filter. Continuous date filters (relative and range-of-date filters) can take advantage of the indexing properties in your database and are faster than discrete date filters.
  • Use Boolean or numeric filters. Computers process integers and Booleans (t/f) much faster than strings.
  • Useparametersandaction filters. These reduce the query load (and work across data sources).

4. Optimize and materialize your calculations

  • Perform calculations in the database. Wherever possible, especially on production views, perform calculations in the database to reduce overhead in Tableau. Aggregate calculations are great for calculated fields in Tableau. Perform row-level calculations in the database when you can.
  • Reduce the number of nested calculations. Just like Russian nesting dolls, unpacking a calculation and then building it takes longer for each extra layer.
  • 6 tips to make your dashboards more performant (6)

  • Reduce the granularity of LOD or table calculations in the view. The more granular the calculation, the longer it takes.
    • Pilot- Look at the number of unique dimension members in the calculation.
    • Table Calculations- the more marks in the view, the longer it will take to calculate.
  • Where possible, use MIN or MAX instead of AVG. AVG requires more processing than MIN or MAX. Often rows will be duplicated and display the same result with MIN, MAX, or AVG.
  • Make groups with calculations. Like include filters, calculated groups load only named members of the domain, whereas Tableau’s group function loads the entire domain.
  • Use Booleans or numeric calculations instead of string calculations. Computers can process integers and Booleans (t/f) much faster than strings. Boolean>Int>Float>Date>DateTime>String

5. Take advantage of Tableau’s query optimization

  • Blend on low-granularity dimensions. The more members in a blend, the longer it takes. Blending aggregates the data to the level of the relationship. Blends are not meant to replace row-level joins.
  • Minimize joined tables. Lots of joins take lots of time. If you find yourself creating a data connection with many joined tables, it may be faster to materialize the view in the database.
    • Assume referential integrityif your database is configured with this option.
  • Remove custom SQL. Tableau can take advantage of database optimizations when the data connection does not use custom SQL.

6. Clean up your workbooks!

  • Reduce dashboard scope. Excess worksheets on a dashboard can impact performance.
  • Delete or consolidate unused worksheets and data sources. A clean workbook is a happy workbook.

For more details on these areas and many more, check outour whitepaper on designing efficient workbooks.

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6 tips to make your dashboards more performant? ›

Limit your filters

Filters feature is the powerful and expressive feature of Tableau. But the same can cause performance issues if it is used excessively and inefficiently. This is the primary cause of your dashboard's slowness. Hence, you can minimize the number of filter usage from your dashboard.

How do I increase dashboard performance in Tableau? ›

  1. Explore Dashboards with Data Guide.
  2. Use Accelerators to Quickly Visualize Data.
  3. Build an Accelerator for the Tableau Exchange.
  4. Use Dynamic Axis Titles.
  5. Use Dynamic Zone Visibility.
  6. Size and Lay Out Your Dashboard. Rebrand a Dashboard.

What are the possible reasons for slow performance in Tableau? ›

Limit your filters

Filters feature is the powerful and expressive feature of Tableau. But the same can cause performance issues if it is used excessively and inefficiently. This is the primary cause of your dashboard's slowness. Hence, you can minimize the number of filter usage from your dashboard.

What is performance tuning in Tableau? ›

Most performance tuning for Tableau Server boils down to these general approaches: Optimize for User Traffic: This tunes the server to respond to user requests and to display views quickly. Optimize for Extracts: This tunes the server to refresh extracts for published data sources.

What makes an effective dashboard? ›

Well designed dashboards (and other data visualizations) aim to use as little non-data ink as possible – in other words, they have a good data ink ratio.

How do I create a performance analytics dashboard? ›

To create a Performance Analytics dashboard, open Performance Analytics > Dashboards and click the New button. Configure the dashboard. Name: Name of the dashboard that appears in the dashboard selector. Group: Where to place the dashboard in the dashboard selection list.

How do I improve my skills in tableau? ›

10 Tips for Learning Tableau
  1. Look at Tableau Graphs and Data Visualizations Online. ...
  2. Read up on Tableau offline. ...
  3. Identify and Align Skillsets. ...
  4. Practice. ...
  5. Find free datasets. ...
  6. Create a Tableau portfolio. ...
  7. Build a Tableau project footprint online. ...
  8. Get involved.
Feb 22, 2023

What are performance tuning techniques? ›

A handful of techniques are used to improve performance. Among them are code optimization, load balancing, caching strategy, distributed computing and self-tuning.

How do you tune performance? ›

Refining your approach to database performance tuning
  1. Keep statistics up to date. ...
  2. Don't use leading wildcards. ...
  3. Avoid SELECT * ...
  4. Use constraints. ...
  5. Look at the actual execution plan, not the estimated plan. ...
  6. Adjust queries by making one small change at a time. ...
  7. Adjust indexes to reduce I/O. ...
  8. Analyze query plans.
Jan 14, 2020

What are Tableau strengths and weaknesses? ›

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tableau:
Extensive customer resourcesNeed manual effort
Excellent mobile supportNot a comprehensive solution
Easy to upgradeNo version control
Low costRequires SQL knowledge
4 more rows
Apr 20, 2022

What is the hardest part about Tableau? ›

It can be difficult for those who do not have a background working with data to understand how data works. If you are new to handling raw data, you may consider exploring online tutorials or videos that explain data basics. Many Tableau users consider data preparation the most challenging part of using Tableau.

Which filter improve the performance of Tableau? ›

Speed up Context Filters

To improve performance of context filters, especially on large data sources, follow these general rules. Using a single context filter that significantly reduces the size of the data set is much better than applying many context filters.

What are the 4 strategic elements of dashboard? ›

Remember, the basic element of a dashboard are Objective (+primary and secondary drivers), Performance Indicator, Target and Activities.

What are the four key success factors of dashboard reporting? ›

Successful dashboards achieve the following:
  • Successfully communicate strategic-level results.
  • Present data in a user-friendly visual format.
  • Create snapshot of current status and trends over time.
  • Show performance against defined targets.
  • Highlight out-of-the-ordinary results.
Mar 6, 2017

What are the three important characteristics of a performance dashboard? ›

A performance dashboard weaves together three applications in a seamless fashion. These applications are (1) monitoring, (2) analysis, and (3) man- agement. Each application provides a specific set of functionality.

What is dashboard principles? ›

Creating a simple interface is one of the most important Principles of dashboard design. Make it as easy as possible for users to analyze the information on the screen. A good dashboard should be clean and uncluttered. A good dashboard should not have any unnecessary text, or unnecessary graphics or imagery.

What is the importance of performance dashboard? ›

What is the purpose of a performance dashboard? The primary purpose of a performance dashboard is to enable companies to monitor critical business processes. They provide relevant and timely information regarding the performance of the business in different areas, helping executives with the decision-making process.

What are the primary goals of dashboard? ›

As the main goal of the dashboard is to get the message across at a glance, every little thing counts. The biggest benefit of using a clear framework is data consistency.

What is a performance metrics dashboard? ›

A performance metrics dashboard enables you to gather complex data from different business and marketing channels, display those key metrics in a single place, and then take action based on the information.

What tool do you use to create performance Dashboards? ›

Some of the best free dashboard tools for visualizing your metrics and KPIs are Datapad, Grafana, Databox, Dasheroo, FineReport, Metabase, Google Data Studio, Matomo, Tableau, and Inetsoft.

What are the 4 tips for mastering Tableau? ›

If you want to master Tableau, just follow these four steps: Train, Practice, Engage, Teach.

What is the weakness of Tableau? ›

However, Tableau still has several limitations: Tableau focuses primarily on visualization and cannot work with uncleaned data. In order to efficiently use Tableau, you need to do proper data cleaning in the underlying database first. Lacks data modeling and data dictionary capabilities for Data Analysts.

What makes a great Tableau? ›

What makes a good dashboard is by avoid displaying the same information in different chart types to make them look cool. These two can be combined into one chart. The bar chart would be appropriate and the labels can show the actual numbers and the percentage of the total.

What makes a dashboard dynamic? ›

Dynamic dashboards are real-time, personalized, multi-user platforms that enable organizations to add new business intelligence content and update existing data seamlessly.

What is the best way to embed Tableau dashboard? ›

The easiest way to embed a view is to copy the embed code provided by Tableau Server or Tableau Cloud. You can access this code from the share dialog on a view. With a view open, click the Share button in the toolbar. Click Copy Embed Code, then paste the code into your webpage.

How do I automate a dashboard refresh in tableau? ›

Select the check box for the workbook or data source you want to refresh, and then select Actions > Refresh Extracts. In the Refresh Extracts dialog, select Schedule a Refresh, and complete the following steps: Select the schedule you want. If available, specify whether you want a full or incremental refresh.

What are the five major areas most impacted by performance and tuning? ›

details the major performance issues in a server environment:
  • Processors.
  • Main memory.
  • Cache memory.
  • Number and size of buffers.
  • Size of swap space.
  • Number and type of channels.

What is the first step of performance tuning? ›

Performance analysis: The first step in performance tuning is to analyze the system or application to identify areas that are experiencing performance issues. This may involve monitoring system resources, identifying slow queries or functions, and analyzing application logs.

Which of the following are considered best practices for performance tuning? ›

Track the performance trends at regular intervals

Establish a performance baseline and periodically monitor performance to compare the metrics against those collected previously. Investigate significant differences above or below the baseline and fine tune as required.

What are the 3 stages of tuning? ›

But there are some guiding principles.
  • Stage 1 = chip tuning / tuning box. ...
  • Stage 2 = downpipe, intercooler, sports air filter, possibly upgrade turbocharger/upgrade compressor kit. ...
  • Stage 3 tuning = engine reinforcement, complete exhaust system, modified intake/air flow.
Sep 21, 2022

How to improve performance in SQL? ›

Tips to improve SQL Server performance & database design
  1. Choose Appropriate Data Type. ...
  2. Avoid nchar and nvarchar. ...
  3. Avoid NULL in the fixed-length field. ...
  4. Avoid * in SELECT statement. ...
  5. Use EXISTS instead of IN. ...
  6. Avoid Having Clause. ...
  7. Create Clustered and Non-Clustered Indexes. ...
  8. Keep clustered index small.
Aug 31, 2022

What is database efficiency and tuning? ›

Database performance tuning refers to a group of activities DBAs perform to ensure databases operate smoothly and efficiently. It helps re-optimize a database system from top to bottom, from software to hardware, to improve overall performance.

What are KPI indicators in Tableau dashboard? ›

Key performance indicators are an integral part of analytics today. Tableau customers can quickly create KPI's in Tableau. The best practice here is to aggregate the measure we want evaluate the performance of ([Sales] in this case) and then select the level at which we determine whether something is good vs.

How do you analyze a dashboard in Tableau? ›

Use your tableau.com(Link opens in a new window) account to sign in.
  1. Select marks to highlight data points in the view.
  2. Analyze selected marks using tooltips.
  3. Compare marks data with recalculated lines.
  4. Use Data Details to see visualization information.

What are different filters in Tableau? ›

There are six different types of filters in tableau desktop based on their various objectives and are mentioned below as per their execution steps.
  • Extract Filters. ...
  • Data Source Filter. ...
  • Context Filter. ...
  • Dimension filter.
Oct 27, 2022

How do you rejuvenate a dashboard? ›

A little oil from the kitchen will make your dashboard look as new as the day you drove it off the lot. Allstate Car Insurance and Elite Auto Repair suggest using olive oil but really any kind of oil will do, whether it's olive, vegetable or coconut oil.

Is wd40 good for dashboard? ›

For a final touch and polish, spray some WD-40 onto the cloth and give the dashboard and console a once over. This will act as a sealant and protect your dashboard from accumulating dust in the future; it also helps to add a little bit of “new car” shine to your dashboard.

Is olive oil good for dashboards? ›

Mineral and Olive Oil for the Dashboard

Using a soft cloth, apply a thin layer of olive oil or mineral oil and wipe the dashboard. It improves the shine of the dash while removing the everyday surface dirt. The natural oils also protect against cracks and general wear and tear.

Is Vaseline good for dashboards? ›

Vaseline clean

Just like your lips, your dashboard can benefit from this too. Vaseline's effectiveness has been compared to Armour All for its ability to diminish small marks and scratches and improve the overall condition of a car's dashboard.

What are the three 3 factors that determine performance? ›

The key factors that influence employee performances are: Training and Development. Employee Engagement. Company culture.

What are the 3 performance elements? ›

Effective performance management systems typically include the following three broad elements: goal setting, performance review and a performance improvement process.

What cleans a sticky dashboard? ›

Firstly, if your dashboard has food or chemical spills then you can opt for either vinegar and water or baking soda and water solution. Secondly, you can use citric acid-based cleaners for duct tape or glue residues. Similarly, WD-40, Goo-Gone or spray silicone can be used for the same.


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