Tableau Public Kpi Dashboard

I wrote a post on my blog in Dec, 2016 - How to Create A KPI Dashboard in Tableau. It was a Monday and Andy Kriebel published a new data for Washington DC Metro on his Twitter for that week’s MakeoverMonday. I downloaded the data and built a KPI dashboard during the lunch time and published it on my Tableau Public. My colleagues liked the dashboard and asked me the process how I made it, so I wrote the above blog-post. Till today, that post remains the most read article on my blog.

Designing KPI dashboard for businesses might be more challenging than it sounds. I have designed or supervised the design more at least than 500-1000 dashboard to date. So I though if more and more people are interested in the KPI dashboards, I would like to explain part of the process, tips and best practices which I follow to design my KPI dashboards. Though these specifics are best suited for business dashboards, please feel free to make amends to fit them for not-for-profit, government reporting, and to publish information in public domain.

The key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard has become a managerial must-have report for assessing business performance. Offering an at-a-glance view of important performance metrics (like sales and profit), this dashboard lets decision makers quickly know if numbers are trending up or down. By the end of this project, you will learn how to create an easy-to-understand communication that will focus attention on specific metrics that guide decisions. We will learn how to create an account, how to load data sets, and how to manipulate Create a Big Number KPI Dashboard in Tableau Public.

Tableau Public Kpi Dashboard Tutorial

  1. The KPI dashboard is posted to our internal Tableau server, where executives can subscribe via email, comment or dive into the data source themselves to answer follow-up questions.
  2. Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in a dashboard are a great way to give a quick indication of how an organisation is doing. This would be actual number of say sales, or number of people donating to a charity, as well as how these metrics change over time. Having manually created KPI tracking reports in PowerPoint, or even having used E-Tabs to try to automate the process, learning that you could do it extremely dynamically in Tableau was fantastic.
Tableau kpi arrows

The entire series is divided in 6 parts as follows

  1. Type of KPIs: What are KPIs and what kind of KPIs fit into which requirements

  2. Comparision: Comparing KPIs over time, against peers, and benchmarking against competitors

  3. Drill-down: Drilling down into details to find source of variance, contributing factors and finding causes

  4. Wireframing: Understanding the need of your users and designing the outline of a KPI dashboard

  5. Building KPI Dashboard: Bringing the wireframe to life and build an interactive dashboard in Tableau

  6. Best Practices: Common pitfalls, best practices, and lessons which I have learnt over years

Please sit down and take your time to read. Hope you enjoy reading. If you have any questions, thoughts or ideas, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks.


This article shows how to create a view that shows Key Progress Indicators (KPIs). A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that shows how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. At a high level, the procedure requires you to do the following:

  1. Create a view that includes the field or fields (measures) you want to assess.

  2. Create a calculated field that establishes the threshold that demarcates success from failure.

  3. Update the view to use KPI-specific shape marks to show which values are above the threshold and which are below.

Tableau Public Kpi Dashboard

Note: When connected to Microsoft Analysis Services, any KPI calculations defined in the cube are not available in Tableau. But as the procedure below demonstrates, you can write your own KPI calculations directly inside Tableau, and then use Tableau parameters to create highly flexible what-if KPI analysis. For more on special considerations for cube data sources, see Cube Data Sources.

The scenario uses the Sample - Superstore data source provided with Tableau Desktop to show how to build a KPI view that displays a green check mark for any sales figure over $25,000, and a red X for any sales figure under $25,000.

Create a view that includes the field you want to assess

In this case, that field is Sales.

  1. Connect to the Sample - Superstore data source.

  2. From the Data pane, drag Sub-Category to Rows and Region to Columns.

  3. From the Data pane, drag Sales to Text on the Marks card.

Tableau Kpi Card

Create a calculated field that establishes the threshold that demarcates success from failure

Tableau Kpi Examples

  1. In the Analysis menu, select Create Calculated Field to open the calculation editor. Name the calculation KPI and type or paste the following in the formula area

    IF SUM ([Sales]) > 25000 THEN 'Above Benchmark' ELSE 'Below Benchmark' END

  2. Click OK.

Update the view to use KPI-specific shape marks

  1. On the Marks card, select Shape from the drop-down list of views:

  2. Drag the KPI field from the Measures area of the Data pane to Shape on the Marks card.

  3. Click Shape on the Marks card to open the Edit Shape dialog box.

    For more about shapes, see Shape in Change the Type of Mark in the View.

  4. From the Select Shape Palette drop down list, choose KPI.

    Now you are ready to associate specific values for the KPI field with specific shapes.

  5. Click Above Benchmark under Select Data Item and then click the green check mark in the palette.

  6. Click Below Benchmark under Select Data Item and then click the red X in the palette.

    The Edit Shape dialog box should now look like this:

  7. Click OK to close the Edit Shape dialog box.

    The shapes in the view show the correct indicators. Now you just need to hide the sales numbers.

  8. Drag SUM(Sales) on the Marks card to Detail.

What Is Kpi In Dashboard

Tableau public kpi dashboard login

You now have a completed view that show how individual products (sub-categories) are performing across all four regions:

Tableau Public Kpi Dashboard Login

The view may not be terribly exciting on its own, but it would make a nice addition to a dashboard that showed other performance metrics.

Tableau Public Kpi Dashboard

Thanks for your feedback!