Now that we’ve learned how to set up our data in Tableau, let’s get vizzing! Tableau allows us to visualize our data in numerous ways, from simple text tables to treemaps, or even a combination of 2 chart types.

In this lesson, we will familiarize ourselves with what’s available and make appropriate choices to best present our data. An effective visualization should present a coherent and compelling story with the data.

Check out the components of the Sheet view pointed out in the GIF to the right. You can pause and read more about each components here:

Data Pane: Data fields from the active sheet/table of the data source appear here.

Columns and Rows Shelf: This is where we drag fields to create a visualization. We can drag a field into either shelf to construct the columns or rows of the table, respectively.

Marks Card: Here, we can choose the chart type and further stylize our viz with properties like color and size. We’ll learn more about this in the upcoming lessons.

Pages Shelf: Pages allow us to break the viz into a series of views with a different view on each page. We can think of flipping through views as advancing slides in a presentation.

Filters Shelf: We can use this shelf to filter out data we wish to include/exclude.

Show Me: This menu shows suggested possible visualization types based on the selected combination(s) of data.

If we wish to create more than one chart, we can make a new sheet by clicking these buttons on the bottom menu.

New Sheet Make a new sheet

New Dashboard Combine multiple sheets into a single dashboard

New Story Create a story with a different sheet or dashboard on each page


  1. Download this dataset of Rotten Tomatoes Movie Ratings and Profitability, and open it in Tableau (the dataset will download directly). Feel free to explore the Data Viewer and metadata to get familiar with the fields.
  2. Make a new sheet. Ensure that the Marks Card is set to Automatic, which allows Tableau to automatically use best practices to represent the data.
  3. Double click on a dimension and a measure from the data pane.
  4. A visualization with the selected data fields should appear on the center view. What type of visualization did Tableau generate for you and do you agree with the chart choice? Think about what you’d change and why. (It’s worth noting that it may not have even been a recognizable visualization! If that’s the case, remember you may have to adjust aggregations like SUM() or AVG(), and feel free to drag the pills out of the column and row shelves and double click other combinations.) In the next lessons we’ll learn how to choose our desired chart types and make customizations.

Take this course for free

Mini Info Outline Icon
By signing up for Codecademy, you agree to Codecademy's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

Or sign up using:

Already have an account?