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Preparing data stories on Tableau

In this article, you will develop an understanding of the role and value of a data story and how to build one within Tableau.

Stories in Tableau are a sequence of visualisations that work together to convey information. A story is a sheet, so methods you use to create a name and manage worksheets and dashboards also apply to stories. A story can also be a collection of sheets, arranged in a particular sequence. Once you share a story on Tableau, users can interact with the story to reveal new findings or ask new questions on the data.

To see an example how to build a story in Tableau read the following article. Read: Example – A Story That Examines a Trend [1]

You may also wish to log in to the Tableau website and complete the Story Points tutorial (you’ll find the sample workbooks sitting beneath the video, as well as a PDF transcript) [3]

Let’s explore how to create a story on Tableau.

Step 1: Click the ‘New Story’ tab.

Step 1: Create a story in Tableau.

Step 2: In the lower-left corner of the screen, choose a size for your story. Choose from one of the predefined sizes, or set a custom size (in pixels).

Step 2: Select "Story (1016x964)"

Step 3: By default, your story takes its title from the sheet name. To edit it, right-click the sheet tab, and choose ‘Rename Sheet’.

Step 4: To start building your story, double-click on a sheet on the left to create a new story point (i.e. an individual sheet).

Step 3: Fill in story.

Step 5: To summarise the story point, you can click ‘Add’ to add a caption. In Tableau Desktop, you can highlight a key takeaway for your viewers by dragging a text object to the story worksheet and typing a comment.

Step 6: To further highlight the main idea of this story point, you can change a filter or sort on a field in the view. Then, save your changes by clicking ‘Update’ on the story toolbar above the navigator box.

Step 6: Update the story.

Step 7: Add another story point by doing any of the following.

Click ‘Blank’ to use a fresh sheet for the next story point. Start customising a story point and click ‘Save as New’ on the toolbar above the navigator box.

Step 7: Create new story in Tableau

You can also click ‘Duplicate’ to use the current story point as the basis for a new one.


Reflect on your understanding of data and the persuasive story it can tell. In this discussion you have an opportunity to share your thoughts on the relationship between a great story and effective presentation.

Consider the following statement and think about whether you agree or disagree with it:

It doesn’t matter how good your data story is, if your presentation skills aren’t good.

Post your reflections in the comment section below.


  1. Example – A Story That Examines a Trend [Internet]. Tableau; 2020. Available from
  2. Story Points. Tableau; [date unknown]. Available from:
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