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Adding interactivity

Adding interactivity

Beyond simply presenting data in a dashboard, Tableau allows you to give users the opportunity to interact with the dashboard and to explore the data and insights at their own pace.

You can add interactivity to Tableau dashboards by using one of three dashboard actions.

  1. Filters
  2. Highlights
  3. URLs

Adding and configuring fields

In Tableau, a field is an element of your data. Fields can be viewed, filtered, grouped, renamed, combined, and created via calculation – all through the data pane. Fields are automatically added to the data pane when you have connected to a data source. Tableau automatically formats your data based on its type. For example, values of latitude and longitude will be automatically recognised as geographic data.

Read: Organize and customize fields in the data pane [1].

Filtering and sorting data

In the last module, you learned how to add filters to your charts. You can also add these filters to your dashboards, so users can find information easily. Adding filters at the dashboard level increases the use (and consequently value) of your dashboard because multiple audiences can use the same one. For example, a dashboard with global data is valuable only to senior leadership at a strategic level, because it presents a bird’s-eye view of the data.

If, however, you add filters so users can filter information by country, region, or specific locations, the dashboard will present information at an operational level. It will then be valuable to leadership at the national and regional levels, and to location managers.

Adding actions

Actions help add engagement to your dashboard by allowing users to interact with it. Adding actions at the dashboard level is the same as adding them to individual charts.

Watch: Dashboard interactivity using actions (~6 mins) [2].

Filter actions

By reducing the amount of data displayed on the dashboard, filters help users focus on the information that’s most valuable to them (e.g. selecting a state to see those stores in a specific region).

Highlight actions

With highlights, you can call attention to particular marks, or dim others. This is particularly useful in your dashboards because you can highlight key information for users.

URL actions

When you add URLs, you can hyperlink to an external web page, data, or email. This is helpful if you want to guide the user to content that is hosted outside Tableau, or to provide a mechanism for them to request more information.


1. Tableau. Organize and Customize Fields in the Data Pane [Internet]. Available from:

2. Tableau. Learn how to enhance the interactivity of your dashboards using highlight, filter, and URL actions [Internet]. Available from:

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