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A Comprehensive Guide to Creating KPIs in Tableau

30 March 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Creating KPIs in Tableau


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are critical metrics that help organizations evaluate their progress towards achieving specific business objectives. Creating KPIs in Tableau can help you monitor your data and make informed decisions. In this guide, we will explore how to create KPIs in Tableau and provide step-by-step instructions for creating a simple KPI dashboard. We will also provide some examples of how to use KPIs in real-world scenarios.

Creating KPIs in Tableau:

Step 1: Define the KPI

Before creating a KPI in Tableau, it is important to define the metric you want to measure. This could be anything from revenue to customer satisfaction to website traffic. Once you have defined the KPI, you can start to think about how to represent it visually.

Step 2: Choose the appropriate visualization.

The visualization you choose for your KPI will depend on the nature of the metric you want to measure. For example, if you are measuring revenue, you might choose a line chart or a stacked bar chart. If you are measuring customer satisfaction, you might choose a heat map or a scatter plot.

Step 3: Add the KPI to your dashboard.

To add a KPI to your dashboard, you will need to create a new worksheet and add the appropriate visualization. Once you have created the visualization, you can add it to your dashboard by dragging it onto the canvas.

Step 4: Format the KPI

Formatting is important when creating KPIs in Tableau. You want your KPI to be easily understandable and visually appealing. You can format your KPI by adjusting the colours, fonts, and labels. You can also add additional text or images to provide context.

Step 5: Monitor your KPIs.

Once you have created your KPI dashboard, it is important to monitor your KPIs regularly. This will help you identify trends and make informed decisions about your business.

Example use case:

Let's say you are the owner of a small online retail store. You want to create a KPI dashboard to monitor your sales revenue. To create your KPI, you would first define the metric as "Monthly Sales Revenue." You might choose a line chart to represent this metric. Next, you would create a new worksheet and add the line chart to your dashboard. You could format the chart by choosing a colour scheme that matches your brand and adding a title that clearly communicates the metric being measured. Finally, you would monitor your KPI regularly to identify trends and make decisions about your business.


Creating KPIs in Tableau can help you monitor your data and make informed decisions about your business. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create KPI dashboards that are visually appealing and easy to understand. Remember to define your KPI, choose the appropriate visualization, format your dashboard, and monitor your KPIs regularly. With these tips, you can use Tableau to create KPI dashboards that will help you achieve your business goals.

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You can learn more on JBI's Tableau Training Courses

Including Introduction to Tableau, Tableau Creator - Server / Online, Tableau Analyst - Beyond the Basics & Javascript D3 training course

Go here if you would like to see the Tableau Official Documentation.


About the author: Craig Hartzel
Craig is a self-confessed geek who loves to play with and write about technology. Craig's especially interested in systems relating to e-commerce, automation, AI and Analytics.

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