Have you ever discovered a new Tableau dashboard and wondered what data means or how to use it? Or, have you ever published a new dashboard and wished that you could include instructions about how to use your dashboard?

Data Guide provides helpful information about a dashboard and insights about the data behind it. Data Guide allows dashboard creators to provide more explanatory context for end users–like descriptions and links to resources–directly in the dashboard. And Data Guide automatically surfaces insights powered by Explain Data and Data Change Radar to help users find outliers, identify notable data changes, and learn about explanations for a mark. Explain the Viz (powered by Explain Data) identifies outlier measures and potential key drivers behind them. Data Change Radar (Tableau Cloud only) tracks values in your dashboard over time and automatically flags values outside of the normal patterns as data refreshes.

These contextually relevant details can help dashboard users navigate and use new dashboards more easily, allowing users to find insights faster, trust that they’re looking at the right data, provide context for data, and establish confidence in their understanding of the viz.

Customize Data Guide as an author

  1. From your dashboard, click the Edit button.
  2. Click Data Guide in the toolbar, if Data Guide doesn't open by default.
  3. In the Data Guide pane, type a description to help your end users understand the purpose of your dashboard.
  4. Click Add link, and enter a descriptive label for your link text and the URL.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click a viz (a sheet in the dashboard). Data Guide updates automatically so you can add a description and additional resources that are relevant to each viz in your dashboard.
  7. Type a description, and add links relevant to the viz.
  8. Click OK.

Explore Data Guide as a dashboard user

  1. From the dashboard, click Data Guide in the toolbar, if Data Guide doesn’t open by default.
  2. Read the description of the dashboard and explore resources provided by the dashboard author.
  3. Expand Data in This Dashboard and Detected Outliers to learn more about the underlying data used in the dashboard.
  4. Click into a viz (an object in the dashboard).
  5. Read the description of the viz and explore resources provided by the dashboard author.
  6. Expand Data Summary and Detected Outliers to learn more about data in that viz.
  7. Expand Notable Data Changes (Tableau Cloud only) to find values outside the expected range that are identified by Data Change Radar.
  8. Select a mark, such as a bar on a chart or a region on a map, to see information about Data in This Mark, Applied Filters, and Explanations for This Mark powered by Explain Data.

An animation of navigating through the Data Guide pane per the preceding written steps

Explore Data Guide at different levels

Data Guide is closed by default, but you can always open Data Guide in the toolbar. At the top of the Data Guide pane, you see the name of the dashboard or viz that you selected. As a dashboard author, you can write descriptions for both the dashboard and for individual vizzes that make up your dashboard.

Understand dashboard-level details

At the dashboard level, Data Guide:

  • Displays the dashboard’s name, author, and last published date.
  • Can include a description written by the dashboard author and links to related resources, such as videos or wiki pages.
  • Lists the data sources used by the dashboard and details about the data, such as which dimensions and measures are used.
  • Reveals detected outliers in the dashboard that are identified by Explain Data. For more information, see How Explain Data Works.
  • Identifies values outside expected business patterns using Data Change Radar (Tableau Cloud only). For more information, see Identify Outliers with Data Change Radar.

The Data Guide pane at the dashboard level

Understand viz-level details

When a user clicks into a specific viz (dashboard object), Data Guide:

  • Displays the viz’s name.
  • Can include a description written by the dashboard author and links to related resources, such as videos or wiki pages.
  • Lists the data sources used by the dashboard, including the dimensions and measures used.
  • Lists applied filters and data used in the viz, so you can identify how the data is being influenced by filters that users interact with.
  • Has a summary of the data used in the viz, including the number of data points, sorting details and prefilters that users can't interact with.
  • Reveals detected outliers in the viz that are identified by Explain Data. For more information, see Get Started with Explain Data and How Explain Data Works.
  • Identifies values outside expected business patterns using Data Change Radar (Tableau Cloud only). For more information, see Identify Notable Data Changes in a Viz.

The Data Guide pane at the viz level

Understand mark-level details

When a user clicks into a mark (such as region on a map), Data Guide:

  • Displays the name of the mark.
  • Lists applied filters and data used in the viz, so you know what’s included and what’s excluded.
  • Reveals detected outliers in the viz that are identified by Explain Data. For more information, see Get Started with Explain Data and How Explain Data Works.

The Data Guide pane at the mark level

Control Data Guide visibility

To choose whether you want Data Guide to be open by default:

  1. From the top-right corner, click the dropdown menu next to your name.
  2. Click My Account Settings.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Check the box for Show Data Guide to have the Data Guide visible by default when a workbook is opened.
  5. Click Save Changes.

The Data Guide setting with a checkbox for "Close Data Guide by default"

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