3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2012 8:33 AM by Russell Christopher

    Does Tableau have text fields for user interaction




      I'm a complete newbie to Tableau but love the possibilities of having an interactive dashboard online for calculations I use often.


      The calculations in question have a certain number of known data entries (which I can populate a table with) but the rest are unknown variables that are unique each time the calculations are performed. So my questions are as follows:-


      1) Is it possible to have 'n' number of text fields in the dashboard that allows the user to enter those unique variables?

      2) Is it possible to have a visualisation that yields numeric results? (as opposed to a graph)


      If the above is not possible, then a cheat I thought of is to populate a table with thousands of variables (but will need 3 decimal places per variable) and several

      list boxes in the dashboard, that filter the calculations based on the selection from the list box. However this really does sound extreme. Hoping option 1 is possible.


      The table below is an example of just one row. The number of times this row is repeated is also unique and variable per situation.



      DescriptionMaterial 1material 2DirectionLengthHeight 1
      Height 2
      AreaCo-efficientL / H1LocationResult 1Result 2
      User interaction but could be a List box with pre-populated optionslist box with 5 optionslist box with 7 optionsany 1 of 8 compass pointsuser entryuser entryuser entryuser entryformula - non interactiveformula - non interactive1 of 6 optionsformula - non interactiveformula - non interactive
        • 1. Re: Does Tableau have text fields for user interaction
          Russell Christopher

          Hi Dino -




          Tableau allows user input through filters and parameters. Parameters can contain a set of values you define up-front, or they can allow the user to type in whatever they want. Values stored in a parameter can be "read" and used elsewhere, like in a calculation.


          I may very well be reading too much into your question, so feel free to ignore the following guidance...Here goes


          Tableau is at it's best as a data visualization and ad-hoc analysis tool. In fact, it's built specifically to work well in those scenarios. The vision you're painting sounds like you want a rows-and-columns input mechanism which spits out values. Can Tableau do this for you? Yes - absolutely.


          I'd argue that it isn't the best tool for this sort of job, however. There are other applications (like Excel) that are better suited for rows & columns / non-visual sort of work.  Hope this makes sense?

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Does Tableau have text fields for user interaction

            Hi Russell


            Yes, you are spot on in your understanding of what I need. In fact I do already have a spreadsheet setup (which is functioning well) but I'm wanting to restrict my staff as far as possible from interacting directly with the spreadsheet. I'm trying to create some sort of "front face" for my staff to interact with, which then populates tables in the background. Those tables in turn have calculation fields which yield results.


            The dashboard in Tableau seems to be able to offer that "front face" I'm looking for but (as mentioned) I haven't found any tool that allows the user to enter numerical variable data. I've got the general gist of the filter's and would have to re-format my spreadsheet and pre-populate it with more filter values but at least I can see Tableau can handle that side.


            Any clues on how to enter numerical variables?

            • 3. Re: Does Tableau have text fields for user interaction
              Russell Christopher

              Hi Dino:


              A Tableau Parameter will allow you to enter any data type you wish - you'll just need to configure it to do so. Your "challenge" is that you'll need one parameter-per-cell for data entry - that's a lot of parameters to be created and arranged in a dashboard.