4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2017 12:07 PM by Becky Cox

    Workbook definitions and data sources

    Hope Stiles

      Hello friends,


      I'm working on a dashboard that is going to replace a current excel report.  It will show data for mortality, readmissions, HAI/Falls, and Patient Experience. I'd like to have a second tab/dashboard in the workbook that the end users can consult for data sources and definitions.


      For example, which source did we get this mortality rate from, what parameters were used, is it all cause, by diagnosis, system or same facility, etc.


      Does anyone have a template that you've used for this in the past?




        • 1. Re: Workbook definitions and data sources

          Hi Hope,


          We're working through the same question as you: How do we inform end users of all the pertinent information while making it easy to find.  I think there are multiple ways to accomplish this.  Currently, I use a sheet with a logo shape file and put all of the info in the tooltip.  I put this sheet on the main page of the dashboard, so when users hover over it they get what they need. 



          This works well enough, but I'd rather have all of this information stored somewhere centrally and have Tableau link to it.  This would mean that we don't have to edit the workbook each time specs change.  It would also let users browse the central repo at their leisure without having to open a particular dashboard to get info.


          A better idea might be to use the logo for a broad summary and then provide a link to the definitions and detail. 


          Hope that helps.  The main factor is how much time you've got to dedicate to it!

          • 2. Re: Workbook definitions and data sources
            Hope Stiles

            Thanks Mark.  I do use an info button on my dashboards to give some basic information.  I think for this I want to do a separate tab since it's a lot of information and users might want to print it as a reference. 


            This particular dashboard not only has 4-5 metrics, but it also has 5 data sources.  While the report will include 8 hospitals, 1 of the hospital is only available in 3 of the data sources for 4 metrics.  I need to communicate which metrics include this hospital and which don't.  One of the data sources updates for different hospitals on different dates.  I just realized this today so I'll need to communicate that the September data is only for say 4 out of 7 of the hospitals (the hospital I mentioned above isn't in this source).


            I'm going for something workbook specific as I'll have a label indicate say readmission index, but other places in the system we would use that same label and define them differently.  One place might be only RRP readmissions and the other might be all readmissions.  That kind of thing.


            So far my best idea is just taking an excel file and filling in all the pertinent fields and then creating a table to put on the second tab/dashboard.  I was hoping someone might have a template with some 'pretty' formatting already laid out that I could use or a better idea which is always welcome.


            Thanks for your input.



            • 3. Re: Workbook definitions and data sources
              Pamela Germain

              For all of the workbooks my team works on, we add an appendix tab that outlines information about what is contained in the workbook. We include a latest updated date for all data sources that comes from the source itself, we also include the last time Tableau updated the published extract, and we add info on calculations, codes, restrictions, etc that were used.


              So it ends up looking something like this



              Tableau refresh date: 11/8/2017 8:23am     (name of data source) updated: 11/1/2017 12:00am     (name of data source) updated: 11/8/2017 3:01am


              Date Range: min date and max date that was used to restrict the data at the source, i.e. 11/1/2017 - 10/31/2017


              I will also add additional info I want the user to know, like definitions for unique or complicated terminology, the values of certain dimensions, or calculations that were used to come up with the values displayed. Wherever I can pull the data from the sources themselves I will create a worksheet to show the values and just add it to the appendix dashboard. Say I had a list of locations, I would create a worksheet of that dimension that shows all values and add it the dashboard. When I work with financial data in a workbook that has a rollup of accounts into general ledger categories and the accounts are not visible and not able to be filtered on, I will created a worksheet for each GL level and list the accounts that make it up. This way, when the data changes I don't have to update the appendix.


              I also use an Info icon on each dashboard to give navigation and other information about the dashboard being looked at with direction to go to the Appendix tab to see further info.

              • 4. Re: Workbook definitions and data sources
                Becky Cox

                We also do something very similar with a template in a storybook format where there is a tab for Owners and Roles that is fed by an excel spreadsheet all developers add their content to, tab(s) for Definitions of each dashboards that can get down into all the ‘techy stuff’ and additionally a Release notes tab.  This is used as a standard requirement for all of our developers.  Attaching pics of our template – we also include our logo on the left hand empty white space but I have removed it for now.