My recommendation would be to keep them separate, which is where I think you are going with this one. Load all 4 datasets (common, performance, logging, awards), and link the latter 3 to the common dataset by using Data > Edit Relationsips menu.
You can then build 3 or more separate sheets off each of your data sources, but they can all sit inside a single dashboard if you want them to.
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What database is it? you can use views..create views on top of base tables... facts and dimensions and use the view directly.
ideally it does not matter ..only thing that would matter is the way the dashboard is designed.Filters applied,kinds of filters and the table calculations etc.
This would effect the tableau dashboard performance if it is not designed properly.