There are hundreds of blog posts, articles, and checklists about improving Tableau dashboard performance. I personally don’t like reading through lengthy posts, watching long videos, or drilling through checklists just to have a list of 100 things to check. So I’ve compiled the five most impactful performance tips to make your dashboards run faster instantly.
1. Change data sources from Live to Extract
If you don’t absolutely have to use a live connection, don’t. Tableau’s Hyper is a best-in-class data engine, use it. You’ll see faster dashboards instantly in 90% of cases.
2. Minimize the number of marks on your dashboard
500,000 marks on your map of the United States is going to take a few seconds. 500,000 marks that use calculated fields is going to take even longer. Only show the most relevant data and know what to exclude. This means not dragging every dimension in your data onto the canvas.
3. Simplify your calculations, remove or reduce nested calculations
If you’re referencing a calculated field in a calculated field, your performance will degrade. Once your data gets to a certain size and your 5 nested calculations deep, you can kiss your UX ratings goodbye. If you can, try to reference terminal fields in a calculation, even if that means making one big calculation. Just pay attention to your aggregations and order of operations.
Use REGEXP for string calculations if you can. By doing this you avoid Tableau having to do something like a CONTAINS calculation multiple times.
If you can’t use REGEXP formulas, use CASE expressions rather than massive IF statements with a bunch of ORs.
Check out Tableau’s official documentation if you want to learn more: https://help.tableau.com/current/pro/desktop/en-us/calculations_calculatedfields_bestpractices.htm
4. Reduce the number of worksheets on your dashboard
Either split off your worksheets into different dashboards, or find a different way to communicate your message with less worksheets. The more marks and worksheets on your dashboard, the more processing Tableau has to do. Aim for 5 or less as a rule of thumb.
5. Use filters, not too much, and don’t set them all to “relevant values”
Ok, so this one is probably the most difficult for me to follow when building. But it’s easy to remove filters for a quick performance boost. If the filter doesn’t absolutely need to be there, get rid of it. If it doesn’t have to be relevant, don’t make it “relevant values”. It just adds to what Tableau has to calculate and render, which adds precious seconds to load time (especially with large data sets).
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I hope this gave you a quick win in making your dashboards faster. Have any other really quick tips to make Tableau faster? Feel free to comment them below, I’d love to learn.
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