How To: Add Highlight Actions to Enhance Usability in Tableau

4/26/2017 Matt Chambers 0 Comments

Click on dashboard to interact

For Makeover Monday, I remade the LinkedIn Top Skills report supplied by Tableau.  I wanted to focus my visualization on comparing the top global skills across all countries.  To do this, I used Andy Kriebel's excellent tutorial on ranked dot plots.  The finished visualization looks like this:

I think this is a really clean design.  The top row for "Global" sets the baseline for the top 10 global skills.  The reference line extending from the "Global" rank marks show how each skill compares to the global ranking by country.  When the dots are blue, the skills ranks at or above global average while green dots are below the global average.

I wanted to be able to show the marks for the ranks, but I didn't necessarily want to clutter the design by showing all of the marks.  Labeling everything looks like this:

This looks very cluttered to me, and I feel like applying a few hover highlight actions can help maintain the clean look while also enhancing usability.  Let's take a look how it's done.

1.  Drag the dimension or measure to the label.  For Marks to Label, choose Highlighted.

This will cause the marks to appear when clicking on the dashboard.

2.  For this dashboard, I wanted the marks to appear when hovering over the country or the skill.  That way you can easily see how the skill compares to the global rank but you can also see how each skill ranks within a country.  

Now for the magic of Tableau's highlight actions.  Click on the Dashboard menu option and click Actions

3.  Click Add Action, Highlight

4.  For my dashboard, I wanted the highlight to appear on Hover.  Choose Hover under Run Action on, and under Selected Fields, choose the fields that you want to highlight.

5.  When hovering, the dashboard will highlight the columns as well as display the marks for the ranks.

Feel free to download the workbook and comment with any questions.