[Tutorial] Creating Mobile Responsive Dashboards in Tableau

With the penetration of mobiles increasing every day, usage of any software or web based application on mobiles becomes inevitable. And analytics domain is not an exception. The usage of mobile phones to view analytical Business Intelligence dashboards have increased significantly.

Also, unlike in the past, apart from analysts and BAI colleagues, now even executives have realized the importance of data analysis and have started consuming the dashboards to come up with data driven solutions. (This is the reason for introduction of so many self serve analysis tools). With this increased user base, who are always on their toes, mobile based BI tools became unavoidable.

Tableau, one of the leading BI tools have launched responsive Tableau structures for mobile phones. Using this feature, device specific designs can be designed for a dashboard. And based on the screen resolution of the device, Tableau will show the best dashboard layout for the device.

How to create Mobile Layout in Tableau dashboard?

To summarize, Tableau lets you create a new layout for each

1. Open the dashboard for which you would like to create a mobile view in Tableau 10 and above. Here I have a dashboard mock-up I created for a client.

2. In the dashboard pane in the left, in the sidebar, click on the ‘Device Preview’ button. This will show a list of device types and models. Select the device which you want to customize for.
Tableau Mobile Dashboard
Based on the size of the device selected, an overlay will appear on the dashboard.
Dashboard elements outside the overlay can be viewed by scrolling when opening it in the original device.

Tableau phone layout

3. To customize a dashboard for the device, click on ‘Add Layout’.

4. This will create a new layout, which will appear like a new dashboard.

5. Now, in the sidebar, there will be 2 options – Size and Layout.

6. In the Size option, Fit all option will show everything in the screen in the device.

7. In the Size option, Fit width option will show only vertical scrollbar.

8. Now in the Layout option, you can select default option or custom option. If you select the custom option, you can resize/reorder the dashboard elements, to appear the best in the selected device.

9. You can delete and remove certain chart elements in the mobile/tableau layout. For example, box plot charts might appear cluttered in a mobile screen.

Best practices in Mobile dashboards (Tableau)

There are few recommended best practices when creating a mobile layout in Tableau. Following are some of them

  1. Know the requirements : Before creating the mobile dashboard, understand who the users of the mobile layout are. By understanding this, you can only add/highlight the important chart elements only
  2. Avoid Cluttering : Mobile/tablet screen is completely different from a desktop screen. So do not try to show everything in a mobile screen unless necessary

We at proanalyst.net publish frequent tutorials on Data visualization tools like Tableau, Qliksense etc. Want to contribute? Mail us at admin@proanalyst.net

Disclaimer for my clients : I sanitize data before posting any screenshots. So you can be absolutely sure of data privacy.

Author: Vignesh Kumar Sivanadan
Data scientist for a leading data sciences company. And I am a freelance tableau developer and a consultant in Upwork too. (Hire me to work for you in Upwork. Click Here). These blog posts are my experiences.

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