Current data in a Tableau visualization can offer insights into future performance. In this video, learn how to forecast future values.
- [Instructor] Analyzing business performance gives you insights into how things are going now. But to succeed you must also use that data to judge your future prospects. In this movie, I will show you how to create data forecast that use your company's past performance to estimate how things might go in the future. I will also show you how to get around a common problem that Tableau users encounter when they want to create a forecast. My same file is 05_05 Forecast and you can find it in the chapter five folder of your exercise files collection. In this workbook I have a single worksheet and on it I have a line graph showing the sum of Order Total by quarter. So going from Q3 of 2017 to Q3 of 2019. What I'd like to do is to use this data to create a forecast for future quarters. To do that I can go to the Analytics tab of the navigation pane. And then under Model, I'll drag Forecast onto the viz and drag it so that it is highlighting the Forecast icon. And when I release the left mouse button I see that my forecast indicator has been added. So what's happened is that Tableau has taken the existing data and then created a line of best fit for the existing data and projected it out into the future. The estimate for future sales is shown here as this line. And it it is estimating 814,909. But that is almost certain to be wrong because the value of sales for the next quarter could be literally anything. So instead, it's shown what's called a confidence interval where it's either 90% or 95% certain that the value will be within the top and bottom of this range. So quarterly sales could fall anywhere from just under 600,000 to just over a million dollars. It provides a specific estimate because the model provides that data. But again that specific guess is almost certain to be wrong. Now if you are working with your own data you might find that the Forecast item has been grayed-out and is not available to you. That can happen when you have your dates formatted in a specific way, so you need to make a change. I'll go up to the Date pill, or the Order Date pill that I currently have in the column shelf. Click the down arrow and then I'll look for Quarter or look for whatever, could be Month could be Day, whatever you currently have as your current level of organization. And in that section of the menu, point to More and click Custom. And here you can create a custom date for this field for how Tableau will handle it. The problem occurs if the detail level is set to Exact Date, and that's the first item. So if you have Exact Data you need to choose something else. In this case we have Quarters rather than Months or Days or Years, so I'll click Quarters again. And also make sure that Date Value is selected. So what you've done is set your detail, rather than Exact Date, to the level of your visualization. So click OK and now over on the left Forecast should be available to you.
- Explain where a user would navigate to seek specific help in Tableau.
- Determine the best approach for using Excel in Tableau.
- Interpret how to use the features and functions of Tableau when creating charts.
- Describe how best to manage data in a worksheet or visualization.
- Explain how to create a selection filter for certain values.
- Explain how to manage data for different chart formats.
Skill Level Beginner
1. Introducing Tableau
2. Managing Data Sources and Visualizations
3. Managing Tableau Worksheets and Workbooks
4. Creating Custom Calculations and Fields
5. Analyzing Data
6. Sorting and Filtering Tableau Data
7. Defining Groups and Sets
8. Creating and Pivoting Crosstabs
9. Creating Basic Visualizations
10. Formatting Tableau Visualizations
11. Annotating and Formatting Visualizations
12. Mapping Geographic Data
13. Creating Dashboards and Actions
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