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3 Ways to Enhance Dashboard Interactiveness using Tableau Set Actions

3 Ways to Enhance Dashboard Interactiveness using Tableau Set Actions

Tableau is a powerful data visualization tool that empowers users to create interactive dashboards and derive meaningful insights, resulting in increased ROI and business growth. ‘Set Actions’ is one of the key features of Tableau used to enhance the interactivity of Tableau dashboards. 

In this blog post, we will explore three different ways to use set actions to enhance the interactiveness of everyday Tableau dashboards.

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What are Set Actions?

Sets are used in Tableau to create a subset of your data or to group your data based on predefined conditions. At the row level, individual records are either in or out of the set. 

There are two types of sets: fixed and dynamic. 

In fixed sets, changes in data do not affect the in/out condition of your set. When you select a dimension and use Create > Set, you are essentially creating a fixed set. In a dynamic set, when the data changes, the set may change based on whatever conditions or calculations affect the set.

Set Actions in Tableau allow users to dynamically update sets and filters based on user interactions with the dashboard. 

It provides Tableau users more control over interactivity in their dashboard design. This control over interactivity makes it easy to coordinate different actions across multiple views with a single click or selection. Users can create set actions in Tableau Desktop, Tableau Cloud, and Tableau Server.

1. Using Sets to Show a Part to a Whole Relationship

One great way to use Set Actions is to show a part to whole relationship.  For instance, if we want to see how a specific Region contributes to Sales in our various Product Sub-Categories, we can use set actions to highlight the contribution.


  1. In Tableau, connect to the Superstore Sample data Source
  2. Drag the Region dimension to the Row Shelf and then Sales to Columns

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3. In a second sheet, bring your Product Sub-categories to the Rows and Sales to Columns

4. Create a set using the Region Dimension by right-clicking the Region dimension and selecting Create Set. Name it the Region Set

5. In the set pop-up window select any of the Region values and select OK.

6. In the view that shows Sales by Product Sub-category, drag the Region set to color

7. Now create a dashboard and drag both charts into it

8. From your dashboard view, select Dashboard > Actions

9. In the pop-up window select Add Action > Change Set Values

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10. In the pop-up window, set the options as you see in the screenshot below

11. Hit Ok. You can now test the Set Actions by clicking on the Region bars on your dashboard.

2. Using Set actions to swap sheets

Sheet swapping is another method to save space on your dashboard and improve the overall appearance

This method of cycling through sheets view can be achieved using a parameter. However, if you are thinking of a more dynamic approach, you can use Set Actions. 

In the example below, we’re going to use the various Segments (i.e. Consumer, Corporate & Home Office) to cycle between various charts.

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  1. Build a chart that shows the overall Sales segmented by product Sub-Categories. Name this chart as Consumer Sub-Category
  2. Build a second chart that shows a map of Sales. Name this Corporate Map
  3. Create a third view that shows the trend of sales based on the month of the year. Name this chart Home Office Trend

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4. Right-click on the Segment field and create a set. Select any value within the set. Name the set and select OK.

5. Create the calculation below to determine which Segment is displayed when a Set value is chosen

6. Create another calculation just as the screenshot below to enable the sheets to be swapped when a value in the set is selected

7. Next build a view that would serve as a selector for the various charts we built as shown in

8. Create a dashboard and drag the selector sheet to it. Place an empty vertical container next to the selector sheet as shown below

9. Open the Dashboard actions menu and select Change Set Values

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10. Select the options as shown in the screenshot below

11. Click on Consumer in the selector sheet. Now go to the chart Consumer Subcategory.

12. Drag the Sheet Swapper field we created earlier to the filter shelf and ensure the correct filter is selected

13. Repeat step 11 & 12 for Corporate and Home Office. Always ensure you click on them in the Sheet selector first.

14. Now drag the sheets Consumer Subcategory, Corporate Map and Home Office individually to the vertical container on the dashboard and each case hide the title

15. Now click through the options on your sheet selector to ensure the views are being swapped

3. Using Set Actions to Drill Down

When working with views that involve a hierarchy or several levels of detail, you can use Set Actions to achieve a clear representation of information. In the example below, we will build a hierarchy involving Category, Sub-Category, and Product Name.


  1. Create a hierarchy using Segment, Category and Sub-Category
  2. Right-click the Segment field and create a set. Leave the values empty

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3. Name the set Segment Set

4. Open the calculation window and input the formula below. Name it First Level and hit OK

5. Right-click the First Level field from your data pane and create a set. Name it First Level. Leave the values empty

6. Open the calculation window and input the formula below. Name it Second Level and hit OK

7. Drag Segment and the First Level and Second Level calculations to Rows and Sales to the Columns shelf

8. Name the Sheet Drill Down

9. Create a new dashboard and drag the Drill Down Sheet to it

10. Select Dashboard Actions and Select Change Set Values and configure the action as shown below for the first hierarchy

11. Repeat the process for a second hierarchy as shown below

12. Test interactivity by clicking through the Segment, First Level and Second Level on the dashboard


Set Actions is a great feature to improve interactiveness of Tableau dashboards and provide a more intuitive user experience. We discussed three ways you can leverage this feature:

  1. Using Set Actions to show a part to a whole relationship
  2. Using Set Actions to swap actions
  3. Using Set Actions to drill down

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