Tableau Tutorial – Importing Excel Files

In this post of ‘Tableau Tutorials’ series, we will be discussing importing excel files into the Tableau interface. Each file type has its own quirks. For instance, Excel files have multiple tabs and access files might have multiple tables to choose from. Tableau allows users to leverage these tabs or tables simultaneously. We expect, if we discuss a couple, it should prepare users for the rest. So let’s dive right into it.

Let’s start with the same steps as we discussed previously to connect with the data files. We should reach to this screen once we have connected with an excel file.

When an excel file is imported, we can see the various tabs in the file listed in the left pane below the connections. We can select the relevant sheet and drag it to the top pane, where we can read ‘Drag Sheets here’. Once we drag the required sheet into this area, we should see a more familiar screenshot.

Also, users may want to join data from different tabs together. In such cases multiple sheets can simply be brought together and Tableau would suggest the appropriate fields to join the data files. We will discuss joins in tableau in a later post.

There are some options that are seen as part of importing excel sheets. If we click on a small arrow that would appear on the sheet name in the top pane. See screenshot below:

These options allow users to select options based on the data file. For instance, in case the field names are not present in the first row of the data files, it would be important to undo this selection so that we may capture the data correctly. Similarly there are other options in this window that can assist with the data import depending on requirements. As you become more experienced, some these options make start to seem useful.

We encourage a lot playing around with this interface. It is important to get familiar with the interface in order to productive quickly.

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