Parameter Action + Sheet Action: Extended Tableau Interactivity

Tableau has included lots of sought-after features into its latest release, Tableau 2019.2. If you’ve been eagerly looking forward to the release of the latest Tableau version to try out the whole new Parameter Actions, well – the wait is over!


In our previous blog post about Tableau 2019.2, we had already covered some of the major features of the release. In this blog, we will be diving deep into ‘parameter action’ and the combination of Parameter Action + Sheet Action with a simple example using Sample-Superstore dataset.


What are Parameter Actions?


Parameters are constant values created by a user to perform certain functions in Tableau and can be used in calculations, reference lines and some other analytic scenarios. A parameter can be a set of strings, numbers, etc. With parameter, the user can able to select only one value at a time.


With parameter actions, users have the option to control the parameter values dynamically when clicking or hovering on certain elements on a viz. We can use parameter actions in a worksheet or a dashboard which extends the interactive ability of Tableau. This enables the users to visually change the parameter value with few interactions, which is cool. Parameter action can unleash the possibilities for designers to come up with new levels of interactivity to the dashboards.


Steps to achieve Parameter Action + Sheet Action:


1. First, create the sheets of required KPIs. We have created 4 sheets;


  • Sales Trend
  • Number of Customers
  • Sales by Segment
  • Quantity Vs. Sales


Sales Trend


Number of Customers


Sales by Segment


Quantity Vs. Sales


2. Create a Year calc from ‘Order Date’ field.



3. Create a parameter using ‘Year’ calculated field. (This parameter is used in Parameter Action)



4. Create a calculated field ‘Parameter Calc’ which is used to color/highlight the selected year.



5. Drag the ‘Parameter Calc’ to Color and Size in marks shelf.



6. If you apply ‘Parameter Calc’ to the created sheet, it will look something like this. The selected year in ‘Year Parameter’ will be highlighted with the color and size.



7. Now, we need a toggle to switch between years. So, we have to create a sheet like below,
(Like before, drag the ‘Parameter Calc’ to color and size in marks shelf)



8. Arrange the sheets in a dashboard. Give a header and format the texts, fonts, colors if required.



9. How to create ‘Parameter Action


  • Select Dashboard > Actions.
  • In the Actions dialog box, click Add Action and then select Change Parameter.



  • Select ‘Year Toggle’ as Source sheet and choose ‘Select’ in Run action on:
  • Select ‘Year Parameter’ as Target Parameter.



  • Now, if you select a year, the parts in the sheet corresponding to the selected year will get highlighted in color and other parts are grayed out.


10. How to create ‘Sheet Action’


  • Select Dashboard > Actions.
  • In the Actions dialog box, click Add Action and then select Filter.
  • Select ‘Year Toggle’ as Source sheet and all the sheets in the dashboard as Target Sheets
  • Choose ‘Select’ in Run action on and choose ‘Show all values’ in Clearing the selection will



Now, we have set both Parameter Action and Sheet Action for ‘Year Toggle’ sheet.


If we single click on the year, it will highlight (Parameter Action) the year throughout the dashboard and if we double click on the year, it will filter out (Sheet Action) that particular year throughout the dashboard.


Tableau 2019.2 new map styles


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