Sometimes, one number is all that matters. Tableau does data VISUALIZATION. Trust me, I get it. But if there's nothing to compare to, no context or other numbers, there's no way to create a visualization of meaning. That's why sometimes, you just need to show one big number.
Here are a few examples of this technique:
My Super Bowl Commercials Viz of the Day -
Andy Kriebel (of Zen Master and Facebook fame) Visualizing 500,000 Page Views -
This is going to be short and sweet. Here's the trick. Each one of those boxes is a sheet is the workbook. The sheet is just an aggregation of a measure, formated as big text, with smaller text saying what that number is. Let's hop into Tableau, back to the world of SuperStore Data. This is going to be quick.
Pick a measure (I'll chose "Sales") and drag it to the Text Shelf. That's it. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
Kidding, but only sorta.
Now click the test shelf. Click the ellipses ("...") and it pulls up a box you can format:
Select the current text and increase the font size to make it big (I did 20) and go to a new line and write "Sales" smaller and lighter underneath, like this:
Hit ok and now you should have something like this:
Just repeat for each "Big Number" you need to create. When you bring them on to a dashboard, make sure they are part of the target of your filtering actions so that clicking on something in a visualization will also filter the "Big Number".
Nice and easy.
And another excuse to reshow the Super Bowl Commercial Viz of the Day as an example:
Thanks for stopping by!