We have updated our Power Tools branding. Any references to software/feature naming conventions may no longer be accurate in this article.

We’re running a blog series dedicated to helping you improve the performance of Tableau in your environment. It all starts with the Best Practice Analyzer from Workbook Tools for Tableau. This feature lets you know exactly how you can improve your Tableau workbooks to run faster and smoother.

Each post in the series is related to specific performance issues that are flagged by the Best Practice Analyzer. If you don’t have it yet, get it. You can also check out more guidelines found on our Tableau Performance Checklist.

Word Clouds with Too Many Marks

So, your workbook has been flagged due to the use of Word Clouds. Word Clouds that contain more than 50 marks are a performance degrader. We have seen performance degrade by up to 10 times for Word Clouds with more than 50 marks as opposed to those with fewer than 50 marks.

Since a Word Cloud is counting the number of times a specific word has been used in your data, a possible use case could be to find the top 50 responses to a survey. Once there are more than 50 words in a Word Cloud, readability starts to become a factor. As shown below, the distinction between the marks is vague and hard to comprehend.

Word Clouds

Branch Out

A Tree Map or other chart may be of better use in a scenario where greater than 50 marks exist. It may also help with the comprehension of what you are trying to accomplish with your visualization. The Tree Map below is the same visualization as the Word Cloud above, but is much easier to understand for such a grand scale.

Tree Map

Curious about other Tableau workbook performance best practices? We have a growing list of posts to help you out. Here are the topics we’ve covered so far: