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A guide to utilising Google Forms to collect input from Tableau users

Nargess Kazemi, Tableau, Google forms, Edgered

When designing a Tableau dashboard, we usually concentrate on showing data to users, however, sometimes we also need to ask users for their input. Tableau is a great tool to visualise and present the data, yet options are limited when it comes to retreiving input from the users.

In this post, I'll demonstrate with a simple example how you can use Google Forms to collect user inputs directly within a Tableau dashboard.

Integrating Google Forms with Tableau - Step by Step

Imagine we have a table listing employees along with their Tableau training status. The admin relies on this dashboard to monitor the status and also needs a way to update it when necessary.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Tableau Dashboard (demo)

We'll add a section into the dashboard where users can input their data and submit it to a connected Google Form seamlessly.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Tableau Dashboard (with user input required)

Alright, let's dive in and start building!


Step 1: Set up a Google Form 

Set up a Google Form by using the column names as the form fields. For our example the fields will be Name, Department, Date joined, Position, Email, Years of Experience, Tableau Training Completed and Notes. You can also include an extra field called 'Username' to capture the name of the user submitting the value. Before I forget, please select the 'Short answer' option for the question types.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Step 1: Set up Google Form

Step 2: Get the form link 

Click on the three dots next to your profile, then select 'Get pre-filled link'.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Step 2a: Get the form link 

Fill the form with any values you like. I typically copy and paste the column name as the value. Once you reach the bottom, click on 'Get link' and then 'COPY LINK'.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Step 2b: Get the form link 

Paste the link in a notepad and save it. Next, we need to replace the phrase 'viewform?usp' with 'formResponse?ifq' in the link.

Step 3: Create a worksheet for the selected employee

Duplicate the employee list sheet. Name this new sheet 'Selected Employee'. Drag the 'Selected Employee' sheet to the dashboard. Then, create an action filter with the following options.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Step 3: Create a worksheet for the selected employee

Step 4: Create the submit button 

Duplicate the employee list sheet once again. This time, name it 'Submit Button'. In the sheet select all columns and drag them to details. Drag Phrase “Submit” or any other word you prefer to label. Also, switch 'Automatic' to 'Square' and pick a colour for the background to make it look more like a button.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Step 4a: Create the submit button 

Drag the 'Submit Button' sheet to the dashboard. Then, modify the action filter (Filter1) and select the 'Submit Button' sheet.

EdgeRed: Tableau Dashboard
Step 4b: Create the submit button 

Step 5: Create parameters for input 

In this step, we set up parameters to gather input from the user. For this example, we require two parameters: one for training status and another for notes.

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 5a: Create parameters for input 

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 5b: Create parameters for input 

Step 6: Link the dashboard to the form

Now, we need to create a ‘Go to URL’ action for the submit button. Begin by selecting the 'Submit Button' as the source sheet. Choose ‘Select’ as Run action on. In the URL section of creating the action, simply paste the URL we saved and modified in step 2.

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 6a: Link the dashboard to the form

Before hitting ok, we have to replace all the question titles with their corresponding Column or parameter in the link. I have highlighted all the sections that require replacement in this example.

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 6b: Link the dashboard to the form

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 6c: Link the dashboard to the form

After you've replaced all the columns, click 'OK'. Then, on the dashboard, choose a person and their training status. You can add notes if you want, then click 'Submit'! Now, when you go to the response tab, ‘View in Sheets’ in your Google Form, you'll see the row you just submitted!

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 6d: Link the dashboard to the form

Notes: To capture the username, use Tableau's built-in function USERNAME(). Create a calculated field with this formula and name the calculated field appropriately, such as 'Username'.

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 6e: Link the dashboard to the form

Step 7: Adjust the form's access settings

Finally, ensure the form response is accessible to those who need to submit data from the dashboard. In the form created in step 1, navigate to the Responses tab, then click 'View in Sheets'.

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 7a: Adjust the form's access settings

In the response sheet, click 'Share' and adjust the sharing settings to allow access for anyone who will use the form or modify the general access to be less restricted.

EdgeRed: Tableau
Step 7b: Adjust the form's access settings


That’s it! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and that it gives you an added edge in creating interactive and dynamic Tableau dashboards for your projects.

At EdgeRed, we pride ourselves on leveraging the power of data visualisation and process automation to drive business insights and efficiencies. From automated visualisation for major Australian banks to creating centralised sales performance dashboards, EdgeRed's proficiency in tools like Tableau, Google BigQuery, and various cloud platforms empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions effectively.

Read more about our end-to-end services,

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other form tools besides Google Forms to collect user inputs in Tableau?

Yes, you can integrate other form tools like Microsoft Forms or SurveyMonkey with Tableau dashboards to collect user inputs. The process is similar to using Google Forms but may involve different steps for generating and integrating the form link. Ensure that the form's responses can be accessed and updated seamlessly within your Tableau dashboard.

How secure is the data submitted through Google Forms in Tableau?

Can I automate the data flow from Google Forms to Tableau dashboards?


About the Author

Nargess Kazemi is a seasoned data visualisation expert with a Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence and a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. With her fine attention to detail and a penchant for crafting creative technical solutions, Nargess has been instrumental in developing robust algorithms and effective data visualisation dashboards that have been widely recognised and utilised by businesses. When Nargess isn’t delving into data, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and mentoring fellow team members to foster a rich environment of learning and innovation at EdgeRed.

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