Tableau Mapping – Dealing with postcode data

by Sam Cliff on 9th January 2014

tableau post codes

Postcode points are a great reference for your data but with the sheer number of them, loading this dataset can be a bit tricky.

We’ve been playing with postcodes in Tableau mapping for a while now, so we thought we’d share our tips for getting the best out of them.

  • Load all the datasets you want to work with into Tableau first – it just makes things easier to move between later on – (For a free download UK postcode data visit our Free Stuff page)
  • Always change the geographic role of the Postcode fields in all  datasets to ‘none’ – this prevents a conflict with Tableau’s internal postcode engine

Tableau mapping

  • When linking datasets under ‘Edit Relationships’ make sure your data not our postcode data set is the primary source – this way Tableau only tries to load and plot postcodes that appear in your data rather than ALL the post codes in the country, speeding up the construction of the map.

tableau mapping

  • As soon as your datasets are linked drag ‘Postcode’ over to detail – Do this before you add latitude and longitude to the mix for a speedier loading time (Note: When you do this you will get lots of random boxes but don’t worry! This will turn into a proper map you add the latitude & longitude)

For a more comprehensive walkthrough of this topic – Loading postcode data check out our video below


We know that mapping in Tableau might seem a bit fiddly – but that’s ok! That’s why we are here. Get in touch to see how we can help out.

Got a question? For more information about Tableau or mapping phone us on 0121 232 8000 or email us at

For more handy tips, tricks and tutorials check out our other posts and we are adding to them all the time.