Tag Archives: parameters

Creating a Dynamic Range “Parameter” in Tableau

Tableau’s native parameters have a couple of key limitations as of this writing in February 2018: The list of values is static and we can only select one value at a time, not a range of values. So when we want to do something like set up a viz with user-selectable top and bottom thresholds we have to set two parameters, not one, when what we really want is a nice range control like the view below:

What it looks like here is that I’m using a ranged “parameter” to change the mark color & shape whose set of possible values is based on other filters…which is what we’ve wanted in Tableau for awhile now. Now you might be asking “Why go to all this trouble, why not use Tableau’s JavaScript API or the (forthcoming) Extensions API?”. And my response to that is that not everyone has the expertise available to use Tableau’s APIs or D3 so we’ve got to make the best use of the tool that we have at hand. Curious about how can you build this for yourself? Read on to find out!

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Crosspost from DataBlick – Tableau Dynamic Parameters Using Alteryx

I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Alteryx as an ETL tool and have been looking forward to using it more. Here’s what I did the day after Alteryx training: built an introductory solution in Alteryx for dynamically updating Tableau parameters, the post is up at DataBlick.




Sheet Selector & Worksheet Swapping







Using SIZE() to change what type of data is shown. Doesn’t use a parameter, but is in the category of “change the dashboard based on some factor” that the above links all use:


Changing Hierarchies and Swapping Measures



alternatively, hide using action filters


URLs and URL Parameters for Reports

Note: URL parameters for boolean fields must be lowercase “true” or “false”, not “False”, “FALSE”, 0, etc.

[loop category=”wikicontent” tag=”parameters”]
[field title] – Added [field date]

Related posts:

    [loop tag=”parameters” exclude=”this” relation=”and” compare=”not” taxonomy=”category” value=”wikicontent”]

  • [field title-link][field thumbnail-link]




Good workflow by Matt Francis:
Wannabe Data Rock Star: Create a default Tableau Template


Awesome post by Shawn Wallwork on monitor sizes:


using #Tableau to copy images and then Paste>Special>Metafile in Powerpoint just changed my life (and my image resolution problems)!

Embed and open Tableau workbooks in PowerPoint


Worksheet->Export->Crosstab to Excel does a crosstab view (would need to fill), Worksheet->Copy->Crosstab does all values

Using parameters to create a dynamic hierarchy


Filter all views in one dashboard

Dashboard/view display:
Using filter values in target sheet title makes it clear which data is displayed #tableaujedi #TCC11

Creating menus to navigate within a tableau workbook using Filter Actions

Performance tip

Cleaning up visualizations:

Put dates in Title field, other totals to indicate aggregation/filtering
Use an IFNULL([Field], “”) to make blank strings, and can color those strings

Buttons on dashboards:
ideas: create a worksheet that looks like a button, then put a filter action behind the worksheet

Pretty sliders on dashboards (from Shawn Wallwork):

Open dashboard with action


rotating iPad does not force resize/refresh:

Need two Action filters to have filter action on self and other worksheets:

Creating a report portal (to other Tableau Dashboards) as a Tableau Dashboard – by Mark Jackson:

Custom Tableau Server landing page (a Tableau Dashboard that points to other Tableau Dashboards) – by Mark Jackson:

[loop category=”wikicontent” tag=”buttons,dashboards,menus,parameters,table-of-contents,dashboard”]
[field title] – Added [field date]

Related posts:

    [loop tag=”buttons,dashboards,menus,parameters,table-of-contents,dashboard” exclude=”this” relation=”and” compare=”not” taxonomy=”category” value=”wikicontent”]

  • [field title-link][field thumbnail-link]


Creating a Dynamic “Parameter” with a Tableau Data Blend

As of June 2015, Tableau is actively looking at different aspects of the (complicated) subject of dynamic parameters. See Dynamic Parameters: The Results are In for an overview, and Dynamic Parameters Update for continuing updates.

Currently (July 2013), the #1 most-voted-for Idea for Tableau is Dynamic Parameters. Here, I’ll show you a technique for using Tableau data blending to create a dynamic, data-driven “parameter”. We’re going to use a loosely coupled secondary data source to get the information associated with the “parameter” and return that information to the primary data source, where it can be used in further calculations. Some examples of where this can be useful:

  • Choose one value to build a comparison to other values, such as finding the distance from a chosen origin city to a set of destination cities, or a market basket-type analysis where we want to compare one against others.
  • Set the limits and input data to an algorithm that is then used to create other results, for example to get a starting set of data to use to build a projection, such as an executive retirement forecast model.

Read on for a description of the technique and demos of all three options!

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Unexpected Results: Aliases in URL Parameters

Fellow Tableau Zen Master Andy Kriebel writes great tutorials, like this one on passing filters in a URL. I was using those instructions to build URLs to pass from one Tableau workbook to another and things were going swimmingly in trials until I got to my data, where I found not one, but two undocumented features of Tableau’s URL parameters.

Aliases in URL Parameters

When we set up a URL Action in Tableau and add fields to the action, if the field is a Tableau parameter or a discrete dimension that has an alias assigned, when generating the URL parameters Tableau will use the alias and not the original value. So, for example, if your field is an integer such as 201 with a string alias of MS4, Tableau will pass MS4 and not 201, like in the image above. If you have a mix of some aliases and some not, Tableau will use the aliases where they exist.

Tableau Parameters used in URL Parameters Affect Parameters in Target Worksheet

The documentation doesn’t explicitly state that Tableau can use a Tableau parameter in a URL Parameter, but we can. And one of the interesting effects is that if the target of the URL is another Tableau workbook and there is a Tableau parameter of the same name in that workbook, then Tableau will set the value of target’s parameter to the passed value. This is a useful feature for making parameters truly global. The one caveat is the issue above, if the parameter is using an alias then the alias is passed to the target, not the original value of the parameter.

There are a three ways I’ve come up with so far to deal with this:

  1. Stop using aliases and set up the parameter or field with the desired values.
  2. Set up the target to handle the aliases.
  3. Instead of using the parameter or discrete field with the alias as the parameter, use a calculated field that just has [myParameterOrField] as the formula so it will just have the value and not any alias.

I’m using #1. This is a bit of a letdown for me, in reading up on improving performance there are big gains to sticking with numbers and using aliases instead of strings, and having to add extra columns to the data in the case of #3 to avoid this seems to partially defeat the purpose. If you have others, let me know!

Dynamic secondary axis titles (in a few more minutes)

In a comment, Joe Mako used his pixel ruler to identify some changes to make the final dashboard tighter and more accurate, I’ve edited the instructions to include this.

A couple of days ago, the Andy Kriebel (follow his blog if you aren’t already) posted Dynamic axis selections with parameters in less than five minutes. This technique enables users to pick the measure they want to view. The super-short version of the instructions are: Continue reading