Tag Archives: text table

Fast Headers for Single Measure Tables

This is a little tip that started out with a “Tableau doesn’t do that” and then an “Ooh…it does…that’s so cool!” Here’s the problem: In a single measure table, I want the name of the measure column as a header. In this worksheet using the Coffee Chain data I want “Sales” to be on top of the Sales column:

2015-11-16 13_34_20-Tableau - Book2

Now there are a bunch of ways to work around this…if you really want to read a comprehensive list check out the gory details, but there’s a way that tops them all that I learned thanks to Alberto Bertollino. in the aforementioned thread. From the view above (that took two clicks to build), do one (ONE!) more click & drag operation to drop Measure Values over the column and voila!:

single column header via drag

Alternatively, if you like double-clicking, that works too!

single header via double click

As Steve Jobs used to say, “Boom.

Over the last four years this tip would have saved me at least a couple of hours of doing things like creating tables with all discretes and then resizing columns and twiddling with formatting. Multiply that times thousands of Tableau users and we’re talking person-years.

Got another time-saving tip? Share it in the comments below!

KPIs and Floating Dashboards

I haven’t seen this particular trick out there yet, it’s a fun one for the toolbox. When we’ve wanted to mix and match KPIs in a crosstab or text table, we’ve had to resort to multiple worksheets on a dashboard in a layout container, or a multiple axis crosstab. The former can result in various display issues because Tableau imposes certain border sizes, the latter has problems with performance due to the number of separate queries and computations that are necessary.

Tableau version 8 gives us floating dashboard elements with pixel-level precision for element location, and that gives us a third way to build text tables with KPIs.

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Measure Names on the Color Shelf: Tableau v8 Enhancements

Tableau version 8 “The Kraken” is in beta right now, and Tableau is also beta testing Tableau Public for the new release, and they’ve kindly given me access to it. Tableau v8 is a huge release, as I’m exploring it I’m finding some subtle and not-so-subtle differences. In the coming weeks I expect to do a series of posts on how those changes affect my workflow, and/or relate to prior posts of mine.

I’m going to focus on the new feature that enables multiple discrete (blue) pills on the Colors Shelf of the Marks Card, in particular how it interacts with the Measure Names pill and makes possible some things that were much more difficult to to in prior versions of Tableau.

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Older But Still Useful – Conditional Formatting

Back in May of this year before I started this blog, I did a presentation at the Boston Tableau User Group on conditional formatting in Tableau. Prior to using Tableau, I’d created some dashboards and reports in Excel, and when I tried to re-create them in Tableau I ran into a number of different issues in terms of doing the kinds of formatting, layout, and conditional formatting that are possible in Excel. I created a workbook with every technique I could find and some I figured out. Continue reading

Formatting Geekery – Special Values in a Text Table

When faced with a stubborn Tableau problem, I’ll get a little OCD thing going and won’t quit until I’ve opened up a couple dozen browser tabs from searches and exhausted every avenue I can think of. This leads to success often enough that like a Pavlovian animal I keep up the behavior, even when I’d probably be better off taking a break to do something like exercise, connect with another human being, eat, look out the window at nature, drink, see my family, sleep, that sort of thing. The following is the result of one of those efforts: Continue reading