Tricks + Miscellaneous Techniques

Tricks + Miscellaneous Techniques

These are either single tips or chunks of techniques that don’t have their own page yet.

Be sure to check out the following sources of material on the Tableau Community:

Get last value in dataset

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/116062

Fixing axis size

Use an invisible reference line, either based on a constant or a calculated field. Tableau will make sure the axis range is big enough.

Show the same day last year in a view
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/116944

Get max value of [Date] no matter sort order:

attr([Date])=window_max(attr([Date]))

Finding lowest values of a top N:
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/116882

Hide the Abc column

  1. Create a calculated field with just a space
  2. Put that field on the Columns shelf and on the Text shelf
  3. Uncheck Show Header
  4. Drag the column left to shrink it

Showing most recent data
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/116849

Doing a count of Distinct values via table calc (w/out using extract)
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/109935

PREVIOUS_VALUE(WINDOW_SUM(IIF(ATTR(A)==ZN(LOOKUP(ATTR(A), -1)), 0, 1), 0, IIF(FIRST()==0, LAST(), 0)))

Set Compute Using to A

Time and Date:

One calc to generate hh:mm from a time:

str(int([Time])) + ":" + str(([Time]%1)*60)

Also, from Dan Cory in this thread http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/224840

 (FLOAT([Time DateTime])+2)*24*60*60

This will be much faster than using DATEPART but will only work for some databases. The FLOAT converts the Date & Time field to a number, using the rules of the database. The +2 is because times are stored as dates on Excel’s zero day, but Jet’s zero day is two days later. The *24*60*60 is because you get a result in days and it has to be converted to seconds.

Rolling calculations:

http://www.tableausoftware.com/support/knowledge-base/rolling-calculation

Moving average of running average:
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/116305

Queue length/census:
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/107815 – original thread w/Richard Leeke

Use different breaks on time, e.g. ½ hour, 6am to 6pm etc. – do a manual sort on the times, idea by Alex Kerin:
http://www.screencast.com/t/Lws7tcKC

Another Alex post on padding for hours
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/117903
Richard’s approach was to create a day/hour/minutes table at the level of granularity needed for reporting, then join to that with Custom SQL like this (for the hours table). I think of this as “generate a row for every event/time bucket” combination. So if you want to report down to the minute, there’s a row for every event+minute that the event occurs in.
http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/188617

 

Getting the total for a count(distinct) where we want to find the # of unique kinds of X across Y dimension
http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/getting-total-count-distinct

create a new calculated field Y+X (it’s a string) and then do a COUNTD() on that.

Making grand totals do anything you want (via table calcs)

This section is basically deprecated by some posts I wrote, here’s the first one: Customizing Grand Totals – Part 1.

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/116854
Workbook is: Top as Percent of Total jtd edit

Variation on this since grand totals run at a higher level of aggregation, when using table calcs it is a visual total
http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/180911#180911

Joe Mako’s workbook is control of Grand Total.twbx

Another Joe Mako workbook on doing this from June 2012:
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/118467

And Dimitri’s edit: http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/118705

A workbook where I did both the hack and “put the Grand Total in a separate worksheet on a dashboard” technique:
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/118338

And here’s an Idea to have the totals show what is visually displayed in the view: http://community.tableausoftware.com/ideas/1232

Putting Grand Totals as left-hand column or on top (as a separate header via custom SQL)

http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/180921#180921
http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/178687#178687

Duplicating a dimension to preserve level of detail in table calcs

http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/180916#180916

workbook is blanding (2) jm edit.twbx

Bar chart and KPI on same row (without dashboard)

Use dual axis

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/111652
files: utilization_bar_chart_and_kpi_dc.twbx, and utilization_example_dashboard_packaged_rl.twbx

Dynamic Top X and Bottom X labels

http://vizwiz.blogspot.com/2011/11/tableau-tip-adding-dynamic-top-x-labels.html

Make axis name dynamic, i.e. based on what’s chosen in a parameter

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/116745

Custom title for second axis in dual axis chart
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/119013

Anonymizing data
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/118843

Counting Overlapping Marks

http://www.datadrivenconsulting.com/2011/04/counting-overlapping-marks-in-tableau/

Tooltips

http://www.thedatastudio.co.uk/tag/tooltips
http://www.thedatastudio.co.uk/blog/the-data-studio-blog/andy-cotgreave/terrific-tooltip-tricks

Fake fill down

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/117265

Fill Down calc:

if isnull(attr([Amt])) then previous_value(attr([Amt])) else attr([Amt]) end

then can use LOOKUP([Fill Down],-1)

Colors

from TCC11 – JediTricks video

Custom Colors

http://vis4.net/blog/posts/avoid-equidistant-hsv-colors/
http://colorbrewer2.com/ – site for picking colors
http://www.personal.psu.edu/cab38/ColorBrewer/ColorBrewer_intro.html

Tableau blue:

31/119/180 in decimal

Lots on statistics
http://vizcandy.blogspot.com/2012/06/some-basic-statistics-with-tableau.html
http://www.alansmitheepresents.org/2012/07/statistics.html

use parameter to Partition day into even chunks – Richard Leeke post
http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/183317#183317

Use URL actions to create emails
http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/using-url-action-to-create-email

Adding an All parameter option in Tableau
http://bensullins.com/how-to-add-an-all-parameter-option-in-tableau/

Using RAWSQL

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/119290

Page Shelf

From Think Data Thursday #4, 9/13/12

To use the Page Shelf to create lines, one suggestion is to use circle marks, the Path Shelf, and then history to make the lines.

Size shelf
From Shawn Wallwork – Can get more choice about sizes by creating dummy discrete elements/rows in the view

putting commas back in numbers for STR([number]):
nice function here: http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/109230

lots of good stuff on custom number formats http://www.clearlyandsimply.com/clearly_and_simply/2011/04/tableau-quick-tip-2-custom-number-formats.html

using the path shelf
http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/using-path-shelf-pattern-analysis

Linking to files:

Example:

Unit PI plans are on X:\QM Data\MS3\Unit PI Plan\MS 3 Quality PI Plan Q4 CY11 .docx
Can link to file (opens in Word) using file:///X:/QM%20Data/etc. where the string is URL encoded

Trend lines – post by Catherine Rivier
http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/196021#196021

Stripping the date to get just the time – from Alex Kerin

[date]-int([date])

 

Using a parameter for a dynamic in-line caption – users can enter their own annotation

http://www.alansmitheepresents.org/2013/01/dynamic-in-line-captions.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AlanSmitheePresents+%28Alan+Smithee+Presents%29

Using a reference line or annotation to create arbitrary borders and lines (posts by Joe and I)
http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/215099#215099
http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/215100#215100

Showing/hiding annotations by using a duplicated calculation, one has the annotation the other has the point.
http://vizpainter.com/89/

Making CASE statements

WhenMaker from DecisionViz
http://www.decisionviz.com/#!whenmaker/ct1k

using two measures to color the same mark (set a color, then overlay marks w/transparency)
https://www.interworks.com/blogs/wjones/2013/09/18/create-dual-color-axis-tableau

Pinning a bar to the top/middle/bottom of the pane to leave room for a reference line
http://steineranalytics.com/2013/10/29/the-one-trick-to-control-tableau-viz-display/


Create your own cartograms - Added July 8, 2015

http://www.clearlyandsimply.com/clearly_and_simply/2015/06/create-your-own-cartograms-in-tableau.html



Typography tweaks - Added March 8, 2015

From Richard Rouse @bibleviz
https://www.interworks.com/blogs/rrouse/2015/03/05/my-favorite-tableau-typography-tweaks



What to do first: understanding granularity of data - Added January 15, 2015

From Joshua Milligan:
http://vizpainter.com/tableau-tip-tuesday-the-first-question-to-ask/



decision trees, Sankeys, flow diagrams - Added January 13, 2015

By Olivier Catherin, drawing on Jeffrey Shaffer's work
http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/154623



testing Tableau for Mobile on a non-mobile browser - Added January 13, 2015

http://community.tableausoftware.com/docs/DOC-5346?et=watches.email.document



Tickers on Server - Added December 10, 2014

From Russell Christopher:
http://russellchristopher.me/youdidwhat/



CASE statement generator for groups - Added December 7, 2014

Opens a .twb’s XML to convert groups into a CASE statement so they can be used in calculated fields. By Alex Kerin from 2012: http://community.tableausoftware.com/message/193036



early thread on jittering by Alan Eldridge - Added October 6, 2014

http://community.tableausoftware.com/thread/111561


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