Tableau : An Overview – Part 2

Tableau : An Overview – Part 2

Creating simple analysis

Creating simple analysis is as easy as connecting to the data source. Dimensions and measures are listed automatically by tableau which makes it even easier for the user to search for the desired columns. Follow the listed steps to create a very simple analysis.

1.   From the Dimensions shelf, click on “Product Category” and drag it to the Columns section and drag “Sales” from the Measures shelf to the Rows section.

Just dragging these two columns instantly creates view of the data below Columns and Rows sections. It can be seen that the Sales measure is displayed as “SUM (Sales)”. The reason being the aggregation rule applied on the measure. It can be changed to any other aggregation from the below list:

Drill down and Hierarchies

Creation of hierarchies can be achieved in 2-3 steps. Here we will work with three Dimensions, namely, Product Category, Product Sub-Category and Product Name.

1.   Click on “Product Sub-Category” and drag and drop it on Product Category. It will prompt to enter name for the newly created hierarchy.

Rename it to “Product Hierarchy” and click on “OK”. The newly created hierarchy appears in the Dimensions shelf.

2.   Similarly drag and drop “Product Name” below “Product Sub-Category” in the newly created hierarchy.

3.   Now replace the “Product Category” with “Product Hierarchy” in Columns.

4.   This category can be drilled to view the data at various levels created.


Sorting of data displayed can be done in different ways. In order to learn the ways to sort, we will first create a simple analysis as below

  • Quick Sort

Above displayed data can be sorted by clicking on the Sales axis which appears when the pointer is over it.

Clicking on it once sorts the data descending.

Clicking on it again sorts the data ascending.

Clicking third time on it clears the sort.

  • Sorting based on category

In case the user wants to sort the data based on Product Sub-Category, then follow the following steps:

Click on the product Sub-Category and go to the sort menu.

Now user can sort the data using any of the options available in the above screenshot.


Grouping of data can be done in different ways. To understand how it is done, create the following analysis

  • Based on Header

Grouping can be done by selecting two categories we want to group.

Then click on the paper clip icon to group the categories.

  • Based on Data

There is another way of grouping the same.

1.   Right click on Product Sub-Category in the Dimensions shelf and choose “Create Group”

2.   Select the Sub-categories which you need to group and click on “Group”

3.   Newly created group can be renamed. Here I have renamed it as “Small Supplies”

4.   This group appears in the Dimensions shelf as Product Sub-Category (group). Drag it to the columns and check the data.


Filtering helps in removing unwanted data. Filtering can be achieved in different ways. Some of them are explained below.

  • Using Filter Shelf

Data can be filtered by dragging the field to the Filter shelf and deselecting the values which are not required in the view.

Here it can be seen that Appliances and Binders and binder Accessories have been deselected. Click on OK and these two categories will be removed from the view.

  • Using Quick Filters

In case we want the filters to be chosen by the users, quick filters can be helpful. First clear the filter we had applied in the above example. Now right click on the Product Sub-Category in the Dimensions shelf and click on “Show Quick Filters”.

On selecting the Show Quick Filter, Product Sub-Categories will get listed next to the view.

Now the user and select and deselect any sub category to include or exclude from the view.


Parameters allow user to provide inputs which can be changed to see different visualizations of the data. They are basically used to replace the constant values with dynamic values in calculations and filters.

Let us consider an example where the user wants to distinguish between the Product Sub-Category having sales greater than the value provided by the user.

To achieve this, first create a calculated field called “Sales Calc” with the following formula.

It can be seen that parameter “Sales Param” has been used in the calculation to provide dynamic input. This parameter is created by right clicking on the data pane and select “Create Parameter”.

Assign name to the parameter and set the properties of the same as shown below and click on OK.

Once the parameter is created, it appears in the Data pane under Parameters.

In order to allow user to adjust the parameter values, right click on the parameter and choose “Show Parameter Control”.

The parameter control appears on the right hand side of the analysis. Now the value can be changed to see the desired output.


Tableau provides various options for formatting the view or analysis. This section will cover major formatting options which are:

  • Color

Color can be used to distinguish any parameter on the view for better visualization and understanding. For example, if the user wants to categorize product sub-category into product categories, he can simply drag the field Product Category on Color in the Marks shelf to achieve it.

Clicking on the Color in the Marks shelf give more options to edit the colors.

  • Size

Size can be used to distinguish data for better visualization and understanding. For example, if the user wants to see the Sales per Product Sub-Category based on the size, where bigger the size more the sales, he can simply drag and drop Sales field on Size in marks shelf.

  • Label

Label is used to display the attributes on the view. For example, if the user wants to see the Sales per Product Sub-Category displayed in the view, he can simply drag and drop the Sales field on Label in Marks shelf.

Clicking on Label will give more options to format the displayed values.

  • Detail

Whenever a dimension is placed on Rows or Columns shelf, tableau sorts the underlying data into specific categories. In order to view these categories, drag and drop a dimension on Detail on Marks shelf.

For example, if the user wants to see Sales categorized based on order Priority, he can drag and drop the Order priority filed on Detail card.

Every gray line on the bar shows represents the order priority arranged in the order – Not Specified, Low, Medium, High and Critical.

  • Tooltip

Tooltip is used to display data details when the user hovers over marks on the view. It does not add or categorize data to show further details like Detail card.

It provides the detail of the field dropped on Tooltip card along with the fields placed on Rows and Columns shelves.