Jim Dehner 

 Tableau Visionary and Ambassador

Tableau How to’s,  Use Cases, and Forums Questions

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Working with Business Days


Often you only want to use "Business Day" in your viz or move the weekend sales to Friday or Monday –




In the examples here I will use the US standard Sunday – Saturday week with a Monday – Friday "Business Week"  – 


1-Weekday Labels


Tableau has a couple of ways to identify and label dates by the day of the week – 

A straightforward way is to take advantage of the Custom Date option


Open the Date dimension – then Custom Date – then Weekdays from the dropdown



Alternately – you can use Datename in a calculated filed – the argument 'weekday' must be the literal as shown in quotes


DATENAME('weekday',[Order Date])


Or use Datepart to assign a number to the weekday – 1 for the first day of the week (Sunday in my examples) and 7 for the last day (Saturday)


DATEPART('weekday',[Order Date]) 



Sales by day of the week are easy to get – but how do you move the weekend sales to Friday – You can use an "IF … Then " type of conditional or a Case statement like this


CASE [Order Date (Weekdays)]

When 2 then "Monday"

When 3 then "Tuesday"

When 4 then "Wednesday"

When 5 then "Thursday"

Else "Friday-Sunday" End



2- Examples

The day of the week dimension can be used like any other dimension to categorize data – 
or in any type of calculation
Some users want to look at how their average sales vary by the day of the week
 – Or like this YoY by day of the week – (see  YoY Blog Post )




Holidays, including those that are unique to a region or business culture, often need to be removed from the dataset – 
One way is to create a separate dataset of the date and the holiday name:
Left join the holiday file with your data set on the date field


and then use a Data Source filter to delete all the holidays from the data

4-Look back N business days

Some users want to find a value in the several days before the current day – 
It can be done easily with a datediff function when all 7 dates are included.  But to look back N days excluding weekends is more complex.  
The example below is broken into individual formulas that you can combine in your workbook – also it determines the number of calendar days needed   – the solution uses actual date values so dimensional filters can be applied without affecting the calculation 
First, the Lookback period in business days is set using a parameter (just a simple integer)
To simplify some of them I wanted to use Monday as the first day of the week and used the previous Datepart week formula in:
if [date part weekday]>=1 and [date part weekday]<=7 then
[date part weekday]-1 else 0 end
You may be tempted to use datepart('weekday',[date],'monday')  – unfortunately, datepart only supports weekdays for weeks that begin on the default – in my case Sunday
Next, we need the number of 5 day weeks back based on the value of the Business Day Back Parameter – the Min Number of Weeks is:
Int(([Number of day back]+1)/5)
but that is the number of whole weeks and it needs to be adjusted for the position of the date within the week – for that use a function called modulo – 
the function returns the remainder of the division of the argument (the parameter value +1) divided by  5  
([Number of day back]+1)%5
The total number of weekends then is
{ FIXED [Order Date]:(
if min([jd datepart start monday])=0 then Min([JD Number of weeks ] )
elseif min([jd datepart start monday])<int(Min([jd modulo day of week]))
then Min([JD Number of weeks ])+1 else Min([JD Number of weeks ] )end ) }
The formula used to add in the Saturday/Sunday weekend days to the Business Days Back parameter to determine the number of calendar days to use in the date diff calculation
int(min([Number of day back]))  + 2*(min([number of weekend days]))
finally, the calendar date for N Business days in the past can be determined as
{ FIXED [Order Date] :DATE(dateadd('day',-[JD number of dates back],Min([Order Date])))   }
For example, using December 2019 Superstore data looking back 7 business days would return :

Great but real business questions are usually about the growth from the over the period or the total sales looking back over all the dates.  To get that we need a start date and a parameter. 

First, determine and fix the calendar date based on the start date and the number of business days to look back

{ FIXED : min(if [Enter start date]=[Order Date] then [JD date of back dated] end )}
then the value on that date becomes:
IFNULL({ FIXED :sum(if [JD Fixed back date from param]= 
[Order Date] then [Sales] end)}  ,0)


The ifnull adjust for dates where there were no sales

The value on Start Date is simply
IFNULL({ FIXED [Order Date]:   sum( if DATETRUNC('day',[Order Date]) = 
DATETRUNC('day',[Enter start date])  then    [Sales] end )} ,0)
And the percent difference is:
If (sum([JD value at lookback date]))=0 then 1 
elseif (sum([jd value on start date parameter value]))=0 then 0
else(sum([jd value on start date parameter value])-  sum([JD value at lookback date]))/sum([JD value at lookback date])
All the calculations are LOD's and can be used to create a simple summary table 
Determining the total sales over the "lookback period" will require another LOD
if [JD Fixed back date from param]<= [Order Date] and 
[Order Date]<=[Enter start date]
then [Sales] end)}  ,0)
Lots of LOD's and can be confusing but necessary to avoid table calculations that are based on a position in a table and not an actual date.  
There could be many more examples and variations on viewing sales by business day. I encourage you to try some of your own – 
The examples here are captured in a workbook that has been posted to my public site at 


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