Jim Dehner 

 Tableau Visionary and Ambassador

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

Hey #DataFam

Let’s Talk

BGS – Session 1 – Tableau is not a Spreadsheet

First and foremost, Tableau is not a spreadsheet calculator.  That is obvious yet for newbies there is a tendency to try to translate code rather than understand how Tableau works. Have you ever tried to learn a second or third language?  In the beginning, you try to translate verbatim into the new language (everyone does […]

BGS – Session 2 – What's a Dimension and What's a Measure

  We saw that Excel calculations are cell-based.  Each cell contains a copy of a formula: But with Tableau we created a new measure using custom calculations  based on Dimensions and Measures Dimensions create categories in the data (in IT speak Partitions) and Measures are the values that are related to the dimension(s)-  In the […]

BGS – Session 3 Connecting Data Sets

  So far we have just looked at single dataset but you live in the real world data from different time periods, or at different levels or data sources have to be used in the same workbook.  You know how to do that with Vlookups and Appends but how would you do that with Tableau?   […]

BGS – Session 4 The Order of Operation

The Order of Operation is the single most important thing you need to understand as you progress in your journey.  It is the root cause of most mistakes I see in questions posted on the Forum – So what is it –   It is the sequence that Tableau goes through each time you create […]

BGS – Session 5 Charts 101

Finally,  we get to make some charts – for your first chart start with “Show Me”  from the upper right corner of the screen.   Select a Dimension and a Measure and click on Show Me.     See the video Link to Charts and Basic Calcs     A widow open and table shows the common chart […]

BGS Session 6 – Custom Calculations

The ability to add calculations to your viz is key to using Tableau to present insights and tell the story the way you want to.      See the video : link to Basic Calcs   In this section, we will look at the language of Tableau, the syntax, and how to write some basic calculations.  In […]

BGS Session 7 – Special Calculations – Date Functions

Dates are a very special class of Dimension – I mean real dates – not a string (text) that looks like a date or is coded to represent the date.  Dates self-sequence, and sort have a built-in calendar hierarchy and can be used as discrete or continuous  but most importantly, they can be used in […]

BGS Session 8 – Special Calculations – LODs

Session 8 – Custom Calculations Special Topic LOD Expressions Level of Detail (LOD) expressions are unique to Tableau.  Earlier we talked about the grain (the lowest level of data in the dataset.  LODs are a way to put additional layers at higher levels of aggregation in the data. See the video – Link to LOD Video […]

BGS Session 13 Bringing it all together

  Now all that is left is bringing it all together with a dashboard.  You know have almost all the elements you need to make a compelling presentation on a dashboard – After all they are just a collection of worksheets with some connections and instructions for the users.   Where to begin?  With a […]

BGS Session 12 Parameters

For new and more advanced users, alike Parameters are misunderstood and misapplied! Parameters are a function that allows the user to manually input a single value into a Tableau workbook.  Not that difficult – Manual input – not based on a calculation or another field – the value can be any data type – Dates, […]

BGS Session 11 – Sets and Set Actions

Do you use sets? If not why not?   Sets are not like Groups or Filters: Sets categorize your entire data set into 2 segments –  Records are either "In" or "Out" based on the value of a single dimension.  All the data in the data table and available for use in any type of calculation […]

BGS Session 10 – Filters

Filters are easy to use, but why are they so often a source of confusion?  (see the video Link to Filter Video   There a 6 unique types of filters – each has a specific purpose and is applied at different points in the order of operation  as you load data structure the data table add […]

BGS Session 9 – Special Calculation – Table Calculations

Want to total across the row or column, rank a dimension, or pick out a single value? Then you need a Table Calculation!  But how?   See the recording – Link to TC Video       Table Calculation Basics Table calculations should feel familiar.  They operate on the table you see in the view much […]