2 Things I Learned from the Tableau Fundamentals Class

by Emily Chen

Today I played teaching assistant to Emma Whyte‘s Tableau Fundamentals Class with Schroders. Really fantastic to meet not only traders, but marketing, HR and finance teams really keen to utlize Tableau to solve their business questions. A less technical audience to teach today, but great to see the how people were problem solving their way through the exercises.

I wanted to share 2 things I learned from the class that for some reason, I didn’t pick up in the last 3 months. Better late than never!

Sorting with 2 dimensions – why does it do that?

Consider the following viz – I’ve sorted it by ship mode, but why isn’t it giving me the correct sort?

sort image


It’s because sorting without rank as a table calculation or a combined field is sorting based on the ranking of ship mode values as an aggregation like this:

ship mode sort

We see that the ranking is clearly Standard, Second, First then Same Day – and thats why those values are in that sort order in the first viz.


Creating date values that allow you to move between different levels of granularity

This one is a really nifty trick and I can’t believe I haven’t learned it until now. I’ve always  found it so irritating that if I’ve over drilled into a date field, I can’t move back up into a higher level of granularlity (such as moving from a day view into a month view).  But no longer with custom dates!

Step 1: Right click on the date field and select ‘Transform’

Create Custom Date

Step 2: Then create custom dates for each layer of granularity of you want in your viz.

In this case I want the first layer to be 1) Discrete order dates by year then 2) discrete order dates by quarter. Note that you can control discrete or continous with the ‘Date Part’ or ‘Date Value’.

Custom Date for Continuous Years

Years 1

Custom Date for Continous Months

Month 1

Step 3: Create a hierarchy with these custom dates (drag and drop on top of each other. Then use the new hierarchy on the viz. Here’s the gif!



Overall, I’m super happy I got to do the fundamentals training. New tricks and reviewing some of the basics. Good times!