Tableau Filters

Who doesn’t like a special lens that enables us to zoom in on important data, showing the patterns and details that may have missed. Such a super tool which assists us in making sense of the complex data is Tableau Filters. Tableau filters will make your data stories more exciting and clearer from making the data work quicker with “Extract Filters” to smarter queries with “data source filters”. Tableau Filters are the robust feature in Tableau that allows businesses to produce advanced results by presenting insightful data in powerful dashboards. Using filters in Tableau, business enterprises can make better business decisions. Moreover, filtering deletes a range of values or removes irrelevant or needless records from Tableau's source dataset. Further, using filters in Tableau for an organization has many benefits. In this blog, you will explore what Tableau is, Tableau filters and their types, and how to apply them.

What Is Tableau?

Tableau is the topmost one among the popular BI and data analytics tools. It empowers businesses and individuals to use data analysis to make the most of their data. Tableau allows users to build multiple charts, graphs, maps, and dashboards to analyze and visualize data for better decision-making. Moreover, Tableau is used across various industries worldwide. Many leading global brands such as Coca-Cola, Skype, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Amazon, Facebook, and many others use Tableau in their operations.

In other words, Tableau is a powerful reporting tool that combines data collected from different data sources for visualization. Data visualizations represent data most insightfully. Further, Tableau makes the data easier to understand for business users and other individuals. It helps them make many informed decisions by analyzing the whole data in a single place. Furthermore, Tableau can integrate with other platforms or tools like Hadoop, MongoDB, etc.

What are Filters in Tableau?

Filters in Tableau are the smart way to separate data on various factors, removing irrelevant data from the source dataset. Tableau filters help users to minimize the data frequency for better and faster data processing. Moreover, filters in Tableau help to build powerful dashboards, and they also restrict the size of datasets for better use. Also, these filters help businesses to simplify and arrange data in a better way. In other words, Tableau filters allow the sorting of large data sets for business organizations for better analysis. It makes the data size minimum, helps with faster processing, and delivers the results on time. Also, these filters help highlight the underlying data insights derived from visualizations functionally.

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Types of Tableau Filters 

Filters in Tableau provide the most brilliant way to split large datasets and reduce their size to a minimum for better data processing. There are different types of Tableau filters available for other purposes.

  • Extract Filter
  • Data Source Filter
  • Context Filter
  • Dimension Filter
  • Measure Filter

Extract Filter

The name of the Filter itself says that it helps to pull out data from a data source. The extract filters in Tableau help sort out the small data extracted from a different or an actual data source. After data extraction, Tableau helps to create a local copy of the data for storage in its repository. Also, it helps to further reduce the size of your dataset for analysis.

To build an Extract filter in Tableau, you can follow the below steps:

  • Connect the text file to Tableau.
  • Hit the "Extract" tab to create a local copy of the data.
  • Click "Edit" from the menu next to the Extract tab.
  • You will see the "Extract Data" window here.
  • Then click the "Add" option, which will open the "Add Filter" option to choose the conditions of filters.
  • Select the option "categories" from the fields and hit the "ok" button.
  • Then, you will see a Filter window showing the values of extracted data using the Extract Tableau Filter.

Data Source Filter

This Tableau filter helps to filter or sort out any sensitive or important data and restricts it from other viewers. Also, it reduces the data feeds additionally. Further, it allows viewers with some access rights for viewing underlying data. Data source filters are performed on both links: live and extract. The Tableau filter helps to implement the filter area to the actual data quickly. Also, it uploads data much faster and fits the space inside the workbook of Tableau.

  • You can also add this Tableau filter by hitting the ADD button.
  • Then, by hitting the ADD option, you will see an "ADD Filter" menu box with all the fields.
  • Select the area you wish to use and the values to record.
  • Also, you can edit/add/remove the fields as you need.

Context Filter

Some Tableau filters work independently and generate their results. Context filters in Tableau are the independent filters separate from the other filters. They help to build different datasets from the actual datasheet and compute the predictions inside the filtered dataset. Also, you can use this Filter to improve the performance of many vast data sources. Even if viewing the entire data rows is unnatural, you can apply it to select the sheets as you need to optimize the performance by reducing the data size. The following are the steps for the Context Filter:

  • Go to the "Context" menu from the list of filters.
  • Select the "Add to Context" option. Once the view is built, the context is computed.
  • Later, the context will be helpful to count the rest of the filters.
  • Further, you can utilize this Filter to locate the top "N" items in any specific category.

Dimension Filter

In the Tableau filters, dimension filters are the non-accumulated filters generally applicable to columns such as Client Name, Region, Country, City, etc. Based on the task you are performing, you can filter the data category wise. In other words, dimension filters are those when you use a particular dimension or volume to filter data inside a workbook. You can apply this type of Tableau filter in different types using top/bottom conditions, formulas, or wildcards. To apply it:

  • Navigate to the Worksheet & choose "Dimension" from the dimensions list.
  • Then, drag the selected dimension to the box "Filters."
  • A filter window will open, and choose the category or item from that list.
  • Hit the "OK' button.

Measure Filter

You can use the measure filter in Tableau to filter the data where the data values exist in terms of measure. Using this Filter, you can compute various actions like Sum, Standard Deviation (SD), Avg, Median, etc. functions. In the Tableau measure filter, you will have the following filter types:

  • Range
  • At Least
  • Special
  • At Most

You can do the same within a specific configuration whenever you drag the data for filtering. All aggregated or accumulated filters are applied after non-aggregated filters, and the measure filters are applicable to compute the fields with computable data.

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How to Implement Filters in Tableau?

You must load the required data into the Tableau Workspace and then create data visualizations. There are specific steps to perform the above actions. After these steps, you can add filters in the Tableau dashboard in the following way:

  • First, you must load the data by clicking the "New Data Source" or "Connect to Data" from the data menu.
  • In the "Connect" menu, choose the correct data source type from the list.
  • Once the data gets loaded, move to the sheet tab, where the measures and dimensions exist in different sections.
  • Then, you can start the analysis by choosing the "Pie Chart" from the "Marks" menu. Then, drag the dimension's "Mode" option into the Columns section. Later, move the extent "Region" and the measure "Distribution Volume" above the units "Color" and "Angle" inside the Marks. Then, you can see 2 pie charts individually for each mode that presents the "Region-wise" allocated volume contribution.
  • Then, resize the Pie Chart size by going to the Marls section.
  • To see the contribution in the measure of percentages, navigate to the Distribution Volume (DV) in the Marks section. Choose the "Percent of Total" option within the "Quick Table Calculation" section and rename the sheet.
  • Then, move to the next sheet and build an analysis of Unit-wise Distribution Volume (DUV), including regional break-up. To produce, pull the measure "Distribution Volume" to the Columns section. Similarly, drag the dimensions "Region "and DU (distribution unit) to the Rows section. Once you have done this, you can see a horizontal bar chart and rename it with the "DU Vol. Contribution" name.
  • Then, you need to insert the above analyses into the dashboard. Press on the "New Dashboard" section in the menu to create a dashboard.
  • Here, you will start with "adding filters to the dashboard." You can click any of the visualizations to find the tab "More Options." Click this tab.
  • Now, find the option "Use as Filter". This option will help you quickly filter data through visualizations.
  • Here, you can choose the "West" region of the "Pie Chart" that provides the complete "Distribution Volume" for the West region in the DUV contribution analysis.
  • Then, you may need the Filter to occur on the dashboard. To get this, move to "More Options" inside the "Filters" and choose the field where you want to build Filter. Also, you can alter the Filter as it looks to you.
  • Further, to apply the "Filter" across the sheets, right-click on it, and moving to the "Apply to Worksheets," choose the "Selected Worksheets" option. Then, the dialog box "Apply Filter to Worksheets" will appear.
  • Later, from that dialog box, you have to verify the "DU Vol Contribution," which ensures that Filters are applied to analysis through all the sheets.

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Thus, you have learned about Tableau filters, types of filters, and their implementation process in Tableau. These filters help users to sort out sensitive data while loading data into the workspace. It helps to resize the large dataset to reduce efforts and faster processing. Hence, you can perform different organizational tasks using these filters in Tableau.

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As a content writer at HKR trainings, I deliver content on various technologies. I hold my graduation degree in Information technology. I am passionate about helping people understand technology-related content through my easily digestible content. My writings include Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Salesforce, Servicenow and etc.

Tableau Filtering is the feature in Tableau and the process of deleting the irrelevant values from the result dataset. 

Measure Filters are considered much faster than other filters except the Extract and Data Source filters.