3 Super Handy Tableau Features

(1) Shelf calculations (also known as ad-hoc calculations or in-line calculations)

are quickies that you can create by double clicking on Marks, Row, Columns and Measure Values

Since shelf calculations are not added to your dataset, they’re not re-usable between different worksheets in a workbook, which means that they’re not a sustainable way of building a robust reporting framework.

Yet, they are super handy if you want to quickly test the result of a calculation or debug the super complex formula used in a calculated field

(2) Default aggregation measures

The default aggregation for all Measures in Tableau is sum(). Some, however, may need average() or max() to yield meaningful results. Such is the case with “Discount” field in the attached dataset – northwind_dataset

Therefore, instead of manually changing the measure every time you use the field in a worksheet, you can just set it to default to the appropriate one.

The setting is even more valuable if you often have to build various datasets and publish them on Tableau Server for the rest of the company to use.

By setting all your measures to default to their appropriate aggregation, you’re essentially ensuring that no user reaches unreliable results because of aggregating on the wrong level.

(3) separate measure multi-colouring for your highlight tables

A common reason why a lot of inexperienced Tableau users avoid employing highlight tables on multiple measures is that the colouring range applies to all measures, which leads for misleading colouring for the measures that are on a smaller scale. 

The trick in such instances is to “Use Separate Legends”

Once this is in place, you can edit the colour of each legend by adjusting it from its legend card in order to make the different measures in your table a little bit more distinctive from each other

Now all the highest values for all Sales, Discount and Quantity are correctly highlighted 🙂

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