VIDEO TRAINING SERIES: Post 5 of 10
Welcome to the fifth post in our Marquis Academy training series on Quick Tips for Tableau Server.
There are several ways to interact with dashboards and reports published to Tableau Server. Filters help you get only the data that is most relevant to you. In this video, we’ll show you how to interact with a few different types of filters that you might run into on your dashboards and reports.
In our demonstration video, we have a top filter where we can see three different options. The little circle indicates that we can only select one option at a time. As different options are selected, my dashboard updates to show the selected metric.
In contrast, in our example “Choose a Segment” filter, there are little check boxes in the drop-down menu. This indicates that we can select multiple values at once. If you clear the filter by de-selecting all and then select a couple of values, you may notice your dashboard doesn't change to reflect the new values. That’s because we need to hit the ‘apply’ button. This is what triggers Tableau to re-draw the visualization with the new filter options applied. You’ll often encounter the ‘apply’ button on long multi-select filter lists. Without the apply button, Tableau will re-draw the dashboard every time you select or de-select a value – and if you need to filter a lot of values, that time can really add up. The apply button saves you time and effort.
Another way of saving time and effort is by using a Wildcard search. This feature allows you to type in the value you’re looking for like you’d do when you search for something on the internet. It’s an especially helpful way of finding specific values in your data. Tableau will return every matching record. If you want Tableau to only return ID values that begin with a certain query, you can specify that with an asterisk, or star. Now, Tableau will only show results that begin with the specified search term.
There are also a few different ways to filter by date in Tableau. You might be used to filtering by a range of dates in other tools. With Tableau, you can drag and drop the ends of your range selector to filter by particular dates. You can also click on the date to reveal a calendar, which allows you to select a date. And of course, you can always type in the exact date you’re looking for. If you’ve set an interval you’re happy with, you can also grab the bar itself and move it around the slider to filter your dates.
Tableau also has a relative date filter, which filters relative to today’s date. On our example dashboard, our default range is set to the last 2 years. We'd like to see only the last 6 months. To do this, we just click on the drop-down menu, head over to the ‘months’ tab, and edit the range to 6. We can see down at the bottom the precise dates that Tableau is filtering. I can also select “This month” or “Previous month”, using plain English to tell Tableau what dates I’d like to see.
Filters are a powerful tool that allow us to explore our data and get the information that’s most relevant to us. In our next video, we’ll discover other ways that we can interact with our dashboard to get the answers we need.