Introduction to Types of Filters in Tableau
Types of Filters in Tableau are the supported filter conditions that are used to segregate the data set based upon some conditions and use the specific data values for the visualizations. Tableau has extensive filter features compared to other visualizations tools. Filters are used to remove the irrelevant records from the source dataset in Tableau. There are several types of filters that are associated with data processing in Tableau environments such as Extract Filters, Data Source Filters, Context Filters, Dimension Filters, Measure Filters, and Table calculation filter. Filters can be used to protect sensitive information from the dataset while sharing the common audience.
It offers five main products to cater to the business needs for professionals and organizations:
- Tableau Desktop: It is the flagship product by Tableau made for individual use and meant for the development of dashboards.
- Tableau Server: It is used for the sharing of any solutions or dashboards.
- Tableau Reader: It is a free product used for reading Tableau file types.
- Tableau Online: It is a cloud-based platform that allows the users to share, evaluate any solutions in an organization.
- Tableau Public: It is the free version which can be used by learning professionals to evaluate and interact with the features available in Tableau.
Types of Filters in Tableau
All the organizations use filters to reduce the size of the dataset and removing irrelevant information to improve the performance or highlight the required information. In Tableau, there are different ways to filter the dataset to increase data efficacy. Each filter is created for different purposes and the order in which they are executed can change the performance drastically. There are 6 types of filter used in Tableau sorted by order of execution;
1. Extract Filter
We can use extract filter while loading the dataset into Tableau, so it reduces the number of times Tableau queries for the data source. We can further reduce the size of the data by applying filters to the extract as required.
2. Data Source Filter
This filters any important or sensitive information that we want to control while loading the data into Tableau. It works on both Live and Extract connection. We can add the data source filter on any column by clicking on the ADD option.
After clicking on the ADD option, the ADD Filter dialog box will appear containing all the fields, then we can select the field that we want to apply the filter on. We can also edit or remove the data source filters as required.
3. Context Filters
The filters used in Tableau are normally the independent filters that produce their own result but there are certain filters that are executed to process the records as returned by the first filter. Context filter is an independent filter that creates a different worksheet out of the original dataset and computes the calculation in the filtered dataset. It can be used to improve the performance of large data sources. They can be created by dragging the dimension to the filter section box and clicking on Add to context option. By clicking on this the dimension will change to a grey color which is an indication of the context filter.
It can also be used to view Top N products in any particular category. We can also remove the Context filter.
4. Dimension Filter
Fields in Dimension contain discrete categorical data and we can exclude or include the values that we want to analyze. The process of adding the dimension filter is simple and is given as follows;
- Drag the dimension from the dimension list to the filter section box.
- It will open a Filter Dialog box where we can select the values that we want to analyze.
There are four tabs in the Filter dialog box:
- General: To select the members present in the dimension that we want to include or exclude.
- Wildcard: To filter the result on the basis of a particular pattern. For e.g. if we want to filter the email address of a particular domain then we can use the filter that ends with “@yahoo.com” to include those email addresses.
- Condition: To filter the result on the basis of a particular condition.
- Top: To filter the Top N products of a particular category.
5. Measure Filters
Measure fields contain quantitative data and these filters are applied to the measure fields. It can be applied by following the below procedure:
Drag the measured field from the Measure box to Filter section and a Filter dialog box will open containing various operations.
Select the operation that needs to be performed and click Next. In subsequent dialog box there are 4 types of filter:
- Range: To select the range of values to include in the result.
- At least: To select the minimum value of a measure to filter the data.
- At most: To select the maximum value of a measure to filter the data.
- Special: To select null or non-null values.
6. Table Calculation Filter
These filters are used when we do not want to filter the view without changing the underlying data. Table Calculations are functions used when creating Calculated Fields such as LOOKUP, WINDOW_SUM, WINDOW_AVG, etc.
Conclusion – Types of Filters in Tableau
Tableau filters are used in many organizations to produce powerful results and present the relevant information to the clients in the form of a dashboard or worksheet to make proper business decisions. These filters can also be used to filter the sensitive data and host the information that can be shared with colleagues.
This is a guide to Types of Filters in Tableau. Here we discuss the introduction and different types of filters in tableau. You may also look at the following articles to learn more-