Understanding LOD Expressions

Tableau offers a lot of features and tools to decipher the complex datasets and meet the diverse needs for data analysis. Among these, LOD expressions, or Level of Detail expressions, are a cornerstone feature in Tableau that enable users to calculate or aggregate data at different levels of granularity. They provide flexibility and control, allowing analysts to zoom in or out of specific dimensions to gain insights that might not be readily visible during your initial analysis. The two key aspect to start here is the granularity or level of detail.


Types of LOD Expressions:

  1. INCLUDE: Includes specified dimensions in the calculation, allowing users to perform calculations while keeping certain dimensions intact. The specified dimension is usually at more granular level. This LOD will add measures from granular details to your view.
  2. EXCLUDE: Excludes specified dimensions from the calculation, enabling users to isolate specific dimensions and analyze data without their influence. The specified dimension will be at less granular level and takes it away from the view.
  3. FIXED: Fixes the level of detail for the calculation, ensuring that the calculation remains constant regardless of the visualization’s level of detail. Fixed LOD will make the dimension entirely independent of the view.

For example for INCLUDE, you want to know what is the average order per customer in each country. You can use following syntax to include Customer ID and count distinct the order ID.

Now, you can simply drag this to colors to show which country has the highest order per customer like shown in below graph.






Some advance level concept in LOD can include conditional expression, parameters, calculated fields, table calculations and even nested LODs.

One of the example for conditional LOD expression is shown as below where we are aiming to exclude sales from Arizona specifically.


Another one here includes conditional expression with parameter here. So, you can imagine the possibilities and use cases of LODs for your analysis and visualization.


Why LOD Expressions Matter

  • Precision: LOD expressions provide granular control, allowing users to perform calculations at the desired level of detail with precision and accuracy.
  • Flexibility: With LOD expressions, users can customize their analyses to suit specific business requirements, adapting calculations to varying levels of granularity.
  • Insight Generation: By leveraging LOD expressions, users can uncover hidden insights and patterns within their data, leading to informed decision-making and strategic planning.

Therefore, you can use LOD expression for various real-world scenarios such as product analysis, sale analysis, customer order, cohort analysis, profit analysis and so on.

As I continue my journey in Tableau, I am excited to explore further and harness the full potential of LOD expressions in real world business applications.



Prerana Amatya
Author: Prerana Amatya