Tableau has various filter types that help us to focus on the relevant data that we want to analyze. To use Tableau filters efficiently, it is important to understand each Tableau filter’s purpose.

There are currently 7 filter types in Tableau.

 

1. EXTRACT FILTER

Extract filter helps you to leave out data that are not relevant to your focused analysis. You can perform an extract filter when creating an extract upon connecting to your data. Extract Data can be created by choosing the Edit option at the connection:

For the above example: we only want to analyze data for Central Region, we could add an extract filter in at this point. Creating a data extract would help to reduce the number of times Tableau queries the data source, hence helping in improving our performance.

2. DATA SOURCE FILTER

As data source filter restricts what users see in the view, it is great to exclude data from the data source that you do not want users to see. Data Source filter can be added by choosing the Add Filters option at the connection:

Or by choosing Edit Filter option when you are creating an extract:

3. CONTEXT FILTER

Context filter can be used to force the order of filtering in Tableau.

It is important to note that when you add 2 filter of the same type to Filter Card (for example 2 dimensions filters: Region and Top 10 Products by Sale), Tableau will apply both filters to the entire data set, hence the result will not be outputted at Top 10 products by sale for each region. If you want that as the desired result, you need to let Tableau know to filter out the Region first and then filter out the top 10 products by sale for that Region. To do this, you need to use Region as Context Filter.

4. DIMENSION FILTER

As Dimensions normally are discrete qualitative data, filtering dimension fields generally involve including or excluding selected values. A filter for region would be categorized as dimension filter.

5. MEASURE FILTER

On the other hand, measures are normally numeric quantitative data, filtering this type of data will involve selecting a range of values that you want to see. For example: show only sale people that have sale of at least $50,000.

6. DATE FILTER

Date filter allows you to select data for a range of dates, relative date or exact date ( this is useful when you need to investigate issue on a specific date or timeframe).

7. TABLE CALCULATION FILTER

Table Calculation filter only filters the view and does not filter the underlying data. This filter is applied after the view is produced.

 

After understanding 7 filter types in Tableau, it is good to know how Tableau orders these filters for processing.

FILTER ORDER OF OPERATIONS

Tableau executes filters in the following orders:

Photo Reference: Tableau elearning

And this has brought it to the end of my blog on Tableau Filters Foundation.

Thanks for reading. See you in my next blog 🙂

 

Thao Phuong Tran
Author: Thao Phuong Tran

Thao is an experienced 3PL Warehouse Administrator and Retail Assistant Manager. Driven by a passion for data analytics and information technology, she takes pride in providing the best analysis to help businesses in making data driven decisions and tackling their issues. As a Data Analyst Consultant at The Data School, her goals include learning from the best people in the data industry and up skilling herself with relevant and powerful tools like Tableau, Alteryx, Power BI, etc. She adores applying process automation to improve her productivity and efficiency at work. When Thao is not keeping busy with data, you can find her enjoying collecting Pandora charms and baking chocolate mint cookies. She also loves dining out and a meal that never fails her is spicy Pad Thai paired with a Vodka Sunrise!