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Unlike Neo in the movie Matrix, as a beginner in Tableau, there are blue and green pills for Tableau. To be successful in tableau we need to use both of them :).   Tableau is a visualisation software and it works on data and its ability to show insights. To get the right visualization and insights, the data should be in the right structure.

Dimension and Measures

The journey begins with understanding dimension and measures . As a beginner, always learn to view the data into two parts, Dimensions and Measures. Dimension are fields that have qualitative values for example Name, City, Customer Class etc. These are could be also categories such as region or product category. Measures are numbers that can be aggregated further to get some information. The fields such as Profit, Sales, Circulation count are measures. Do remember the moment you drop a measure on the columns in the Tableau pane, it gets aggregated (by default, you can avoid it in certain situations).

Blue and Green Pills

In Tableau, any field can be considered continuous or discrete. Continous refers to fields having infinite values. For example, Order date can be continuous given timestamp used. Continous fields create the axes. This is a pretty quick way to see them on charts. Blue refers to discrete can be seen in blue colour ( ). Green pill refers to a continuous field (  ).  When you drop a discrete field to a row or column in Tableau, it will create row or column headers. Dimensions usually are considered discrete when they are dropped onto rows or columns.

Date and numeric fields can be discrete or continuous. For example, Age is a numeric field but it can be discrete as you want to show the number of people that belong to a particular age in a bar chart. Similarly, Date can be discrete in instances where you want no. of orders generated in a month. The orders will be segregated into groups based on the month of the order date.

I hope you learnt something new today. You can know more about my vizzes on Tableau Public