I intend this to be the first in a series of posts designed to help new Tableau users with a background in Excel.
Hopefully, these posts will help you take what you know about pivot tables, formula, conditional formatting and more and apply this knowledge to Tableau. This first post will take us back to the very basics, both with pivot tables, and with Tableau. As always, the first step is to get some data, we’ll connect to the same data in Excel and then in Tableau.
After instructing Excel to create the pivot table on a new worksheet, my data connection is made and Excel shows me a blank sheet with areas to drop data fields to create columns, rows or data elements – much like the Tableau interface.
Then choose ‘Excel’ as your file type, and then browse to the ‘Superstore’ data that shipped with Tableau. Your data connection is made once you see the column heading appear in the data window – now you are ready to build your table of data and the screen looks remarkably similar to the familiar Excel interface. To ‘build the table structure’ means to define the rows and columns of the table – in both Excel and Tableau we do this by indicating that certain fields will be responsible for defining the rows, and others the columns. To define the rows, drag ‘State’ from the data window on the right into the drop zone on the left hand side of the pivot table – Excel responds by creating one row for each state which appears in the data.
Do the same with product category to create columns – again Excel adds a grand total by default. Now ‘Add some data’ by dragging the sales field into the centre of the pivot table, your pivot table should look like this.
Drag state to the rows shelf, or to the drop zone in the left hand side of the table, and drag product category to columns. However, it’s worth discussing the differences here which make this process somewhat easier to handle in Tableau. When using pivot tables or data visualisations in Tableau, we are usually AGGREGATING the data.
To display the AVERAGE value, in Tableau, simply use the dropdown menu on the GREEN pill which is currently displayed on the TEXT shelf.
Go back to the data sheet (Orders) and add a new column containing a formula to determine the order year. It is now necessary to instruct Excel to include this additional column in the data set being analysed – do this by changing the data source for the pivot table and then re-selecting the whole data set including the new column. Once this field is available in the data set, the product category field can be removed from the ‘Columns’ area and replaced with the Order Year – creating the pivot table as laid out above. Simply drag ‘Order Date’ from the data window to the columns shelf – Tableau responds by displaying the ‘Default date part’ – in this case the year. The default date part is determined automatically by Tableau – if you data spans multiple years, the default part will be years, if it spans multiple months in a single year, Tableau will display months by default.
I have been demonstrating how to recreate the pivot table simply to make the transition from Excel to Tableau as simple as possible – but I’m guessing you’re not using Tableau just to create tables of data. So lets simply start the transition to charting data by making use of the SHOW me functionality. Make sure show me is visible, then start selecting the various options to see Tableau display your data as a Map, bar, heat map, highlight table and many more.

Hopefully this article has helped take your knowledge of Excel pivot tables and convert it into Tableau-speak. Every month we publish an email with all the latest Tableau & Alteryx news, tips and tricks as well as the best content from the web. In some cases your copy of Excel might already be configured to do this, but let's cover it anyway. Excel has lots of built-in functions that we can use to do calculations, like SUM(), AVERAGE() and COUNT() for example.
Hi, Let say I want to use the exchange rate set by my company which is in excel table format substituting the yahoo finance rate - Is it possible?
Horse husband Gamal Awad, (Eventer Hawley Bennet) and Rich Moorehaed (Julie Goodnight) join us on this Classic Revisit from the Stable Scoop Radio Show. Do you wish there were a way for you to save several pivot table filters so you can apply them to the same or another pivot chart whenever needed? Now, say the sales staff for the adult book categories (mystery, romance, and sci-fi) would like to see a similar chart.
Along with the ability to edit field titles, Excel 2010 provides a number of options for formatting the slicers. Users can change filters or return to the original filters simply by selecting the appropriate slicer buttons. Would you like users to be able to apply the same filter to more than one chart without having to manually recreate separate filters for each chart? You can use the same slicers created for the Annual Sales by Category chart to show 2010 distribution sales for the adult book categories.
In the Options tab in the Slicer Tools ribbon, click the PivotTable Connections command in the Slicer group. In the PivotTable Connections dialog box select the PivotTable used to create the Sales by Channel chart. This is not surprising, surely Excel is the most commonly used data analysis tool in the business world today. I will demonstrate how to connect to data, setup the structure of a pivot table, and then introduce data into that table – comparing the differences and similarities between Excel and Tableau as we go. I will use the superstore sales data that ships with Tableau – also in the Excel file above. Since the excel file and tableau files are separate, we need to make a connection between the two.
This typically means adding categorical data which ‘breaks down’ the numerical data which is aggregated. We have to define how to aggregate this data – should we SUM data, or AVERAGE it for example? Tableau split your fields into Dimensions (categorical data) and Measures (numerical data that can be aggregated) when the data connection was made – making the process of finding fields easier. Tableau’s has a number of default actions which can be triggered by double clicking – try double clicking ‘Sales’ once the categorical fields are in place – this brings sales into the table without the need to drag it. The ‘Order Date’ field is available in the data window, but when this is added to the columns of the pivot table, Excel warns me that there are many different dates contained in this field and asks if I truly want to include them all.

In the spread sheet provided, I have added a field called ‘Order Year (the formula is ‘=YEAR(Order Date)’). This is the very start of your journey towards Tableau mastery, we will be explaining many other Tableau concepts in Excel terms in further posts in this series. Just as a note, there are some options when working with dates and changing data sources in Excel. The following method will create a new function called MYCURRENCYEXCHANGER() that will take our two currencies as parameters, and return the exchange rate.
On the yahoo finance website the price is correct, but it seems to be giving me a wrong price - what do i do? Wittich from Hagyard Equine, Tammy Sronce shares her experience dealing with a Keratoma Tumor and Horse & Country TV's Victoria Spicer has the headlines from Europe. Chris Ray talks about being a Rock Star Vet, Amberley Snyder speaks to being a barrel racer, roper and motivational speaker, Amy Rodgers and Rhianna Russell chat about Miss Rodeo Alum. Here the formatting options were used to change the slicers’ color, size and alignment to each other. For example, to see 2010 sales for the other categories, click on the Mystery button in the Book Category slicer and while pressing the Control key, click the Romance and Sci-Fi buttons.
This video provides a step-by-step demonstration on how to use slicers to create an interactive dashboard for your organization. Especially the pivot table connection was helpful, although i mostly use pivot tables as a single-use kinda thing for presentations. Lane November 5, 1990 Contents Justice Souris discusses his family history, living in Detroit and then Ann Arbor as a student, and joining the Air Force in 1943. And if they want to filter each chart for only 2010, you would need to manually update the year selection in each filter. In this example, the Book Category field slicer has Children and Young Adult highlighted, while both 2009 and 2010 are highlighted for the Sales Year. After formatting the slicers, you can copy them and the chart to your dashboard so users can create their own filters. For example, if you select 2009 in the Sales Year slicer, both charts will update to show only 2009 sales results.
He then talks about returning to the University of Michigan in 1945 to finish his degree and complete law school. You probably would end up with 3 additional charts for your dashboard, one showing sales for the adult categories for 2009 and 2010, another showing those same categories for 2010, and a third showing children and young adult category book sales for 2010. Another thing: pivot charts are pretty common, but im not quite sure if everyone knows how to create them. He then talks about other cases concerning government immunity and the relation that such cases and court decision have with the creation and revision of law. He further discusses such issues as presumption of undue influence, summary judgment, the right of discovery, and the type of law he practices.

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