Skip navigation

Multiple field label aliases at data source level

score 75
You have not voted. Active

Make it possible to have multiple field label aliases at data source level that can be used dynamically in workbooks.


You don't have to read more before voting, because the "what" is the idea, not the "how". That said, I think it a duty to come with some explicit suggestions too, which I hope you also read, if this topic has your interest.


Store column aliases with data source info:

  • Query column name
  • Field label aliases  {  language 1  |  language 2  |  language n  }
    • Example: {  Faroese  |  Faroese short name  |  English  |  English short name  }
  • Description of column (description, definition, purpose, usage, origin, etc)
    • Available in Tool Tips (in multiple languages too)


Other things than column aliases could be stored in the data source:


Calculated fields are included. Since they often are workbook locale, it must be possible to add aliases manually for these and store them in the workbook.


Registering can be done from Tableau desktop in a similar way as measure aliases today except

  • it is possible to add multiple aliases
  • aliases are stored in the data source (not workbook as measure aliases today)
  • the list includes all columns (not only measures)


I would also like the possibility to import a text file with column aliases from Tableau Desktop, and even run code on the server with new APIs available in version 8.


Usage: Of course it must be possible for user to choose language from a quick list. I think a special language quick list is the best solution, but also wonder if parameters could be used for this.


The benefits are many, such as:

  1. Easier and less time-consuming to have consistent column names for all workbooks
  2. Easy to create multi-language dashboards
  3. No workbook duplicates created for each language
  4. Easy to create tool tips that describe the data (column)
  5. Saves time in data maintenance (data is usually the most time consuming part of analysis & reporting)
  6. Saves disk storage space
  7. Fewer options makes life easier for dashboard authors
  8. Fewer data sources lessen risk of data errors (one source of the "truth")


Current Issue
Recently I was about to move the same data source twice (as extract) to Tableau Server, where the only difference was the language of the column headers (Faroese & English). My emotions (and mind) protested strongly. It is silly and gives extra maintenance work later to create a duplicate of some data source. Instead I opted to translate everything from Faroese to English in the English workbook I created.


Related ideas
Dynamic column headers for multi-language dashboards and more

User-defined metadata automatically assigned

Dynamic field label aliases


Vote history