This is probably going to be not entirely what you want to hear but bear with me ... why would you create a report with 20-25 dimensions and 20 quick filters? Is this to recreate Excel or PowerPivot in Tableau?
Unfortunately to every product you can build there are limitations. I think that this is one of them. 20 quick filters is likely to be very slow. 20-25 dimensions seems like it might be very tricky to get this into a screen. And you have not even mentioned measures yet.
Is there no alternative?
If this is for people to get a filtered datadump, can you not create a summarised report - which may not have all the dimensions showing but can be used to filter whatever data you have in more than one sheet if necessary and then explain to people how the export button works?
What are you trying to achieve with this? There may be other ways of doing what needs to be done.
Thanks for the reply Dana.
I do know that this for this requirement Tableau is not the right tool. There is a legacy reporting system here which is being retired and they want those reports to be converted as is. I did try to explain, but they want to see how the reports look in Tableau.
There are detailed as well as summary reports. So, the suggestion might not work.
so you are correct that Tableau is totally the wrong tool for this. Tableau Excels (SIC) at data visualisation, not at creating cross tabs. Its not what its made to do. You can build them and put all the quick filters you like to recreate the old report, but it will be a dog of a dashboard. Now what you should do is, build them what they want, and they build them what they actually need. Use your knowledge and skill in Tableau, use Tableau's strengths to visualise that data in one more more dashboards and show them there is an alternative. But make it clear that you can get the data if you really need to.
A great way of doing this is to create the huge crosstab, but have that as the final sheet in a published workbook, so you go have it at the end, but not before they have seen all your fantastic vizzes before hand.
I've used this approach and it works, even with the most sceptical people, you can slowly turn them around.
I feel your pain here (a lot of Tableau users have). It is very difficult to move people away from the "Excel" style.
Especially for those who have used for several years....
Here is a great discussion on the topic, along with various opinions/options to help influence your stakeholders to see data differently.
Also, in terms of visualizations, here is another great discussion.
Had a similar requirement and created a crosstab with 30 columns and 48 filters. The 16 column limit in Tableau only affects the display. When the crosstab is exported to Excel all of the columns are intact, so that's how the dashboard is used. Not proud of this but the user is happy.
Thanks for the reply, David.
How did you manage to incorporate 48 filters! Was there no performance issue? Also, what was the volume of the data?
The performance is definitely not stellar, but acceptable (working from an extract, of course). The data is just over 750 thousand records.
Great. So you put all of the filters on the sheet and let the users run it and the report gets generated?
PS, though I am opposed, I understand having to just do something, because that is what is asked.
So to get around the 16 Column Limit, please refer here
Down towards the bottom, there is a list of resources on different ways to achieve it.
The user goes to the dashboard with the filters and sets them (If they are doing a lot of changes, they may pause updates, make the changes and then resume updates). This dashboard only has the filters (they take up a lot of space - did I mention that there are also 26 parameters on the screen) so the only crosstab on this screen just has one value - a total number of records selected. The actual large crosstab is generated on another dashboard. They then go to that dashboard and export it to Excel. The visual display on this dashboard just shows 16 columns (the first column is a concatenation of the other columns). The only reason we display 16 columns is that eight of them are selectable (via the parameters mentioned above) and the user can see if that's what they really wanted before they export.
We are trying to do the samething here, David.
But, Tableau is taking a lot of time to sort/compute/populate quick filters. How did you manage to keep the performance in place with so may quick filters?
I have attached a performance recording, which shows that sorting of data take a long long time.
I have a quick filter called which has 1000 accounts, I had one already selected and I was trying to select a second account. It almost took 5 minutes for tableau to populate the data.
If possible, can you let me know how you kept the performance of your report acceptable?
Not sure we did anything special, but you definitely don’t want any of the filters set to Relevant Values Only, and I imagine the fewer of them that are calculations the better.