1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 21, 2013 9:40 AM by Steve Martin

    Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards

    Steve Martin

      Hi All,


      Possible pasted in the wrong section but:


      I have a BIG dashboard report built-up of 12 dashboards and 40 plus charts and tables running from 5 different data sources of none are blended or joined though they do all share a common denominator of Region & Cost Centre.


      Quickfilters are definately out on this due to the multiple sources so to get around this, I have two tables: Region - contains all the regions; Cost Centre - contains all the cost centres.


      I have dropped the two tables onto the top level summary page and set them both to 'use as filter' which they are doing brilliantly even where there are tables/charts from 2 or more of the data-sources however, these filters are not carrying through the rest of the dashboards.


      What I need is for a user to say select North and then for all charts/tables loacted on every dashboard to also filter to North.


      Is this possible and if so, how? And, if this is possible, is it also possible to use a parameter to perform this funtion instead of the tables?

        • 1. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
          guest contributor

          Yes, I want to do almost the exact same thing.  I have Data in multiple tables, I can't join them on date, it creates a Cartesian product, but as I update a filter in one table, I want to relate it back to the other tables date filter.

          • 2. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
            guest contributor

            Has anyone been able to improve on this?

            • 3. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
              guest contributor

              My only improvement is for when you have common dates across multiple tables, parameters do a very solid job at filtering.  Just make a paramerter to filter on dates, then put a logical statement into the filter by condition using the parameter.

              • 4. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                guest contributor

                I want to do exactly the same thing with Steve. How can I filter one sheet but affect two or more sheets? Those sheets fed from different datasources but datasources have similar columns.

                • 5. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                  Jai Gopinathan

                  It can be done either through parameters or tables, i think your issue is to do with target filters. In the target filters your source field in this case should be 'North' lets say Region from datasource1 and target field should Region from datasource2 and the target data source should be that of datasource 2.


                  Edit Filter Action -->Source Sheet --> Target Sheets --> Target filters (Selected Fields)-->Sourcefield (Region from datasource1)-->Target Field(Region from datasource2)-->target datasource (Datasource2)


                  Hope this helps!

                  • 6. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                    Jai Gopinathan

                    I see your issue. Your target could only be one dashboard/sheet. You are asking for a global filter by action across mutliple dashboards. I am not sure if there is a way to accomplish that by just one action filter, but you can achieve that by having multiple action filters.Choose the filters to run on menu so user can traverse to a particular dashboard/sheet by selecting the specific menu item. You can create multiple drilldown filters that goes to a specific dashboard at a time. Not sure if this is a good solution for your problem.


                    You may want to educate your users to traverse from summary everytime they want to see a particular drilldown item or you can introduce an action filter in each sheet and carry the filter across various dashboards. Ask them not to just jump to different dashboards without selecting the action item. This way you have a handle of the fitler on all sheets.. Hope this helps!

                    • 7. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                      Steve Martin

                      Thanks Jai, I can see the logic and that it 'should' work but oddly enough it didn't. It only affected the viz's on the dashboard to which the filter is applied, it didn't filter through the rest of the workbook.


                      To give an idea, I have one summary level dashboard made up of kpi's from Customer, Staff, Financial, Quality (its an HR finance report) idea being that a user selects North and everything filters; the user can then select a kpi of interest - it might be red or the figures might be extraordinarily high or low and they are then taken to the dashboard that controls the kpi.


                      Your target filter idea (above) works on the dashboard to which the filter is applied: so on summary each of the kpi's from the different sources do filter however, when moving through the rest of the dashboards, they are all not filtered.


                      Target sheets would be a brilliant idea but I can only select one dashboard / sheet whereas I actually need to select multiples/all.


                      I shall create a sanitised workbook and upload.


                      To Guest (18.10.11): Thank-you for your idea however in this instance this idea will not work as the workbook also needs to be 'broken-down' into resepctive areas with certain regions 'locked-off' from others (done using sets) to prevent users from one region from viewing data from another.

                      • 8. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                        Steve Martin

                        I wish that education was that simple.

                        The brief is simply that most users IT knowledge does not expand further than "being able to turn-on the internet" by which it is meant that they are able to open IE the idea being that they are presented with a simple-to-use and intuitive reporting system that requires no learning - clicking buttons and moving sliders to get what they want - dare I say it here but the (in my opinion) inferior Qlikview with its programmable buttons and links might just achieve this.


                        But this is Tableau (and the company did after all accept my proposal to deploy Tableau over other visual BI tools); I digress.


                        I did consider your suggestion of multiple action filters but unfortunately they too did not work; I think that the linking data might just be too disparate even for Tableau; I am in the process of developing a cleaner hierarchy to serve this purpose, but it would be great if we could get to the bottom of this if only to help others.


                        In the meantime, global filters are working at dashboard level but due to the number of data sources in use (even though they are all .tde's), they too are unable to transverse across the dashboards & data-sources.


                        As I said before, this might be too difficult to try to solve on the bb alone so I shall provide a santised version before this week is out.

                        • 9. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                          Jai Gopinathan

                          I have another suggestion before i get a chance to look exactly at your requirement. Why dont you provide a quick filter on the summary metric for the user to choose and make that as a global filter for the entire workbook. I know you have multiple data sources but i am assuming you are tying them all together with a common key or field.

                          • 10. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                            Steve Martin

                            In short, unfortunately, this idea did not work.


                            However, you are correct and this, is precisely what I was using with exactly the same thought and expectations as you but two days from roll-out, I found that this wasn't working as expected prompting the current method and this topic.

                            • 11. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                              Richard Leeke

                              If you have multiple filter actions which fire on select of your region and cost centre table, with each action having a different target sheet, selecting one row of your filter table will apply filters to multiple sheets.  I think you can arrange for focus to end up on a sheet of your choice by ensuring the last action in the list targets the sheet you want to end up on.  The user can then browse through the sheets and all will be filtered to the same region or cost centre.

                              • 12. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                                Steve Martin

                                Richard, your idea is very similar to Jai's post of 03.11.11 however, this does appear to be working on at least some of the sheets; I have (what I thought to be a large workbook) a relatively small workbook at 85 sheets; once I have setup the filters, I shall provide the results to check if we have solved this.

                                • 13. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                                  Steve Martin

                                  I have now added an inordinate amount of targeted filters to get this to work and it does; I shall post sanitised versions as soon as possible (apologies for not doing so sooner, had a catastrophe with an OCZ SSD and the Sandforce bug on my mediacentre over the weekend which required a new hard-drive and full installation marathon but thats a story for another forum).


                                  I was thinking that it would be far cleaner and faster to be able to target datasources for filtering instead of individual dashboards and sheets; whilst there is no actual option for this in the action filters dialogue, does anyone no of a way that this may be achieveed even by editing the xml direct - or is the a question for the "Wouldn't it be nice if..." board?

                                  • 14. Re: Filtering across datasources across multiple dashboards
                                    Steve Martin

                                    Slight change to this, moved away from action filters to instead use parameters and calculated fields which are far more cleaner and smoother and (despite me building full hierarchies for the data) can be used to target fields of differing names / data without the screen 'flashing' as data is changed (as it does when using targetted / multiple targetted filters); which also has the effect of reducing cpu/memory overheads (as the data changes dynamically in the background).


                                    Use parameters and calculated fields as filters; in my case I used:

                                    Parameter name: Select Region


                                    IF [Select Region] = 'All' THEN 1

                                    ELSEIF [Select Region] = [region] THEN 1

                                    ELSE 0



                                    Apply the filter selecting 1 [to be shown] then on the dashboard simply show the parameter. Done.


                                    This is working for 5 different filters; the only drawback is that as the parameter is nothing more than a list and is not tied to a data source, the parameters themselves do not filter so where region = North you shall still see sub-regions from other areas such as Norfolk, Herefordshire, Berkshire, Devon etc.


                                    Again, I shall provide a santised version I swear by the end of this week...

                                    1 2 Previous Next