1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 3, 2012 5:03 AM by Russell Christopher

    Is there a way to use the crosstab in a worksheet as data source?

      I am currently working with a large time series dataset (~8 million rows and ~250 columns). Is there a way to use a crosstab created on this dataset (through Tableau) as a data source for subsequent worksheets within the same workbook? In the final dataset I want to create 1 row for each primary key and with some calculated KPIs as columns. Each KPI has a different level of aggregation. Some are based on most recent month, some are based on most recent 12 months and few others based on the entire dataset. What is the most efficient way to do this in Tableau?

        • 1. Re: Is there a way to use the crosstab in a worksheet as data source?
          Russell Christopher

          Hi Anand -


          I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but Tableau isn't really built to be an ETL tool - which is how it seems you're trying to use it in this scenario.


          You can export a crosstab to Access via Worksheet | Export | Data and then connect back to the MDB as a data source. However, your real challenge will be trying to display so many "marks" (rows) in the Tableau crosstab before you export it.


          Tableau is designed for data visualization / analytics, not for displaying millions of rows - realistically anything over a couple hundred rows of text is of questionable value in terms of spotting patterns, trends, etc.


          As you display hundreds of thousands of rows in a crosstab, you'll see Tableau consume more and more RAM. You'll eventually run out of RAM in the Tableau process -- probably before you get to a million rows.


          You might be able to get there by exporting smaller batches of rows from Tableau to Access and then "knitting" them back together in Access, but I think it would be more trouble than it's worth. In your shoes I'd probably look to a true ETL tool.


          Probably not what you wanted to hear, but hopefully I can save you some grief.