10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2012 12:22 PM by Andy Piper

    Forums Digest Weekly #3

    Shawn Wallwork



      The questions and solutions came fast and furious this week. Curating this digest was wicked hard. Here you go….

      Week’s Most Outrageous Acrobatics

      I don’t even know where to begin on this one. Jonathan Drummey describes his post this way:


      “I used the Custom SQL techniques from http://drawingwithnumbers.artisart.org/customizing-grand-totals-part-3/ and Shawn's bit of RAWSQL formatting magic, along with a parameter and calculated fields for the measure and the filter.”


      After Four UNIONS and a bit of tweaking, you get: Appearing/Disappearing Grand Totals, with the column grand total in the first position. [Just to be clear, that RAWSQL bit of magic is pure Joe Mako, I just posted it.] And for this Zen Master’s next trick: reflections on a rock.

      Featured Forum Folks (not the usual suspects)

      Andy Piper celebrated his seventh anniversary at Norfolk Southern this past week (or month) – he’s hoping to do 23 more. [I wonder what Tableau will look like in 23 years.] Andy has been quietly participating in the forums since May 2010 when he asked his first question. He asked his second question a year later. Lately he mostly answers questions; whether it’s an easy one or a tricky one. The forums are a richer place because Andy adds his depth of knowledge to the conversation.

      Best New Thing

      You may have noticed that the forums front page changed quite a bit this past week (or two). It now defaults to a list of Recent Activity, and includes a lot of pertinent information with easy-to-use expand/collapse functionality. For us forum regulars, features like in-line-replies and who-has-responded-icons really help us quickly and easily participate. I am both impressed and thankful for this new forums front page. Now go forth and multiple! Dustin Smith, Tracy Fitzgerald, Ellie Fields – and whoever else was involved – great job!

      Best Thing I Learned This Week

      Foolishly I attempted to ‘correctRichard Leeke, and of course I got corrected. But in the process I learned a very useful bit of information: the RAWSQL_STR function can be used with extracts. Mind you this function isn’t available after you create an extract, but you can use it before you extract and it still works afterwards – who knew! Here’s more. (Be sure to read Richard’s last comment on the thread.)

      Best Graphic Responses [Promoted]

      Dimitri Blyumin has been regularly pumping out terrific answers since the summer of 2010. He produces the best, clearest graphic examples to illustrate his points:



      Here’s the question this graphic was answering. He also produces videos from time to time, but I can’t find one at the moment. [FYI: the ‘Promoted’ is a joke, no remuneration was involved here.]

      Andy's New Chart Type Challenge Winner

      Alex Kerin and I teamed up to answer a question from Ayush Baheti about overlaid bar charts (not to be confused with stacked bar charts).  We solved it using calculated bins and the position of items in the measure value shelf. The ‘correct’ answer isn’t the one that’s marked, (thanks for changing that Ayush). Alex’s version version is now a new chart type officially named: "The multi-segmented, measure value, thrice colored, peek-a-boo bar chart" (or the peek-a-boo for short.)


      [This is an on-going contest, multiple winners will be chosen, so get busy!]

      Andy’s Resource Page

      Each month Andy Cotgreave puts together a ‘Best of the Tableau web…’ page with a collection of links “to the most relevant, innovative and interesting Tableau-related content.” – great stuff Andy, well curated (harder than it looks folks). And thanks for the mentions. Honored.

      Think Data Thursday

      This week’s TDT presented some interesting vizzes and discussion. If you missed it here’s where you can listen in. Join the TDT Group, and post ideas for future discussions. I’m thinking we need to get Richard to stop by and properly explain his hexabin viz. (I know that counts as a new chart type!)

      FDW’s First Correction

      Last week I mentioned Catherine Rivier had never asked a forum question; according to her content page, true enough. But not so much when you consider her previous Tableau accounts. I’ll let her explain. Oh and here’s one of the more involved solutions she posted this week.