1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 5, 2013 5:28 AM by Jonathan Drummey

    SSRS Report Functionality But In Tableau? Is this too much to ask?

    Daniel  Paduck

      I understand that Tableau is very powerful and I know that some of you might be thinking 'If you just want to create an SSRS report then just use SSRS?'  Well, I would but my CEO wants me to port all of my SSRS reports to Tableau.  With that being said, I understand I need to use a Text table. However, what is really, really painful for me is that I do not undstand how to create dynamic column selection?  Before on my SSRS report I had a parameter would would allow my users to select what columns they want to see and the colums would appear within a specific group of the group.  Thus, I could have YTD Profit, YTD Sales, YTD Gross Revenue, JTD Profit, JTD Sales and when the user select YTD Profit, YTD Sales they would appear within a distinct section of the report similar to this:



      __________YTD_________                               ____JTD_________

      Sales  Profit                                                       Sales Profit


      It seams in Tableau there is no easy way to format the header when dynamic columns come into play. 


      Currently, all I can do is show


      YTD Sales  YTD Profit               JTD Sales   JTD Profit


      without the formatting on top. 


      One solution was to have all the values in one column in the data set called Values and then have a column denote the name of the column.  However the issue with that is grouping when percentages come into play.  Since the column called Values is holding currency and percentage values I cannot tell Tableau sum the percentages correctly. 


      Maybe I am a novice at this but I have been beating my head against the wall with this one.  


      Thus, if anyone can show me how to create a report with dynamic columns (yes, this is easy since it is just a filter on the measures) but the tricky part is having the formatting above the measure column so that it easy to group the columns into specific sections (YTD, JTD, Current, ect)  then please let me know.


      I have provided an example from the SSRS report of what I am trying to achieve. 5-23-2013 11-40-13 PM.png



        • 1. Re: SSRS Report Functionality But In Tableau? Is this too much to ask?
          Jonathan Drummey

          Hi Daniel,


          There are a variety of ways to approach this, and they all require different hacks in Tableau. I tend to think of data display as a complicated Venn diagram of exploratory data visualization, dashboards, traditional text table/crosstab reporting, network graphs, simple charts, etc. Tableau comes out of exploratory data visualization and is oriented towards screen display, so although it can cover many of the other areas it's not necessarily able to do an exact duplicate of what another product can do.


          You've talked about having one column with the values and another column identifying the measure, that's how I'd first approach it as well. I'm not clear on how you're running into problems with the sums, I've done this before and it's a matter of getting the level of detail in the view and/or filters working properly. One thing I've used is to add an additional column to identify the format used, then use calculated fields for returning % vs. numeric values. Also, in Tableau v8 you can take advantage of the new Label Shelf functionality by having two measures on it, one for your % values and the other for numeric.



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