7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2013 4:04 PM by Matt Lutton

    How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?

    Luke Sirakos

      I am doing work for multiple organizations with different calendars and I need to summarize the data at different date levels (year, quarter, month, week).  The issue is, all of these organizations are on their own calendars so Week 5 in one will be Week 6 in another and so on (this occurs with quarters and all as well).

       

      I would like to use a line graph which needs a date however, when the quarters, months, weeks, etc are using a standard calendar.  I have variables in my data that denote the year, quarter, month, and week but I cannot summarize using these fields and a line graph as well.

       

      Is there a way to edit the calendar in Tableau so that I can customize what week 1 is, what Q3 is, etc?  If not, is there a way to use a line graph without a date?

        • 1. Re: How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?
          Janet Whiteman

          hi,

          were you able to find a solution for this?

          • 2. Re: How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?
            Bob Kenney

            Janet, I am also looking for any information regarding the ability to create custom calendars (either now or in a planned future release).  We have a fiscal calendar (4/4/5) throughout the year so our calendar month-end never matches our fiscal month-end (except on 31 Dec).  I've searched the KB and only found reference to where you can alter the fiscal *year*-end but that's it.

            • 3. Re: How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?
              Janet Whiteman

              FYI, i am still new with Tableau and we are still evaluating the product so i could be wrong here.

               

              My work around is I created a table with all the dates and the corresponding month, quarter, year etc for us and this is what i join to my measures table. And so this works for generating reports but because i am using the Date field here instead of the measures table's date, i cannot use the trending feature. the trending feature apparently wants me to use the original date field which will use the calendar year, quarter, month instead.

               

              DateMonthPERIOD_YEARPERIOD_NUMQUARTER_NUMPERIOD_NAMEYEAR_START_DATEQUARTER_START_DATECurrent_Ytd_FlagPrevious_Ytd_FlagCurrent_Qtd_FlagCurrent_Mtd_Flag
              5/24/2007May200752MAY-071/1/20074/1/2007NNNN
              1/1/2007Jan200711JAN-071/1/20071/1/2007NNN

              N

              • 4. Re: How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?
                John Williams

                I would love to see an answer to this. As far as I can tell, the only way to create a line chart is with an actual date field. We have date fields but it wants to create a simple calendar hierarchy. We have our own fiscal calendar dimension but fiscal year/quarter/week aren't date data types so they can't be used on a line chart.

                 

                We are doing some on-site training in a few weeks and this will be the first question we ask because if we can't create a line chart with our own fiscal calendar it's going to turn out to be a pretty big problem. If this hasn't been answered by then I'll post the answer we get at the training.

                • 5. Re: How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?
                  Matt Lutton

                  Hi John:

                   

                  A date dimension is not required to draw a line chart in Tableau. This is a common misconception, most likely due to the "Show Me" window tells us to use a date dimension for a line chart.  However, other discrete dimensions (blue dimension pill) can be used as well--see the screenshot below (my Week # field is pre-defined in the data source):

                  Line Chart without Date.png

                  Changing the options on the marks shelf will yield results beyond what Show Me! suggests, so I'd encourage exploration with that.  Studying the workbooks of others is helpful in seeing different approaches.

                  • 6. Re: How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?
                    John Williams

                    Thank you. As a first time user creating a line chart by changing the "Marks" drop down is non-obvious. Using the Show Me picker seems, on the surface, like the only way to do it. I am now able to see the chart I was hoping to see.

                     

                    Thanks again.

                    • 7. Re: How to use a custom calendar with a line graph?
                      Matt Lutton

                      Great!  I agree, it is non-obvious when getting started.  Unfortunately, a lot of Tableau seems to be non-obvious once you get outside of the basics.  Still, a great and powerful tool worthy of learning, I think.

                       

                      Cheers.