9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2019 10:42 PM by Aashish Bhetuwal

    Need a multiple selection parameter workaround

    Luke Sirakos

      I have a workbook that has multiple dashboards/worksheets that use multiple datasets and all have a common field that I would like to filter on globally.  I could do this with a parameter but it only allows me to select one and I need to be able to select multiple.


      I have attached a sample workbook (ignore the horrible visualizations, this was just quick and dirty) with the four following datasets:


      Customer Data - Information about customers

      Sales Orders - Sales orders by customer

      Sales Rep - Commission rates by customer for each sales rep

      All Customers - A list of all customers (including some that aren't in the other three datasets)


      In the Summary Dashboard I would like to add a filter of sorts that would filter all of the remaining tabs by customer.  For example, if I selected customers AAA and BBB all of the tabs would be filtered to only show results pertaining to these two customers.


      Is there any way to do this WITHOUT putting a filter on each tab?  That is what I currently have and while it works alright I would really like to be able to just filter once.  I have tried multiple approaches using blending and all have fallen short.

        • 1. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
          Simon Runc

          hi Luke,


          ...so you are after the Holy Grail of Tableau then!! btw As Dynamic Parameters (including Multi-Select) are one of the most requested features Tableau recently did an 'information gathering' exercise to ensure when they did bring these in they solves everyone's problems...so they are on the case (here is the latest update Dynamic Parameters: The Results Are In | Tableau Software)


          In the meantime, there are only 2 things that can filter over multiple data sources, one is parameters (as you know), and the other is filter actions. In the attached I've created a 3rd sheet, which is just a list of customers, and formatted to look as much like a filter as possible (albeit without the drop-down functionality). I've then created 2 Action Filters on this as pointed one to the secondary data source version of customer, and one to the primary. I can then use CRTL + select on this list to get my multi-select.


          It's not ideal, but is the only way with different data sources.


          The other way you can go (and this will depend on where the data comes from) is to create a FULL UNION on the data so that it all exists in a single source. If your data is all from a single 'schema' and you want to know more on this approach post back and I'll give you a bit more info.


          Hope this helps.

          • 2. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
            Luke Sirakos

            Thanks for taking the time to respond and putting that together Simon, it appears that I am after the holy Tableau grail after all!  I will probably just wait for the time being until they release something with multiple parameter selection, I have a few workarounds I can do in the meantime, this would have just been nice to have.  Thanks again!

            • 3. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
              Santhosh Thadakamalla

              Thank you for the solution.


              We have similar requirement on multiple selection parameters but we need that parameter on calculated metrics to compare it in charts. I have created parameter but not working for multi selection. Also tried to use 'measure names' as multi select quick filter but cannot hide measures in that dashboard tab (we have more than 1 dashboard tabs for each workbook).


              Do you have any workaround for key metrics parameters?



              • 4. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
                Simon Runc

                hi Santhosh,


                It all depends, as all things!, on the shape of your data, but from what you've described I think the only way would be to use 'custom sql' to create a 're-shaped' version of your data, with measures names in a single column. In this answer to a post Tom W has shown a simple implementation of this Re: Is it possible to use the Rows as the dimensions/measures instead of the Columns from the data source?

                by using this method, measure names (as in the one you've created, not the Tableau generated one) acts like a 'real' dimension. Where you can filter with multi-select, (or create a duplicate of the measure names field, use this to filter out the measures you don't want the user to see, and then make your 'exposed' filter 'relevant values' only, so they only can use the ones you want),...etc.

                As you can blend on Dimensions (using Action Filters) across data-sources you can get views (built with the scaffold (as it's known) data-source and your original) to talk to one another.


                Hope this helps and let me know how you get on

                • 5. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
                  Sudeep Laha

                  I am currently using Tableau 9, does the multiple selection parameter features in Tableau 10?

                  • 6. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
                    Simon Runc

                    hi Sudeep,


                    So in terms of multi-select/dynamic parameters, unfortunately not!...but they have solved this problem! They are looking at all the use-cases for multi-select and knocking them off one-by-one!


                    So in T10+ you now have this option...



                    This one probably accounts for 80% of the reasons people wanted multi-select parameters.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
                      Sudeep Laha

                      Thanks Simon, for the heads up. Its working for me as well.

                      • 8. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
                        anup kumar

                        Hi Luke Sirakos,


                        I would suggest you to create a Custom SQL UNION ALL - GROUP BY using all the sheets of your workbook for the Specific field you are looking to use for the filter and save it as a separate data source.


                        Then use that data source in your workbook so that it also gets refreshed when you refresh your raw data.


                        You can now use this field as filter and Apply to all using related data sources which will ease the process for filtering.


                        Note: Incase you have used different filed names for the filtering field in all the data sources you can manually edit relationships to map the correct fields for the data sources.




                        • 9. Re: Need a multiple selection parameter workaround
                          Aashish Bhetuwal

                          Hi...you can do this by using the tableau extension...but there are no such extension yet...however Russell have created a single select check box parameter. With a bit modification in his extension, multiselect parameter can be acheived.

                          Please vote this pull request for multi select parameter..