4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 20, 2017 10:33 AM by ann.stolzman

    Assigning the same alias to multiple values

    Jon Fox

      I would appreciate advice on different methods of grouping similar text values that have the same meaning.

       

      Suppose we have one dimension with many text values which include:

      Not known

      Not Known

      Unknown

      Null

       

      For display purposes I might like to group or merge these values because, to the target audience, they all mean the same thing.

       

      I can use Tableau's Group functionality but if I create a group I lose some of the flexibility e.g. I cannot use in calculated fields.

       

      Alternatively I can create a calculated field e.g. a CASE statement to group my values but this can be expensive and can need further modification over time e.g. if "Do Not Know" appeared in the data later.

       

      While it may be good practice to update this at source, in practice I may not have access to do so.

       

      What I am looking for is a computationally-cheap way to group similar values - essentially to transform and map my data within Tableau. Ideally I would like to do that with aliases but there that is not possible to assign the same alias to multiple values:

      While I am happy to raise this in the Ideas forum, before I do I wanted to canvas opinion on how others deal with this situation.

       

      Many thanks

        • 1. Re: Assigning the same alias to multiple values
          ann.stolzman

          Jon,

          My suggestion is to use a calculated field - either an IF or a CASE statement to do this.  In any case, you're going to have to deal with manual updates at some point when something new appears in the data, even when there is new stuff in the source.

           

          Are you working with a live source, or an extract of live data?  If you're working with an extract, you could just alias the items in Excel and then bring them into Tableau, and you'd already have what you need.

           

          -Ann-

          • 2. Re: Assigning the same alias to multiple values
            Shinichiro Murakami

            I don't think it's a problem to use calculated field.

            On the other hand, allowing multiple name into one alias will bring much much bigger trouble, when we input unexpected same arias.

            That's quite difficult to track when that happens.

             

            Thanks,

            Shin

            • 3. Re: Assigning the same alias to multiple values
              Clare Gibson

              ann.stolzman wrote:

              If you're working with an extract, you could just alias the items in Excel and then bring them into Tableau, and you'd already have what you need.

              Could anyone elaborate for me on the statement above. If I am working with an extract, can I take that extract into Excel to perform further manipulations, and then bring that data back into Tableau? What then happens when the original source data changes and I need to refresh my extract?

              • 4. Re: Assigning the same alias to multiple values
                ann.stolzman

                Clare,

                I was referring to extract in the general sense - not a Tableau extract, but data from another source.  As far as I know, you can't really take data from a Tableau extract and re-work it in Excel (well, not without extracting the .twbx and pulling the data out of the source, and it won't be in the same format that the original data was in). 

                 

                -A-