2 Replies Latest reply on May 15, 2016 7:37 PM by Jonathan Drummey

    Conditional Formatting Issues

    Jeffrey Jacob

      I have a worksheet with one column and 20 different measures.  Of those, 7 need to be evaluated against its individual standard (using corresponding calculated fields for Boolean comparisons), and based on whether it is or is not meeting this standard, I need to highlight the cell with the appropriate color (red, yellow, green).  After researching this forum, I decided to use dual-axis cross-tabs.


      Please view the screenshot below.



      This feature, however, has driven up CPU usage significantly.  As I switch from territory to territory to review the KPI values, the view now takes upwards of 1 minute to render.  Previously, this took seconds.


      My questions are as follows:

      1. Is this the best design to implement a conditional formatting feature?
      2. If so, are there any tips to improve performance?  I have converted all data sources to use the same database - different tables, often blended, but the same database.  All are extracts.  I use tabcmd to pass 2 separate parameters to auto-generate PDF files.  Prior to implementing conditional formatting, Tableau Server was able to produce all 100 reports.  After implementing conditional formatting, it now stops processing/generating reports after 30 reports.  Tableau Server is still functional, and other dashboards can still be rendered.
      3. For those cells which use the conditional formatting (and dual-axis cross-tab), the text alignment does not seem to be configurable.  For example, it cannot be right- or left- justified - it can only be centered.  Also, it cannot be centered vertically - it seems to be fixed at the top position.  Can this formatting be solved?


      Thanks in advance for any help you can afford.

        • 1. Re: Conditional Formatting Issues
          Jeffrey Jacob

          Hi All,


          I am not sure if I am not following some protocol within the Tableau Community or if my questions lately have been too difficult.


          I am new to the group and have asked 5 questions - the first two received instant responses, while the last three (including this one) have been ignored.


          Are there Tableau employees monitoring these threads that could answer my questions?


          Please let me know if there is anything I can change to get some much-needed support.



          • 2. Re: Conditional Formatting Issues
            Jonathan Drummey

            Hi Jeffrey,


            I'm here from your thread at Re: Performance Issues with tabcmd and had some responses there about the performance, I wanted to respond to this thread as well about the responses on the forums.


            First of all, although the Tableau community forums are very often a great source of tech support the Tableau forums are not "official" Tableau tech support. The forums are run by Tableau but the vast majority of people answering questions (including most of the Tableau staff you might see here) are volunteers who have a wide range of skills and availability. There are only 4 Tableau employees that I know of who are dedicated to the forums, and not all are full-time, and part of their responsibility is keeping the forums themselves up and running and free of spam so they aren't always answering questions.


            The volume of questions on the forums ebbs and flows as does the availability of volunteers to answer them, for example in my experience Fridays are generally the worst time to post questions because fewer people are responding to questions those days. You might have run into a day with a ton of posts and/or fewer volunteers, and given the volume of activity if something is missed on a given day it could stay missed.


            Finally there's the question itself. In one sense it's a question about performance and there are a huge number of variables that affect how fast Tableau can render a given dashboard, some of them are in Tableau, some are OS, hardware, etc. So questions like this are harder to answer than many other questions, and because volunteers have different skill levels you're less likely to have a volunteer who can answer it. Also, part of the question is about PDF rendering on Tableau Server using tabcmd which means that to answer it requires people with more Tableau Server skills, and that's a subset of all question answerers.


            So where does that leave you when you've got question(s) that need answers and you're not getting them on the forums? You can reach out to Tableau tech support and/or consulting resources such as Tableau Professional Services or a Tableau consultancy. For example to mention a couple of the larger Tableau consultancies: in the USA Interworks has worked with many clients on performance tuning, and in the UK The Information Lab has done the same. I work for DataBlick and we also do this in both very short term (like an hour or two at a time to evaluate and make suggestions) or longer term projects (like redesign the dashboard, data source(s), etc.).




            PS: Finally, one question that I didn't answer in the other thread was about the positioning of the text. When using  multiple-axis crosstab the alignment is more limited because of what controls Tableau gives us for labels. When I have to do this kind of thing I end up using things like Gantt bars and Bar marks where I precisely control the positioning, axis ranges, and alignment instead of just text mark labels.

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