7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2016 1:52 PM by Christopher McKinnish

    Filter vs.Parameters

    Christopher McKinnish


      • Complex workbook with 3 separate data sources.  Each data source has been 3 and 5 joined files
      • Within the workbooks, I have a parameter setup based on a like [Customer Number] in all 3 data sources.  Note:  [Customer Number] in the data-sources is a string, not a number.  This is not a problem just a point of clarification.
      • Using the Parameter as a filter works, returning the result set I am looking for


      User Problem:  The filter is based upon a number.  The user must know the number, enter it to get the result set. 


      Customers request:  Can i search by name and/or number to find the customer I am looking for?


      So...a quick filter to the rescue, or so I thought.   Creating a new calculated field based off the concatenated str[Customer Code] + [Customer number].   I can set this as a quick filter and works exactly as I want because the single list drop down has a search as you type feature which is awesome.   But then again, it does not work, because of the previously applied parameters in all the worksheets throughout the workbook.


      Problem -Tableau's parameter features does not provide a drop-down search option.   The limited options for the parameter search appears to be a Tableau limitation or a lazy design feature for some unknown reason.


      So my thought is that I need the my concatenated search filter to supply the value of the customer number only to the parameter control.   This is what I feel I need, but there may be an alternate solution.  


      My quest is for either a) a way to feed the value of the customer number selected from my concatenated search filter into my parameter control at search time, or b) an alternate workaround.



      Thank you in advance for those taking the time to opine on this.



        • 1. Re: Filter vs.Parameters
          Shanaka Gunaratna

          Hi Christopher


          I think this article may help you


          Re: Wildcard Search - Multiple Keyword Search OR

          • 2. Re: Filter vs.Parameters
            Christopher McKinnish

            Thank you very much for taking the time to think about and respond to my query.  Prior to my original post, I had reviewed some of these links you were kind enough to provide .   It seems I've hit the parameters limitation with Tableau, which I find amazing.


            Below is the feature I'm looking for.  The ability to search on values entered so the user can figure out which.  This is from their quick filter.  Its the "Search as you type" feature not available when using the Parameter as a filter that is lacking.  As a regular filter, this works great.


            So....still searching for a viable workaround.


            • 3. Re: Filter vs.Parameters
              Manideep Bhattacharyya

              Hello Christopher - You are right. Tableau has limitation on using parameter. But Tableau purposefully made that for improving performance. When User clicks a filter then an expensive database query fires to find unique values and then user can select one of the value(s). But in case of parameter, Tableau doesn't fire any database operation to generate the filter list. Now when you have multiple data sources then you only can use Parameter to filter among all these data sources.


              In Tableau 10 (Beta) they have came with some new solution for filtering multiple datasources using filter.


              But all said and done, values in Parameter can't be loaded automatically from fields. This is a manual process ("Add from field")





              PS: You might have to manually load these field values on a periodic interval




              • 4. Re: Filter vs.Parameters
                Shanaka Gunaratna

                Hi Christoper


                Please check the attached workbook. See whether you can manage with the sample solution

                • 5. Re: Filter vs.Parameters
                  Joe Proulx

                  I see what you mean about the dropdown for parameters not including the search field. Could you perhaps create a copy of your parameter, but make the copy a search box? Therefore you would have a dropdown as well as a search box (though they'd be separate parameters).


                  Note: I just looked and it appears that while the parameter search box does perform auto-complete, it does not perform like a true search box. In other words, if I type "manag" it will auto-complete to "management" but will not show "document management".

                  • 6. Re: Filter vs.Parameters
                    Christopher McKinnish

                    Shanka - thank you so much for taking the time to think about and respond to my dilemma.


                    I did think about this solution you provided, but yours is a bit nicer.  However it still is archaic, but would probably a worst case solution.  But I really appreciate what you provided and very well may end up using this!!!


                    I just hate providing a customer with so much automation only to tell them, with something so basic as this, ...ok...you can search for what you want, then once you find it, rather than just clicking on the one you want, you will need to type the relevant number in this other field to get your desired results.


                    Thanks again!!   

                    • 7. Re: Filter vs.Parameters
                      Christopher McKinnish

                      Thanks Joe!!!


                      Your thought is exactly what I originally did.  I then took it off because I felt it would aggravate the customer more.  Its like saying...ok you can look this up, then once you find what you're looking for, rather than selecting [clicking] on the one you found, manually take that number and type it in this other field to get your results. 


                      Thanks again for the help.