2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 26, 2017 6:43 PM by Jamie Hubler

    Actual v. Budget Data blend

    Jamie Hubler

      Hello all,


      We are new to Tableau, so I am still "playing" around.  Each day I amaze myself with something new that Tableau does.  I am running into one problem concerning data blending.  We have our sales information pulled from our system nightly into a SQL database, this is my primary data source.  I blended budget number as a secondary data source in order to show actual to budget numbers.


      The problem I am running into is the areas where we do not have sales, the budget numbers don't appear either.  I double checked the second source and the data is there, it is just not showing me the budget figures for those areas in which there are no sales for that Customer Type/Region/Product Line.  I remember watching a video regarding joins and though that maybe this is why?  Because the sales aren't there, it isn't showing the budget numbers either?  I don't know if this makes sense, but if you can help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated!


      For example, the attached shows there is not budget data in for "MEA & Intl Export" for Product Lines 01, 05, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 even though it is in the secondary data source (Budgeted Sales).


      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Actual v. Budget Data blend
          Donna Coles

          Hi Jamie - Welcome to the forums!


          The problem you're running into is that blending in Tableau isn't the same as 'joining or unioning' as you might do in SQL Server say.  With blending you have a primary data source (indicated by the blue icon on your data source) and secondary data sources (indicated by the orange icon). Your view will only ever contain rows that exist in your primary source.  So to get your plan when you have no actuals, you need to make sure your plan is the primary source.  BUT of course if for some reason you have actuals that haven't been planned, these will then not be visible.  We get round this by providing hygiene reports to alert people when there are discrepancies, so the data can be fixed (usually adding a line in to the plan with 0 value for the 'entity' that has actual in it).


          There are other options, but it depends on what your data source is.  If both your actuals & plan are in the SQL data base you may be able to union them.  If you're plan is in excel for example, and you've got v10 you can join SQL & Excel. For us our actuals are in a server published data source which you can't yet use for joining, so blending is our only option.


          I strongly recommend you put some time aside to watch this video on Blending which will hopefully give you a much better understanding, including other caveats you may come across (for example why does * appear when I blend....)


          Hope that helps.



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          • 2. Re: Actual v. Budget Data blend
            Jamie Hubler

            Thank you very much!  I ended up switching my secondary data source to the data pulled from the SQL server and made the spreadsheet data the primary source since it contained values for all fields. 


            After that I had a few issues with creating a relationship with the date fields, but it was just formating and a simple adjustment to the blended spreadsheet fixed that.


            Thanks for your help.