3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 10, 2017 7:09 AM by Jim Dehner

    Comparing cell contents day-to-day

    Christopher Evans

      Hello all.

      I am running Tableau 10.1.4.

      I have an Excel sheet which gets updated each day with current day data appended to old data.

      My goal is to perform a comparison between like cells on any given day and report the differences and I would like to ask your help in getting going in the right direction.

      In other words, what changed between today and yesterday (or any time period), including added and deleted rows.

      Anyone who has used the "Inquire" function in Excel, this is what I am trying to emulate.


      My data set is around 50 columns wide and currently around 45k rows, with a couple thousand new rows added daily.

      Some of the data are dates, some numerical, and some strings.



      I have attached fake data to show basically what I am working with.

      Again, my goal is to show for product ID 2257U (and all others) what has changed from day-to-day, along with displaying the previous and current values.


      Any advice you can give to get me started is appreciated.


      Thank you,


        • 1. Re: Comparing cell contents day-to-day
          Jim Dehner

          Hi Chris


          There is a table calculation that will compare columns of data - you can look at absolute difference or % difference


          Tableau is a database focused system where excel is cell based - in Tableau you would work with dimensions and compare the value of elements in the dimension on a day to day basis


          I.E drag DATE to the columns and the dimension to row like Product ID in your excel sheet - then drag Unit cost to the VIS - it will come up with sum as the aggregation - Right click the pill for Unit Cost and select Add Table Calculation - then difference across rows


          Let me know if this helped


          • 2. Re: Comparing cell contents day-to-day
            Christopher Evans


            Thank you for your quick reply.


            I've been able to do what you suggest with measures.

            How do I handle strings?  I can drop them on the text mark and display them, but I am trying to show differences.

            I've had some success using string functions, but the only way I have seen to do it is to create a calculated field for each column, and I don't want to do this if I don't have to considering the number of columns I have.


            Let me clarify my end goal.

            I want to show, by report date and Product ID, if that Product ID has had any changes, to any field, since yesterday (or some other time period).  This will be an action list for people in my group (e.g.,  "oh, product id 2257U had the date pushed out and cost change.  Let me go find out why.")


            Thank you,


            • 3. Re: Comparing cell contents day-to-day
              Jim Dehner

              Hi Chris -


              I don't know of a way to make that happen - what will happen is similar to what is shown below


              you would have to put each dimension on the vis and then create it again as a measure and place both on the vis as attributes - but I don't know a way to do the comparison except visually


              Maybe someone else knows a way


              Good luck