Chapter 10. Advanced Data Modeling

Sometimes you want to make a chart type that’s just out of grasp for out-of-the-box Tableau. Don’t fret: you can make any chart in Tableau with a little patience and some out-of-the-box thinking.

In this chapter, you will tackle different approaches to data modeling in Tableau Desktop. When we use the term data modeling, we are referring to the inclusion of additional data that might not be necessary for standard visualizations. We will discuss several techniques to data modeling, including using table calculations, blends, unions, and joins. Each technique has a different time and place. If you aren’t yet familiar with these techniques, no worries; we will articulate these differences in this chapter’s scenarios.

In every case, you are trading dashboard performance for dashboard design. Some of these trade-offs will not compromise speed. Others can slow things significantly, particularly when you’re adding additional marks to your visualizations or rows and columns to your datasets.

Before you dive in deep, we’ll lay the foundations for understanding with some practical examples.

All but two of the strategies use Tableau’s Sample – Superstore dataset. The other examples use sales pipeline data and a modified version of the superstore dataset. This chapter won’t have a single-threaded story for the use cases. Each is independent. As a result, we’ll set up the scenario in each of the strategies.

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