Appendix E Understanding Tableau Functions

If you are accustomed to creating SQL statements in a database, the functions and syntax of Tableau’s calculated values should look familiar. If you are a spreadsheet expert, the syntax will be new but should not pose a significant challenge for you to learn.

Tableau’s formula-editing window provides help and error-checks the syntax of the formulas you create. Even if you have no experience, with a little practice you’ll find that you use some functions frequently. Table E-1 groups functions into thirteen categories.

Table E-1: Tableau Function Categories

Function CategoryCategory Capabilities
AggregateMathematical and statistical summaries of your data.
DateCalculate and parse date fields.
Google Big QueryFunctions that work with Big Query data sources only.
Hadoop HiveFunctions that work with Hadoop Hive data sources only.
Level of Detail (LOD)Level of detail expressions support aggregation in calculations at dimension levels different from the view level. Computed at the data source unlike table calculations, totals, or reference lines.
LogicalConditional operations based on your data.
NumberArithmetic and trigonometric operations.
RawSQL Pass ThroughPass SQL statements directly to the data source and then excute the statement within the data source. These functions do not work with every data source supported by Tableau.
StringFunctions for manipulating strings.
String PatternSpecialized string patter functions (REGEXP) ...

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