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Post By AdminLast Updated At 2020-06-11
Explain about Tableau Order of Operations?

Tableau Order of Operations is the order in which Tableau performs different operations or actions. The order of operations in Tableau is also known as Query Pipeline.

When we create a dashboard and add filters to it, the filters will execute in the order based on the order of operations. To develop a dashboard successfully, it is important to understand the order of operations.

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Let us see what is the Tableau Order of Operations.

Tableau Order of Operations:

The below figure clearly shows the order of operations in Tableau.

tableau operations order | OnlineITGuru

Extract/Data Source Filters:

In the Tableau order of operations, first, we have to use Extract and data source filters. The Extract Data filters separate our database. By this, Tableau will only collect the data that is required for us. Tableau saves this data in the form of the screenshot in Tableau’s cache. We can connect to it directly.

Data source filters separate the data that we don’t use. This helps in avoiding wastage of space with unnecessary data.

Before using the Tableau tool, people use the data source page and separate our data. Data source filters are responsible for filtering non-usage fields.

Context Filters:

Context filters are similar to dimension filters. If we want to use a filter to context, then right-click the filter menu and click on the “Apply to context” option. Context filters can separate only different or categorical fields like country or category.

The main aim of the context filters is to filter the dimensions earlier in the order of operations. In the filters window, a context filter will be in a grey color.

Sets Filters:

After applying context filters, the next order of operations includes sets filters, conditional filters, and fixed LOD calculations. This shows Tableau performs all the calculations first and then applies dimension filters.

We can add set filters in two methods, either by designing a set or by using a sheet as a filter.

The level of detail calculations displays complete values, which can be filtered by dimension filters. This helps in comparing filtered, unfiltered, and other things.

When we are using a fixed LOD calculation, we can add a dimension filter to context if we want to filter it by dimension.

Generally in the order of operations, the conditional and top n filters come before normal dimension filters. These are optional filter types and they can found in the dimension filter menu.

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Dimension Filters:

The Dimension filters are the normal filters, that decrease the separate or categorical variables down. We can choose any fields that we want to include or exclude in the dashboard. 

This affects the view in many ways, depending on what has come before that particular field, in the order of operations.

Data Blending

After applying dimension filters, the next operation is Data Blending. So, when we perform Data Blending operation, only those fields which are not filtered earlier will be blended among the data sets.

Include and Exclude level of Detail Calculations

Include and Exclude level of Detail calculations are similar to the fixed LOD’s. They affect the level of detail that is considered in the view.

Include LOD calculations indicate which fields have to be included in the level of detail, and exclude LOD calculations indicate which fields to be removed in the level of detail.

Measure Filters:

These are the filters that affect the continuous or numeric fields, by giving a maximum or minimum value as an example. These filters are applied after performing all the level of detail calculations. These are the last filters that affect the view.

Total Calculations, Trend, and Reference Lines:

After applying measure filters, totals will be calculated in the view. After the calculation of totals, Tableau performs other calculations and forecasts in the view. The final operation determines trend lines and reference lines in the view.

It is important to follow this order of operations while creating dashboards, in Tableau. Any small mistake in the order of operations may lead to major changes, in the view of the dashboards.

Tableau order of operations examples

The following are the best suitable examples of implementing the Tableau order of operations.

Example -01

In this section, we will see how a Context Filter will help us to speed up the order of query performance and the data results. Here, we are going to change the dimension filter into the context filter.

The following steps will help in this regard:-

  • At first, open the “tableau desktop/public version” from the panel.
  • Then open the sample superstore dataset or choose any data set of your choice (There is a huge number of datasets available from the Tableau portal). Hence, we can call it an “extract filter”.
  • Now, drag and drop the order table into the data source filter within the menu.
  • Add sales measure to columns by dragging.
  • Then add customer Name dimension to through drag
  • Later drag the city dimension to
  • Within “Drag city to Filters” -> click on the “None” option -> then select Jaipur City (here you have a choice to select any).
  • Then, drag “customer name to Filters” from the menu -> click on the “Top” option -> Next, click on “By Field as Top’.
  • While clicking on the “Top 10” you can only see the top five results because the “Top and Dimension” filters are applied in parallel. Now you can add a context filter to the city filter for the further process.
  • Finally, Do a “Right-click on city Filter” option -> then select the “add context” option. Here, you will get the output as a “Top 10” customer as per the sale.
Example -02

In this example, we will try to present the amount of profit w.r.t. the state and product name.

  • First, you have to- drag “profit measure to” from the menu
  • Then, tug the “product” and “state dimension to”
  • Next, you will have to pull the “product name to filters” and then select “some of the” 
  • Then you pull the “state to filter” -> then go to the “Top” option - then click on by field and select the “top” again.
  • Next, you will have to “Click on product name -> and then, select -> add to the (option)
  • In this section, you will find the measured color changed while adding a context view.
Example -03

This section example will drive you to the category-wise selection in Tableau order of operations. The following steps will help you in this example.

  • Pull the “sales measure” to “columns”, at first.
  • Then, pull the “sub-category and city dimension” to
  • Next, you need to pull- the city and sub-category to
  • Then select a city like “Mumbai” from the options given.
  • Here you have to go to - “Sub-category” section from Filters -> then go to the “Top” -> then select the “By” option
  • Now, add the context filter to the city chosen-> then select the City and add to the “context” there.

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In this case-:

If we are choosing 2 or 3  sub-categories from the filter section, then the output will get will be different. Hence, it might present the result like the top 10 (or) bottom 10.

Now, you can monitor the selected sub-categories as Accessories, Appliances, Systems, and Paper. Here we can see that the limit is set to 10 numbers only.

But we are not getting the exact results of the top 10 categories. This is due to we have selected categories that have less than 10 data that we allotted.

In this way, through the various samples, we can look into how we can present Tableau’s order of operations.


I hope now you got a clear idea about the Tableau Order of Operations. The order of operations in this regard is a query pipeline within which we execute a number of orders. If the order changes the direction then you might get different output. Hence, it follows a series of orders so that the user can execute all orders in serial. Get more insights on Tableau with real-time experience through the Tableau Online Course at ITGuru. In the upcoming blogs, you can get more ideas on Tableau with the latest changes.