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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, the 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 uses 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 the dimension filters. If we want to use a filter to context, then right-click the filter menu and click on  “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.

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.

I hope now you got a clear idea about Tableau Order of Operations. In my next blog, I will share the examples for the order of Operations in Tableau.

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