Author Archive

Tableau Display Measures in a Table

September 19th, 2011 4 comments

Displaying measures in a table in Tableau is something that should be straightforward but for some reason I always struggle with it hence I’m writing this blog post. In the Tableau screen at the bottom of the Dimensions section there’s a field called Measure Names and in the Measures section there’s a field called Measure Values. These are the 2 fields that make life easier when displaying data in a table. Read more…

Default Naming of Views on Tableau Server

September 15th, 2011 No comments

I have noticed that when publishing to Tableau server, dependent on what you publish, the view name can change. If you publish a worksheet on to the server the view name becomes the same as the sheet title and not the sheet name. If you publish a dashboard the view name remains the same as the dashboard name regardless of title.

The moral of the story is to only publish dashboards on the server – so put your worksheets on to a dashboard(s) before publishing to ensure a self explanatory user-friendly view name which should be easier for users to find.

Tableau Hide Null Values

September 14th, 2011 5 comments

Depending on the circumstances there are 2 general ways to hide Null values in Tableau.

1. Format the pill and hide the null values

Hide Nulls in Tableau

Select Hide in the Special Values section of the pane. For further explanation I have written about this previously.

2. Drag the pill into the filter section and hide null values using the Special section. Read more…

Categories: Tableau, Tableau Basic Tags: , ,

SSRS Add Line Feed to Textbox

September 7th, 2011 No comments

To add a line feed to a textbox in SSRS is quite simple – in the textbox expression where you want to add the line feed type: ‘& VbCrLf &’

For example

The expression: =”To add a line feed in SSRS” & VbCrLf & VbCrLf & “Use the VbCrLf function”


‘To add a line feed in SSRS


Use the VbCrLf function’

Categories: SSRS Tags: ,

Tableau Connecting to Data

September 5th, 2011 No comments

Tableau is very flexible when it comes to connecting to data. Using the full paid for product it’s possible to connect to any data source accessible by an ODBC connection, cubes (both SSAS and Orcale Essbase), text files, spreadsheets and a number of different databases.

Tableau Data Connection Options

It’s possible to connect to the live data source directly or to import the data into Tableau as an extract. Importing the data opens up the full array of Tableau inbuilt functionality; for example the quick table calculations, the Count Distinct (COUNTD) function and a variety of others; where these options are often not available depending on the data source. Read more…

Remove a line feed / carriage return from a string

August 23rd, 2011 3 comments

If you ever have to deal with long strings of freetext it’s likely you’ve come across random line feed and carriage returns in that text causing you headaches when it comes to manipulating the text.

Once you know how it’s quite a simple problem to deal with. This article describes how to remove the carriage returns and line feeds in SQL, Excel and Access. Read more…

Categories: Access, Excel, SQL Tags: , ,

Tableau Create Bins from a Measure Calculated Field- pt 2

August 17th, 2011 No comments

(If using Tableau 9+ check this updated article on using LOD calculations to create bins from a measure.)

This post is a continuation of a previous article showing how to create bins from a measure introducing a situation where data blending is a solution. Credit to Richard Leeke for supplying the solution.

In the previous article we created bins from a calculated field and discovered that when we use these bins they can re-calculate and give us results that we were not expecting. To recap I had some data showing an enquiry count per listing per month. I want to sum these enquiries for each listing to put each listing into a bin dependent on the total number of enquiries it had received over the time period. Read more…

Tableau Create Bins from a Measure Calculated Field- pt 1

August 9th, 2011 2 comments

This post about how to create bins from a measure in Tableau was originally written in the days of Tableau 7. Now things have evolved and it is far more straightforward, the updated article on using LOD calculations to create bins from a measure is here.

For this post I have to give a huge thanks to Richard Leeke who found the ‘Tableau only’ solution (as opposed to pre calculating the data) for this problem. As a quick overview for what I was trying to do using Tableau, I wanted to create a calculated field of which the result would be used to create bins. The calculated field is a measure, not a dimension, but the same rules apply.

The post is quite long and complex hence it’s broken up into multiple parts – the solution using data blending will be detailed in the next post, creating bins from a calculated field.

The test data has 3 columns: Month, ListingID and EnquiryCount – in other words it showed the enquiry count per listing per month. I wanted to calculate enquiries per listing over the entire time period and use the result of this calculation for the bins.  The sum of these enquiries for each listing id defines which group they belong to – i.e. 1 – 10, 11 – 20, etc. In other words if ListingId 1 had an EnquiryCount of 10 in Month 1, 2 in Month 2 and 8 in Month 3, ListingId 1 received 20 enquiries in total so would be in the bin 11-20. Once I know which bin each listing belongs to I want to see for each group what % of total enquiries came in month 1, month 2 and month 3. For ListingId 1 50% of enquiries were received in Month 1, 10% in Month 2 and 40% in Month 3. Read more…

Excel Insert Carriage Return or Bullet Points in a Cell

In Excel to insert a carriage return in a cell click into the cell, type the first line, press Alt-Enter, then type the next line. There are different ways to do this depending on what you’re trying to do exactly which I found in this article:

To enter bullet points in a cell you need to use Alt+0149 from the number pad (hold down the alt key then press 0, 1, 4 then 9 – separately, not together) for each bullet. Once you release the Alt the bullet will appear.

Categories: Excel Tags: ,

Access 2007 Calendar control

July 18th, 2011 1 comment

I was developing in Access 2007 for the first time today (I was using Access 2000 the last time I developed in Access) and found a nice thing for entering dates into a text box. If you format the text box as a date it automatically shows a calendar control so the user can select a date from the calendar removing data entry formatting errors. So much easier than using the Active X calendar control in previous versions of Access. I was so glad/surprised to see it I’ve felt the need to write a post about something released 4 years ago 🙂