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Tableau – Data Terminology
  • Last Updated : 01 Nov, 2020

Tableau is the easy-to-use Business Intelligence tool used in data visualization. Its unique feature is, to allow data real-time collaboration and data blending, etc. Through Tableau, users can connect databases, files, and other big data sources and can create a shareable dashboard through them. Tableau is mainly used by researchers, professionals, and government organizations for data analysis and visualization.

Tableau is a well-known data visualization tool. It also has some unique terminologies and definitions. Before starting Tableau, one must have good knowledge of these terminologies and their features. Given below is the list of all basic and frequently used Tableau terminologies.

1. Alias: Alias is the alternate name that we can appoint to the field or to a dimension member. 

2. Bin: In the data source, there is a user-defined grouping of measures known as Bin.

3. Bookmark: A Bookmark is a .tbm document found in the bookmark’s envelope of the Tableau repository, which contains a single worksheet. Unlike web program bookmarks, .tbm file is a more suitable way to display different analyses. It helps in upgrading data analysis. 



4. Calculated field: A calculated field is a new field that the user creates, using a formula, to modify the existing fields in a given data source. It is generally created in order to perform analysis more easily and comfortably.

5. Crosstab: A crosstab is used for the text table view. It utilizes various text tables to display the numbers correlated with dimension members.

6. Dashboard: A dashboard is a union of several views arranged on a single page. In Tableau, a dashboard is used to interact with other worksheets and also to observe and differentiate a variety of data simultaneously.

7. Data Pane: A Data pane is situated on the left side of the workbook. It exhibits the data sources field which is connected to Tableau. The fields are further divided into dimensions and measures. A Data pane also unveils custom fields such as calculations, binned fields, and groups. The views of data sources are built by dragging fields from the data pane onto the various shelves which is a part of every worksheet.

8. Data Source Page: As the name suggests, the data source page is a page where we set up the data source. The data source page mainly contains four main areas − left pane, join area, a preview area, and metadata area.

9. Dimension: A field of categorical data is known as Dimension. The dimensions are used to hold discrete data like hierarchies and members which cannot be aggregated. The dimensions also hold characteristic values such as dates, names, and geographical data. Examples are dates, customer names, and customer segments.

10. Extract: A saved subset of a data source that can enhance performance and study offline is known as an Extract. We can make an extract by defining limits and filters that contain the data, which you want in the extract.  

11. Filters Shelf: A Filter shelf is also situated on the left side of the workbook. The function of the filters shelf is to exclude the data from a view by filtering it, using both dimensions and measures.



12. Format Pane: A Format pane is found on the left side of the workbook, and it also holds various formatting settings. Its function is to control the entire view of the worksheet, as well as views of the individual fields.

13. Level Of Detail (LOD) Expression: A Level Of Detail Expression is a syntax that assists the combination of various dimensions in addition to the view level. Using Level Of Detail Expression, the user can attach multiple dimensions with an aggregate expression.

14. Marks: Marks helps in the visual representation of one or more rows in a data source. The users can control the type, color, and size of marks. A mark can be anything like a bar, line, or square, etc.

15. Marks Card: The position of the Marks card is on the left side of the Worksheet. On the marks card, the user can drag and drop fields to the control mark properties such as color, type, shape, size, detail, and tooltip.

16. Pages Shelf: A page shelf is located on the left side of the view. The functioning of the page shelf is to split a view into a sequence of pages on the basis of values and members in a continuous or discrete field. The process of adding a field with the pages shelf is the same as adding a field in rows shelf i.e is for each new row, a new page will be created.

17. Rows Shelf: A Row shelf is situated on the top of the workbook. The row shelf is used in creating the rows of a data table. It can create rows having any numbers of measures and dimensions. If the user places a dimension on the Rows shelf, then Tableau will build headers for the members of that dimension. Whereas if the user places a measure on the Rows shelf, Tableau will build quantitative axes for that particular measure.

18. Shelves: The Shelves are the named areas found on the top and left of the view. The views can be created by placing fields onto the shelves. Some shelves become active when the user selects a particular mark type. Like, the Shape shelf is available only when the user selects the Shape mark type.

19. Workbook: A Workbook is a file having .twb extension, which can carry one or more worksheets as well as dashboards and stories.

20. Worksheet: A sheet where we build views of data set by dragging various fields onto the shelves. The collection of sheets is known as Worksheets. 

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