Tuesday, January 21, 2020

FAQ Series- Cannot Mix Aggregate and Non-aggregate

 Cannot Mix Aggregate and Non-aggregate 

Look familiar:

One of the most frequent questions we see on the Forum results from trying mixing aggregate and non-aggregates in the same calculation - But why is that a problem and how do you resolve it -

Next time you load a data file into Tableau, open the data source tab and spend a moment to look at the data structure.  This might look like a spreadsheet 

Now, open a worksheet and make a calculation to determine the Profit Percent as Profit / Sales 

Return to the data source tab and a Column (Measure) has been added to the table with the results of the calculation for each "Row" of data - It's just what we'd expect from a spreadsheet calculator 

Go to the worksheet and make a viz with totals and subtotals.  Whats going on? The row profit percents are correct but the totals and subtotals are wrong

Tableau aggregates measures as they are brought to the viz so the individual profit percents are summed in the viz - the problem started with the calculation - Sales and Profit need to be aggregated in the calculation

Now on the Data Source tab the Aggregate Profit Percent look just like the Simple values

But when we add the new measure to the viz we get the correct totals and subtotals
Note also the measure is brought to the viz as and (AGG)regate

So you can see how using aggregation in a calculation will affect the result but it is also the source of the aggregate - non-aggregate problem.  

The message simply means that if one dimension or measure is aggregated in a calculation then ALL the measures and dimensions in the calculation must be aggregated 

- But sometimes it is not easy to see which dimension or measures need to be aggregated.  See the following examples:

1-Table Calculations

Table calculations are aggregations so other measures in the calculation need to be aggregate too - here Difference is a table calculation so Sales needs to be aggregated :

Aggregating Sales with Sum() solves the problem 

2-Embedded Dates

Often dates are embedded in a calculation that includes an aggregation - 

Here Sales in aggregated so Order Date and Ship Date need to be aggregated - Wait aggregate Dates - sure Dates and string (text) dimension can be aggregate with Attr(), Min() or Max() - your choice will depend on the analysis you are doing

This is just one way around the problem

Note: removing the sum() from sales would also work

3 Aggregations cause by LOD's

Sometimes, dimensions within an LOD cause the problem - The argument in an LOD must be aggregated - here Sales is aggregated but Category is not 

There are 2 solutions - the first is use a Min() or Max to aggregate the Category (Note:  Attr() can not be used in an LOD)

The second is to move the Sum() outside the conditional statement in the LOD

Either solution will work

4 Using an LOD to resolve an aggregation problem

This example calculates the COGS percent to Sales
determine  COGS:

But it results in an error when used to calculate the percent to Sales

LODs create a virtual layer in you data set that is at a different level than the data itself BUT they are not an aggregate.   To correct the error aggregate the LOD

5 Value at Max Date

A common question is to find the value on the last date - there are 2 ways - My preferred is using an LOD to find the last date in the data for each sub-category

Then the sales value on that date is 

But it returns and error because the Sales are aggregated but neither the order date nor the LOD are - so a solution would be to aggregate the date and the LOD - here I used Min 

An alternative would be to use a table calculation (here Last()) but it also returns an error

Which can be resolved by aggregating Sales

Process to Identify the Aggregate

There could be many more examples and still not get to the one you has you stumped - Fortunately there is an easy way to know which of the dimensions or measure in your calculation are aggregated and which are not - 
  • Open the calculation and drag the measures to the Marks card - 
  • IF the show up with an AGG() then they are already aggregates - 
  • If Tableau tried to aggregate them with SUM()  then they are not aggregated and you will need to decide which aggregation best fits your analysis

Hope this helps - If you have specific examples where you need some help feel free to ping me here or add a post to the Forum


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Put life in your Viz with Set and Parameter actions and Viz in Tooltip

Set and Parameter Actions and Viz In Tooltip

Add life to your vizzes and make it easier on the user by using set and parameter actions and viz in tooltip

Set Actions

Set actions added to the dashboard are an easy to use alternative to drop down filter. In the dashboard below - the map provides a visual way for users to select the state or regions to be included in the YoY and subcategory Ranking  

Create a set on State - use select All - the set action will change that later

For use in the YoY and Ranking worksheet  you will need a parameter for the end year -  (Note for this example I just used full year sales - the approach will work with YTD sales also) 

Then LODs for current and prior year sales are needed (Note I included Segment for use in the viz):
Current Year:

{ FIXED [Segment] :sum({ FIXED [Order Date],[Segment],[State]:zn((
if year(min([Order Date]))=([3 Enter end year]) and MAX([3 select state for rank])
then sum([Sales]) end ))}  )}

Prior Year:
{ FIXED [Segment] :sum({ FIXED [Order Date],[Segment],[State]:zn((
if year(min([Order Date]))=([3 Enter end year]-1) and MAX([3 select state for rank])
then sum([Sales]) end ))} )}

And YoY sales growth is  are:

(sum([3 TY Sales])-sum([3 LY Sales]))/sum([3 LY Sales])

Add an LOD to rank the subcategories
{ FIXED  year([Order Date]),[Sub-Category],[3 select state for rank]:
sum(if [3 select state for rank] and year([Order Date])=[3 Enter end year]  then [Sales]end )}

An finally Rank the subcategories using

RANK_UNIQUE(sum([3 LOD sales by state for rank]),'desc')
and a filter
[3 rank states ]<= [3 N for top N]

Create 3 worksheets:
YoY Growth by Market Segments:

   Subcategory Rank

and the Map is a simple filled map

Then bring the together on a dashboard

Add a set action to the Map to change the State Set based on a visual selection from the dashboard

And the User can now select states or regions directly from the map and the YoY growth and subcategory ranking will adjust accordingly - 

Parameter Actions 

Parameter actions work just like set actions except parameters are single valued and allow users to select that value visually from a value picket on the dashboard -

Using the same model as above add a value picker and a parameter action to change the Select End Date Parameter.  You can be more elaborate - I just used a simple square chart on a worksheet to make the Value Picker

Add the Value Picker and a Parameter action to the dashboard

and you are done: 

That's only scratching the surface of using set and parameter actions to replace drop down menus - have some fun with them and see - you can't break anything-

Viz in Tooltip 

When Viz in tooltip was introduced in 10.5,  it was interesting but I didn't realize that it was a such game changer - 

If you haven't used them, Viz in tooltip is a function that will bring an image of the filtered results from another worksheet into the tool tip when the user hovers or click on a mark.  It works like a filter action passing dimension values from the first sheet to the second then returns an image (note:  a PNG that is not interactive) to the tooltip.  

Lets see how it works

Create 2 sheets - the first a simple sales by category bar chart

and a profit map 

The goal is to show the filtered profit map when hovering over a segment on the bar chart.  Open the tootip tile, then select Insert, then Sheet - then select the sheet you want 

And it returns this

Let's see what is going on  - when you set up the tootip, Tableau first added a text string into the tooltip

The sheet name is in quotations, the max width and height are the size of the image in the tool - you can overwrite the value to resize the image as needed and the dimensions to be filtered on the second sheet - Here All Dimensions from the first sheet are applied to the second sheet (Map) before the image is returned -  You specify field you want filtered as shown

Tableau also creates an action filter on the second sheet (Map) based on the filters passed

That was easy - I've used Viz in tooltip as shown, to bring back the next lower level data from a hierarchy and like a lookup function to bring back specific information on a specific item from a long detailed text table (only the detail table is ugly but I am the only one who sees it - the user just sees the filtered data)

This year at TC19 there was a presentation that took Viz in Tooltip to a totally different level.  If you weren't fortunate enough to see Jade Le Van's presentation live, see the recording at https://tc19.tableau.com/learn/sessions/next-level-viz-tooltip#recording - It is an hour well spent.

The 2 examples that follow were derived from her presentation - Only hope to do them justice 

First - the "Dashboard in Tooltip"  - is not literally copy a dashboard in the tooltip but building one from several worksheets.  

Three worksheets - Sales, Top N and Sales Growth are going go be added ion a single tooltip

The 3 worksheets are inserted in the tooltip as before - a blank sheet is added to draw a line to separate the views (you will to copy and paste the text)

Hovering over a state applies filters to 3 worksheet and brings the results to the tooltip -

The last example shows how to see one view in the tooltip on hover but something entirely different when the marked is "clicked"   - it is requires several calculations and filters 

Hover returns this

Selecting a state with a click returns this:

Hover does not select a state so the count of all states in the view is 49 (Sorry Alaska). Selecting a state with a click reduces the number to 1 - so we can use a distinct count of states across the view (Window_count) to determine the view we want to see

If the Boolean below is True - we want to see the Pie Chart - if False we want the Line Chart


Tooltips don't accept calculations - but this will "Sheet Swap" based on the state count

CASE [1 window sum countd state tf] 

when TRUE then '<Sheet name="percent total pie" maxwidth="300" maxheight="300" filter="<All Fields>">'

when FALSE then '<Sheet name="annual profit" maxwidth="500" maxheight="500" filter="<All Fields>">'end

Just need one more thing - hovering does not select a single state - there are still 49 states in the view.  We need to pass a single state to the Annual Profit sheet  - for that we need a set and set action 

Create a set

and a set action

Then create the viz

On the Profit sheet add a set action filter

On the Map apply the click action to the Pie chart only

And you are done

Fee free to download it an use it as a model



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FAQ Series- Cannot Mix Aggregate and Non-aggregate