6 Types of Filters in Tableau: How You Should Use Them

Tableau is one of the most popular tools in data visualization and analysis that facilitates brands across all domains to leverage the reckoning potential of acquiring Business Intelligence. For its seamless capability to yield readable insights and simplified dashboards, tableau has been instrumental for even non-technical subscribers to have access to personalized datasheets.

There are different types of filters in a tableau that can be used to organize data based on predefined conditions and use them for data visualization. Such ability to filter large data sets in the Business Intelligence tool helps prepare for analysis, including removing irrelevant data records, reducing data sizes for faster processing, and more. The filters are required to highlight any underlying insights that can be derived from the data upon visualizing in a readable, actionable format. Check out our data science courses to learn more about data visualization.

Different Types of Filters in Tableau

Filters are a smart way to collate and segregate data based on its dimensions and sets to reduce the overall data frequency for faster processing. There are six different types of filters in tableau desktop based on their various objectives and are mentioned below as per their execution steps.

1. Extract Filters

As understood by its name, the extract filters are used to extract data from the various sources, by saving a screengrab of the way it gets added on your file. Such methods can help in lowering the tableau queries to the data source. As soon as you are done extracting data into your dashboard, you can create the extract and execute Hide All Unused Files to clear the columns unused in the datasheet of your panel. 

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2. Data Source Filter

Used mainly to restrict sensitive data from the data viewers, the data source filters are similar to the extract filters in minimizing the data feeds for faster processing. 

The data source filter in tableau helps in the direct application of the filter environment to the source data and quickly uploads data that qualifies the scenario into the tableau workbook. To execute such processes, you need to go to the Data Source tab and select the Add option in the upper right corner. 

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Clicking on the Add option in the menu would open into a dialog box, where you can select the field and choose through the values you want to record. Once you press confirmation, you shall be presented with a summary of the presets selected from the data source filters. 

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3. Context Filter

A context filter is a discrete filter on its own, creating datasets based on the original datasheet and the presets chosen for compiling the data. Since all the types of filters in tableau get applied to all rows in the datasheet, irrespective of any other filters, the context filter would ensure that it is first to get processed.

Despite being constrained to view all data rows, it can be implemented to choose sheets as and when required to optimize its performance by minimizing the data efficiently. 

The context filter helps in applying a relevant, actionable context to the entire data analysis in tableau. If there are multiple filter preset categories used in the worksheet, dividing it into many parts can overall turn into a context filter in itself that guides all the other filters present in the datasheet. 

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4. Dimension filter

Now that you’ve chosen the data, you can access the values highlighted or remove them from the selected dimension, represented as strikethrough values. You can click All or None to select or deselect based on your operation in case of multiple dimensions. 

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5. Measure Filters

In this filter, you can apply the various operations like Sum, Avg, Median, Standard Deviation, and other aggregate functions. In the next stage, you would be presented with four choices: Range, At least, At most, and Special for your values. Every time you drag the data you want to filter, you can do that in a specific setting. 

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6. Table Filters

The last filter to process is the table calculation that gets executed once the data view has been rendered. With this filter, you can quickly look into the data without any filtering of the hidden data. 

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This is how different types of filters in tableau work in various processes.

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