New Features in Tableau 2021.1 – Easy LODs
New Features in Tableau 2021.1 – Easy LODs

“Level of detail (LOD) calculations tend to be one of the more challenging calculation types to grasp. The new feature enables people to add quick LOD calculations with Tableau’s drag and drop functionality. While the user still needs to understand the concept, this makes it easier for people to adopt without prior knowledge of the syntax. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will make things more accessible for students early on in their tableau journeys.” – Louise Shorten, The Information Lab Ireland.

Easy LODs

In its latest iteration, Tableau introduced an Easy LOD feature. Now instead of writing out a syntax, now you can simply drag and drop your measure into your dimension pill and create a simple LOD calculation very quickly. It is worth mentioning that syntax in LOD calcs can vary in levels of difficulty. Like any language there are levels of complexities and user competencies. Easy LODs, such as the one we are about to demonstrate, are not particularly difficult and it is worth looking at the syntax in the newly created measure to get feel for what it looks like as a language. That said, this new feature will not do everything for you when it comes to getting the most out of LODs. To take your skills further, you will have to be aware of and learn the syntax of more complex calculations as you develop your skills.

In this instance, we want to create a new measure comparing Country Sales with Regional Sales. Here you can see we have already created part of our sheet with Sales in each country. At this point we don’t have a Sales Region measure so we have to create it.

Before this feature came in, we had to create the calculation by clicking on the dropdown arrow above the left pane, selecting Create Calculated Field and then input the syntax { FIXED [Region]: SUM([Sales]) } – easy enough if you know how but for a new user this can really stop them in their tracks and Tableau are all about making their product as user friendly as possible these days.

In Tableau 2021.1 we create a new measure by simply taking our Sales pill, holding CTRL and dragging the pill onto the Region dimension. You will see the Region pill turn blue which means it’s working and below your Sales pill you will a new Measure called Sales (Region).

You can now use this as you see fit. For our purposes we simply drag it onto the Table and drop it in there.

About The Information Lab

The Information Lab Ireland is at the forefront of creating a data-driven culture in Ireland.

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