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Tableau tips: How to use INDEX() (a table calculation) to filter data

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

Tableau INDEX() function

Creating reliable visualizations which communicate the message intended doesn’t come easy. It requires a complete balance in selection of charts and graphs, a conservative use of colors and other visual cues to amplify your message. Most importantly it requires a simplified user interface which clearly guides the users on how to consume the data.

To achieve this as a developer, you need to learn various ways to declutter your visualizations. And, in this today’s article I am going to show you one of the simplest yet useful tip to make you vizzes neat.


This is a very basic use case yet applied all the time.

Let’s say using Superstores data, you want to show the Sales by State. Sorting States in descending order by Sales.

This what you’re going to have;

To use this viz in your dashboards requires your users to scroll it to see what is at the bottom. At the same time, making your dashboard look busy – because for dimensions with excessively high number of members, it’s hard to fit in a normal dashboard layout.

Suppose we could use INDEX() to slice this view to manageable bins which can fit in a normal dashboard layout and ease user interaction.

By doing this, we can make such kind of vizzes easier to use & declutter our visualizations.

See samples of dashboards where this tip has been applied;

Both in these two visualizations, INDEX() has been used.


Once you’ve created the view above.

Create a simple calculated field ‘Index’ containing table calculation INDEX(), see below.

Convert this field to a discrete number, and drag it to the rows shelf as show below;

Using ‘Index’ create bins, to use them in filtering your data. See below.

To use the above calculation as a filter.

Simply drag it to the Filters shelf and ‘Show Filter’

And there you’re.

A more user friendly view which users can consume without scrolling. And can fit to a normal dashboard layout without unnecessary marks – like the scrollbars.

I hope this article was helpful to you.To receive more of these Tableau tips and tricks, kindly join our mailing list by subscribing below.

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About Me

More About the Author

Bernard K

Analytics Consultant | 3X Tableau Certified

Bernard is a data analytics consultant helping businesses reveal the true power of their data and bring clarity to their reporting dashboards. He loves building things and sharing knowledge on how to build dashboards that drive better outcomes.

Let’s discuss your data challenges! Let’s work together!

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