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Common Baseline - Tableau Table Calculations

Updated: May 18, 2021

This post will be helpful especially when you need to look at data from a common starting point rather than over an absolute timeline. A good example, is examining the sales growth for different products from launch date – by shifting the timeline to a common date part e.g. day, month, etc.

Using Superstores data set, I will be examining the Orders for different product Sub-category’s from the first order date. Visualizing the data on a common baseline – i.e. month(s) since the first order was made.

Let’s get the first order date for different Product Sub-categories.

Compute the number of month(s) to the subsequent orders from the first order.

Next create calculation INDEX() to shift this data to be relative to the first order month.

  • Drag the calculated field Index to the column shelf

  • Drag the dimension field ‘Order # Month’ to the details shelf

  • Drag dimension Sub-Category to the color shelf

  • Drag measure field Number of Records to the column shelf.

  • Chose line under marks cards

Add a running total to the SUM(Number of Records)

Edit the table calculation and compute using Specific Dimensions – 'Order # Month' for this case

Executing this we’ve.

Adding order number suffix to guide user in interpreting the chart.

Useful: Adding ordinal number suffix in Tableau

With this final view, you can easily tell which product sub-category recorded the highest growth in orders from the first order month.

Binders for instance recorded a total of 967 orders on the 35th order month while Appliances recorded 280 orders on the same period.

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