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Using the SPLIT () function in Tableau

Updated: Aug 28


How to split a field into multiple fields in tableau

We use SPLIT () function to split a string field into multiple fields. For example, if your data contains a string field that contains multiple units of information for example the first and last name of a customer – sometimes you can split these multiple units of information into separate fields to help you answer questions requiring one unit of the multiple units.

To split a field into multiple fields, you can use the Split or Custom Split options or write a simple calculated field.

Split or Custom Split option

Using Sample-Superstore data set, you can split the field Customer Name into multiple fields (that is, First Name and Last Name). By opening the drop-down menu and select Split.

using split option to a field into multiple fields in tableau

Note, using this option Tableau will identify the common separator between the values (in this case a SPACE) and use it to split the values.

Resulting view….

resulting table after splitting the fields

Alternatively, you can use Custom Split…. option.

using custom split option to a field into multiple fields in tableau

Note this option prompts you to specify the common separator to be used in splitting the fields (that is a SPACE for this case) and the part you’re splitting-off (First, Last or All values).

custom split in tableau

(In this case, am using a SPACE as the common separator and I will be splitting-off all values)

Resulting view….

resulting table after splitting fields using custom split in tableau

Using a calculated field to split a field

The syntax for splitting a field looks as follows,

SPLIT (string, delimiter, token number)

String – this is the string field you would like to split in this case ‘Customer Name’.

Delimiter – the part of string to split at (the common separator).

Token number – The part of the string to return, after the delimiter. Note a positive number instructs the function to work from left to right, while a negative number instructs the function to work from right to left.

For example, to split-off the first name of the field Customer Name, I can create the following calculated field.

splitting off the first name of a field in tableau

While to split-off the Last name of the field Customer Name, I can use any of the following calculations. (Assuming every Customer Name contains two names separated by a SPACE).

splitting off the last name of a field in tableau
splitting off the last name of a field in tableau

See the results of the above calculations.

resulting table

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