Tableau Display Measures in a Table

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Building a table of multiple measures in Tableau is straightforward. You can build the table using only two pills.

Use the dimension Measure Names and the measure Measure Values.

This also works to compare multiple measures side by side in a Tableau bar chart. Building the multiple measures bar chart is covered towards the end of this article.

Build a table in Tableau using Measure Names and Measure Values

simple Tableau table using only Measure Names and Measure Values for headline numbers
Headline numbers using Measure Names and Measure Values

Follow these steps to build a simple Tableau table:

Step 1: Put the Measure Names pill on Columns.

Measure Names on the Columns shelf of a Tableau worksheet
Measure Names to Columns

Step 2: Notice the Mark Type default to Text. If this doesn’t happen by default then set the Mark type to Text.

Step 3: Add Measure Values. Either drop it on the ABC column, double click the field within the list of Measures, or drop it on the Text shelf. All will have the same outcome.

Measure Names on Columns and Measure Values on Text in Tableau worksheet
Measure Values to Text

Step 4: Put Measure Names to the Filter shelf and choose the measures to display. Either ctrl-click-drag from Columns or drag from the Dimensions list. It’s possible to use Measure Names as a user filter.

Filter Tableau Measure Names
Filter for Measure Names

Step 5: (optional) Reorder the measures by rearranging the Measure Values section. It’s also possible to filter using this section – simply drag the unwanted pills out of the Measure Values box.

rearrange Measure Values in Tableau
Drag and drop to rearrange the measures

Build a Heatmap in Tableau

This technique also works to build a heatmap across multiple measures.

To build the heatmap add a dimension to rows. This isn’t essential but makes it look better for this demo.

Change the mark type to Square, then also add Measure Values to the Colour shelf. Measure Values will be both on the Colour and Label.

This is also the simplest way to do conditional formatting in Tableau.

Tableau heatmap with Measure Names on Columns and Measure Values on Colour and Text
Simple heatmap in Tableau using multiple measues

In addition, using Measure Names / Measure values is one way to get around the 16 column limit Tableau imposes on tables.

Perhaps your requirements are more sophisticated than is possible using the simple Measure Names / Measures Values. It’s also possible to build tables using the placeholder technique, which gives more flexibility.

Build a bar chart using multiple measures

Measure Names and Measure Values is used to build a bar chart with multiple measures. Very useful if to compare measures side by side in a bar chart.

To build this is very similar to the above. Instead, the Measure Values is on Rows and the Mark Type a bar. This enables multiple measures to be compared side by side in the same bar chart.

Tableau Bar Chart with Measure Names on Columns and Measure Values on Rows
Use Measure Names and Measure Values to compare measures in a bar chart

6 thoughts on “Tableau Display Measures in a Table”

  1. Thanks, this was a great help. I was getting ready to go to Excel to create my table until I found your article.

    Reply
  2. How do you sort a table like this? I have built a similar table and would like to sort it by the “Number of Records”. When I right click the “Measure Names” in the column shelf and select sort, it only allows me to sort by the names and not the measure values.

    Reply
    • Great question. I assume if you want to sort the table you have a dimension on the Rows shelf? It’s this dimension that you want to sort, not the Measure Names, so right click the row dimension and select sort. If that doesn’t work another possibility would be to put the Number Of Records as a discrete dimension on the columns as the first column (i.e. to the left of Measure Names) and uncheck the ‘Show Header’ so it can’t be viewed. I don’t have Tableau with me to test either of these but one or both of these should work.

      Reply

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