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Disaggregating and Aggregating Data

Product(s): Tableau Desktop, Tableau Public
Version(s): 6.1, 6.0, 5.2
Last Modified Date: 19 Jun 2014

Article Note: This article is no longer actively maintained by Tableau. We continue to make it available because the information is still valuable, but some steps may vary due to product changes.


Tableau makes it easy to aggregate and disaggregate data for specific fields or globally across all measures in the view. The aggregations available depend on the type of data source you are using. For example, if you are connected to Excel, Access, and text files you do not have access to the Count Distinct aggregation.

Here's how it works.

The view below shows several customers and the total amount of money they have spent at the superstore. The customers are sorted in order of total sales with the highest sales first. As you can see, the Sales Total measure is aggregated as a SUM.

You can change the aggregation using the field menu. Right-click the Sales measure on the Rows shelf and select
Measure > Average.

[inline:aggregate_data4.png=Select Analysis > Aggregate Measures to disaggregate the data.]

Now the view shows the average amount each customer has spent at the superstore.

aggregate_data4.png

When you look at the aggregated data in the views above, each bar represents all transactions for a specific customer summed up or averaged into a single value. Now say that you want to see the individual transactions for each customer. You can create a view like that by selecting Analysis > Aggregate Measures.

Select Analysis > Aggregate Measures to disaggregate the data.

The menu item is then deselected and the Sales Total measure is disaggregated. The view now shows a mark for every row in the data source.

You can see that all of the customers have had multiple transactions some of them nearing $30,000. You can add another dimension by dragging the Product Category 1 field from the schema to the Color shelf. The view below shows the product distribution by customer. You can now see that in general, customers tend to spend more on technology than they do on office products and furniture.

Note: The Aggregate Measures command on the Analysis menu controls the aggregation for all measure in the view. You can also disaggregate measures individually using the field menu. Right-click the measure you want to disaggregate and select Dimension.

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