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Tableau Totals Trick

Have you noticed when you are trying to create a summary table with three dimensions and you add Totals, it looks a little strange?

See the image below;

What about with four dimensions?

If you are a new user, you may not be aware of how to add Totals to a worksheet.

You can either go the Analysis menu, click on Totals and then select Add All Subtotals


You can go to the Analytics pane and drag Totals onto the Subtotals button that appears.

The trick to getting a more tabular view is to limit yourself to just two dimensions, at first...

That's right, create a view with two dimensions such as Customer Name and Product Name as shown below:

Then add your Totals.

Then go back to the Data pane, add Category and Sub-category to the view.

The Total row stays in place and it looks more like a table!

You can even add more Measures (like Profit) to sheet, that Total row will just stay there! (For beginner users, just drag Profit on top of the Sales column. Tableau will automatically add a Measure Names pill to your Columns shelf and a Measure Values card will appear.)

You can always right align the Total text in this row and format it differently then the rest of the table. Column banding is a nice option as well.

Keep in mind that Tableau is a tool for visualizations, so you shouldn't have too many columns in the view. It is a bad user experience to have to scroll through lots and lots of columns.

There are other ways to perk up a table view. I had the pleasure of watching Excel at Tables on Linkedin by Steve Adams and Prof Dr. Klaus Schulte. It contains their tips and tricks from this year's Tableau conference. The link is here.

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