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The Lindsey Poulter Method and Other Tableau Tips

If you watched the exciting Iron Viz competition at TC24 this year, you may have heard of the "Lindsey Poulter Method." Who is Lindsey Poulter? Lindsey is one of the famous names in the Tableau community. She is an 2019 Iron Viz Finalist, and demonstrated this method in the Iron Viz competition! Check out her Tableau Public profile here to see her stunning visualizations!

What is the Lindsey Poutler Method? When should you do this? The Lindsey Poulter Method is a quick way to add a bunch of calculations to a Tableau workbook all at once! I will show you an example in the below blog!

Want to watch a video instead of read about this? Visit my Youtube channel here!

(My cat Nyx is visiting for this recording.)

As a developer, I kept calculations I would use over and over again in a Notepad++ or Notepad document. I did this instead of using Microsoft Word because the double or single quotes wouldn't paste well from a Word document directly to a Tableau Calculated Field. I would have to retype the quotes if they were from a Word document. I also separated them by notes such as "//Latest Week" (as shown below). These will serve as Titles for the Lindsey Poulter Method!

A great example of the calculations you should save somewhere are DATE CALCULATIONS! I talk about these in a past blog post here

The only calculations I didn't include in the above blog post were Latest Week and Prior Week. I included those examples below but they are also used in my Employee Work Time Dashboard #RWFD here. Mark Bradbourne created the Real World Fake Data (or #RWFD) data sets, and it is a great place to go for fake data! Mark is also another famous name in the Tableau community and he was one of the judges for TC24's Iron Viz!

Example calculations for reuse;

//Latest Week

DATE(DATETRUNC('week',DATEADD('week',0,[Order Date])))

//Prior Week

DATE(DATETRUNC('week',DATEADD('week',-1,[Order Date])))

//Sales Current Week Current Year

IF DATETRUNC('year',[Order Date]) = DATETRUNC('year',[Latest Year])

AND DATETRUNC('month',[Order Date]) = DATETRUNC('month',[Latest Month])

AND DATETRUNC('week',[Order Date])= DATETRUNC('week',[Latest Week])

THEN [Sales]


//Sales Prior Week Current Year

IF DATETRUNC('year',[Created Date]) = DATETRUNC('year',[Latest Date])

AND DATETRUNC('month',[Created Date]) = DATETRUNC('month',[Latest Month])

AND DATETRUNC('week',[Created Date])= DATETRUNC('week',dateadd('week',-1,[Latest Week]))

THEN [Sales]


Here is my Date Calc Notepad document;

What you do is copy and paste these calcs in an open Calculated field in your Tableau workbook. For the example below I am connecting the Sample Superstore data set.

Highlight the first calculation, including the note header, and then just drag it to the Data pane.

Tableau will automatically have this as a Calculated field in your Data pane! No need to keep opening a separate Calculated field for every single calculation!!

Here is a video demo;

Go ahead, save time and try this trick yourself!


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