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Introduction to Types of Filters in Tableau

Types of Filters in Tableau are the supported filter conditions used to segregate the data set based upon some conditions and use the specific data values for the visualizations. Tableau has extensive filter features compared to other visualization tools. Filters are used to remove irrelevant records from the source dataset in Tableau. Several types of filters are associated with data processing in Tableau environments, such as  Extract Filters, Data Source Filters, Context Filters, Dimension Filters, Measure Filters, and Table calculation filters. Filters can protect sensitive information from the dataset while sharing the common audience.

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It offers five main products to cater to the business needs of professionals and organizations:

Tableau Desktop: The flagship product by Tableau, made for individual use and meant to develop dashboards.

Tableau Server: It shares any solutions or dashboards.

Tableau Reader: It is a free product that people use to read Tableau file types.

Tableau Online: It is a cloud-based platform that allows users to share, evaluate any solutions in an organization.

Tableau Public: It is a free version that can be used by learning professionals to evaluate and interact with the features available in Tableau.

Types of Filters in Tableau 1. Extract Filter

We can use an extract filter while loading the dataset into Tableau, so it reduces the number of times Tableau queries for the data source. We can further reduce the data size by applying filters to the extract as required.

How to apply Extract Filter?

2. Data Source Filter

3. Context Filters

It can also view Top N products in any particular category. We can also remove the Context filter.

4. Dimension Filter

We apply the dimension filter to non-aggregate columns like Region, Customer Name, Country, etc. In this filter option, we filter data according to the categories we require for our task.

NOTE: For the demonstration purpose, we are using the sample bank data with the Dimensions: Customer ID, Date Joined, Region Gender, Job Classification, and Surname. Measures are AGE and Balance. In the picture below, our objective is to filter Job Classification VS Balance by Region data.

How to Use Dimension Filter?

To apply Dimension, drag the Dimension on which you want to use the filter (in our case, Region) to the Filter Shelf, as shown in the picture in RED. After dragging, the Measure filter window will open, which will have four tabs as follows:





1. General

2. Wildcard

We can use a wildcard filter to include/exclude the fields which start, end, contains, or exactly matches the value in which we enter the text box. For Example, if you need records of a customer named James, you can use the ‘contains’ option, as shown in the picture below.

3. Condition

We can use condition filters in two ways as follows:

By Formula: Here we can specify the fields we want to filter by typing the corresponding formula in the formula box. For Example, In the below picture, we are filtering our records whose balance is less than 5000.

4. Top/Bottom

In this tab, we can visualize Top “N” or Bottom “N” records based on the filter “by field or by the formula” similar to the Condition tab. Here “N” can be any number greater than zero. With the help of this option, we can get Top/Bottom 5,3, or 10, etc. records as per our requirement.

5. Measure Filters

How to Apply Measure Filter?

To apply the measure filter, drag one of the measures in the filter shelf as shown below in RED. Then the Filter Field window will open, then select the aggregate function according to your requirement.

Note: For the demonstration purpose, we are applying the filter on the measure AGE and selecting “All values.”

After selecting the aggregate function (All Values in our case), we can select how we want to apply the filter condition from the four tabs.

Range of values: Here, we need to provide the start and end values of the range which we want to view in our result. (In the example below, we can select any age between 15 and 64. If we want to find the result for age between 30 and 4, we need to specify 30 as start value and 40 as the end value.)

At least: Here we need to provide only the start point of our range.

At most: Here we need to provide only the endpoint of our range.

Special: Here we can choose between null, non-null, and All values

6. Table Calculation Filter

These filters are used when we do not want to filter the view without changing the underlying data. Table Calculations are functions used when creating Calculated Fields such as LOOKUP, WINDOW_SUM,  WINDOW_AVG, etc.


Many organizations use Tableau filters to produce powerful results and present relevant information to clients in the form of a dashboard or worksheet to make proper business decisions. These filters can also filter sensitive data and host the information to share with colleagues.

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