Top 15 LOD Expressions

Top 15 LOD Expressions

Tableau’s mission is to help people see and understand data. Our features are carefully designed to help people transform data into meaning. One area of focus is calculations. The easier it is to express ideas in a calculation language, the more meaning people can generate. The introduction of Level of Detail Expressions in Tableau 9.0 is a breakthrough in this regard. These new expressions let people express powerful concepts using simple statements.

Level of Detail Expressions provide a way to easily compute aggregations that are not at the level of detail of the visualization. You can then integrate those values within visualizations in arbitrary ways. That may sound abstruse, so this post will illustrate the concept through a series of common questions. Near the end, we will dive into some more advanced analytic examples. The whitepaper on Level of Detail Expressions provides a more general overview. For details on syntax and usage, see Level of Detail Expressions in the Tableau Desktop online help section.

Each of the following 15 workbooks contains customized data sources and can be downloaded for further details. If you do not have a copy of Tableau Desktop, you can get a free 14-day trial here. We recommend that you use these customized data sources if you choose to follow the instructions and re-create the views.

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1. Customer order frequency

Finding the number of orders each customer has made is relatively easy, but what if we wanted to know the number of customers who made one order, two orders, three orders, and so forth? To build this view, we must break up the number of customers by the number of orders made. This is a simple question, but breaking out a measure by another measure would be difficult without Level of Detail Expressions.

Consider the sales database of a superstore that has multiple items per order. The distinct count of orders by customer gives the number of orders each customer made. A simple LOD expression can turn the number of orders into a dimension that breaks out the number of customers.

 
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