Tableau Dashboard Performance Series: Tip#19: Context Filters

ok, interesting one. What does this one mean? This was a big issue for me when I first started using Tableau. Upon clicking a filter, I saw this option that I had never heard of before in BI

It was called “Add to Context”. I actually want all my data to be in context so I clicked it and then nothing really happened to my dashboard, except that the filter I clicked it up, changed to a gray bar

like this.

By the time, I realized how dangerous it could be, I was pulling out my hair.

So, let’s start with my recommendation first.

Don’t use Context Filters if you haven’t used Tableau for at least 6 months

Why do I say that? It’s because I doubt you will get to that level of all the Tableau options until you have really lived in Tableau.

Now, getting to the Why Not

It’s because Context filters is a way that Tableau creates a slice of your data so you can interact with it later. In other words, if you have a filter on context, upon changing the value of that filters, you are created a subset of data temporarily. This may be a great thing, if you think once you have filtered on groceries, your users will do a lot of Q&A with the dashboard using other filters. But, what if, this was just one of the filters that people change all the time. Then, you are basically asking Tableau to create a subset of data upon each value change.

FYI, if you are using TopN for a lot of your analysis, you may end up using this more than you want. Hey, you live and learn

Published by

Lovekesh Babbar

Speaker on topics related to data, analytics and digital transformation