Last night, I was delighted to attend my first ever Tableau User Group – the February 2017 London TUG at the Tableau Offices. Not only was it extremely cool to meet a bunch of people whose faces I only know from Twitter, but the content on the night was excellent.

I’ll definitely be heading up to the big smoke more regularly because it’s refreshing to be in an environment where you’re surrounded by fellow Tableau nuts. I was able to talk about everything from managing Projects on Tableau Server and creating financial reporting suites, through to championing the product at work.

It was just great to share experiences and ideas with a range of people and you can’t put a value on that sort of communal information exchange, nor the all important social aspect of these meet-ups. If you get a chance to attend a TUG, I’d urge you to do so as they are informative and rewarding sessions.

A highlight of the TUG for me was the quick tips section, where Lorna (representing Paul C) and Pablo (for Paul B) faced off in a series of 90 second quick tips. It’s always amazing to watch people who actually know what they are doing at work, and these two certainly know their stuff.

Among the many great tips I saw (most of which I have forgotten), one from Pablo stuck in my brain, and it uses a function I had never used before. Look at this bog-standard Superstore Sales chart:

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The sum of Profit by State, in descending order. A common need is that to colour profitable  States in one colour, and unprofitable States in another. As Pablo pointed out, the most regular approach is like this:


If you put that on colour, then the States with zero or above Profit are coloured one way, and the rest are coloured another way. Is there an alternative? Yep:


Er – what?

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There was a decent ripple of applause around the room when Pablo pulled this one out of his repertoire, and it’s little efficiencies like this which can incrementally add to your Tableau experience. The result of that calc on colour is as you’d expect:

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Lorna revealed an equally efficient colour tip which I’ll aim to write up at the weekend. I just need to remember it first…..