Tableau Server Tip

Tip time again. And this one focuses on Tableau Server. One of my favorite features of Tableau Server is the ability to publish data sources. I work for a global company and we constantly share data with teams in international offices. This data can range from SQL Server/Oracle data to Excel files stored on a multitude of share drives. Publishing data sources allows our global teams to all access data needed for a given project or report, without needing access to where the underlying data is stored. This has been advantage and allowed collaboration between regions, all while working with a single version of the truth.

Ok, now getting to the tip. Let’s say you’re given a workbook that already contains charts, tables, dashboards, and of course, calculated fields. The workbook is connected to a published data source on your server. You try to edit a calculated field and the only option is Edit Copy, which makes a new calculated field.

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This is not ideal because the calculated field you’d like to edit is already embedded in several locations of the workbook. So how do you edit the original field?

Easy, simply right click on the data source name and select Create Local Copy.

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Save the data source to your desired folder. You’ll now have a new data source.

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Next, swap data sources so the exists workbook sources from the local copy.

Select Data > Replace Data Source…

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Now when you right click to edit a calculated field, you’ll be able to edit the original field that is already being used throughout the workbook.

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From here, you can proceed with the needed task. Just remember that if you republish the data source, your calculated field edits will be available for others. So depending on your ultimate goal, know if you should overwrite the original published data source or not.

Thanks! And happy Tableau’ing!

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