Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Calculations Complaints

This is a quick and dirty post of my reactions as I work through the Top 15 LOD Expressions on Tableau's site. Not much, if any, of it is news.

Calculation Composer

The Calculation composer is extremely primitive, any decent text editor is more capable than it is.
  1. It's missing auto completion, any decent text editor has better abilities.
  2. The formula reference gets lost when one is editing the formula contents, exactly when it's needed most.
  3. The formula descriptions and examples are generally not as good as they could be, are quite poor in some cases, leaving out relevant information, e.g. just what are the allowable datepart parts?
  4. applying the FIXED/INCLUDE/EXCLUDE formulas to an existing field in the editor provides an opening { but not a closing one, nor does it provide the essential ':' the User needs to know how LOD calcs work in order to complete the formula, which is particularly difficult given #2.

LOD Calculations

Working through the Top 15 LOD Expressions on Tableau's site:
  1. The Workbooks are Tableau version 9.0, they'd be more useful (at least less distracting) if they were kept up to date with Tableau's current version.
  2. The data used for the examples is not explicitly identified.
  3. The data used isn't the same for the various example, making it difficult to keep track of.
  4. The data is old, covers years 2010-2013 in one source, 2011-2014 in another, which doesn't provide any confidence that the information is important enough to keep up to date.
  5. The different time periods for Sales data - two different year ranges above, causes confusion; even if the reader isn't aware of it there's a cognitive dissonance that impedes learning the fundamental material.