January 1, 2022

How to Combine Multiple Date Levels in One Sheet

By Autumn Battani

I was talking to a coworker about their project and they mentioned they needed to recreate an Excel table in Tableau. This is a pretty common ask but can be deceptively challenging because there are a number of manual formatting options available in Excel that don’t translate as easily to Tableau. This one looked like it wouldn’t be too much trouble but there was something I found interesting about it and wanted to give it a try as a challenge to myself. On this table, the dates were going across the top at the quarter level, unless the quarter wasn’t complete, then it was at the month level.

Once I got started I realized it was simpler than I thought it was going to be. But I thought it was worth sharing anyway. I’ll be using Superstore data for this blog. You’ll need 4 calcs. 

Calc #1 and Calc #2 – Creating the 2 date fields for display 

Because this will be two date levels in one calc by the end, I wanted to format them in separate calcs first to display the way I want. 

At the quarter level: 

					console.log( 'Code "Q" + STR(DATEPART('quarter',[Order Date])) +" "+ RIGHT(STR(YEAR([Order Date])),2)is Poetry' );

At the month level:

					LEFT(STR(DATENAME('month',[Order Date])),3) +" "+ RIGHT(STR(YEAR([Order Date])),2)

Calc #3 – Count the number of months in a quarter

					{ FIXED [Quarter]: COUNTD(MONTH([Order Date]))}

Calc #4 – Return your formatted quarter label for quarters with 3 months, otherwise return your formatted month label

					IF [Months in Quarter] = 3 THEN [Quarter] ELSE [Month] END

Super simple, huh? While I haven’t run into this specific ask before, I could see the utility of reporting at a higher date level but still wanted to understand what was in flight. This can be easily accomplished using 2 sheets, but I wanted to do it in one to preserve scrolling and save time formatting. I hope this helps if you need to report the same information at two different levels of granularity.

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