Tableau Tutorials for Beginners — Segment 2
Hope you have already read and enjoyed the Segment 1 of this tutorial. In case you have not yet, please take out 10 minutes of your valuable time to understand the concepts explained in Segment 1. You can access it in this link ( Tableau Tutorials for Beginners — Segment 1)
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In today’s segment we will discuss about the below topics :
- Difference between Continuous and Discrete
- More concepts of Dimension vs Measure w.r.t Continuous and Discrete
Difference between Continuous and Discrete
In general definition, Continuous data refers to those data which can take a continuous range of values. For example if I say Height of students — the values can be like 5.2, 5.3, 5.8, 6.1 , 4.3 etc.
Discrete data are those which cannot take continuous range of data — for example if I say rank of Students — it will be like 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th etc. There can be rank in class like 1.5 or 2.6 etc.
Before going into the detail of how to understand Continuous vs Discrete in tableau, let us see how the Tableau canvas looks like. The below diagram shows the Tableau Canvas where you can drag drop the fields.
- Whenever you drag a field from the Dimension section into the row or column of the canvas — the field name will appear in Blue by default
- Whenever you drag a field from the Measure section into the row or column of the canvas — the field name will appear in Green by default
See the Image 2 below. Since Sales is a numeric field from the Measure section hence it appears as Green while Category is a non numeric field from the Dimension section, hence it appears as Blue.
But what does the Green and Blue actually signify? Green signifies that tableau is treating that field as a Continuous data while it is treating the Blue field as Discrete data.
NOTE: In Tableau, a Continuous field always creates an Axis, whereas a Discrete field creates a Header
Now let us try to understand how the behavior changes when Continuous vs Discrete are changed w.r.t Dimension & Measure
Let us assume we have drag dropped a numeric field into the Canvas. By default it shows in Green denoting it is a Continuous data. So, it is Measure- Continuous. The below diagram gives an idea, what happens when the types are changed to Dimension / Discrete. The yellow section denotes default behaviour:
Similarly when a field with Text / Geographical/Boolean data type is dragged from the Dimension section into the Canvas — by default the role is Dimension but there will not be an option to change the category of data to Continuous or Dimension.
Brainification Alert : If you forcefully drag and drop a Text field from Dimension section to Measure section ( without using the field menu option ), then as soon as you drop it in the Measure section it take COUNT of the field so as to convert it to a numeric value
One more interesting data type is Date — we will see how the behavior of date changes when changed between Continuous and Discrete in the next Segment (Tableau Tutorials for Beginners — Segment 3)