Learn Tableau Data Terminology

Tableau Tool drives a lot of visualizations. It is one of the dominant components for Data Analysis. It has many exclusive terms and descriptions. One needs to get aware of their meaning before they start using the features in Tableau.

The commonly and most frequently used tableau terns are listed below:


Alias is an alternative name that one can assign to a dimension or a filed member. It helps us to differentiate between various dimensions.


Bin is a user-defined grouping of measures in the data source.


The bookmark is a folder in the Tableau repository that contains a single worksheet. It helps in enhancing data analysis. It holds the data in the .tbm file. Unlike web browser bookmarks, .tbm files are a compatible way to display various analyses quickly.

Calculated Field

With the help of Calculated Field, the user creates the derived file by using a formula to alter the existing fields in their data source. It is used to make your work easy and simple.


Crosstab is generally used for a text table view. It uses various text tables to display the numbers which are associated with the dimension.


The dashboard is a collection of several views that are arranged on a single page. In Tableau, dashboards are used to compare and observe a variety of data simultaneously and also allows interacting with other worksheets.

Data Pane

The left side of Tableau’s workbook is known as data pane. It displays the fields of the data sources to which Tableau is connected. The fields are further divided into dimensions and measures. The data pane also reflects custom fields such as calculations, groups, binned fields, etc.

Data Source

Data Source is a page where you can set up your data source. This page generally consists of four main areas − left pane, join area, preview area, and metadata area. One can’t change the data source in Tableau Reader.


Dimension is commonly known as a field of categorical data. It contains characteristic values such as names, dates and geographical data. One can use the dimensions to reveal details in your information that is qualitative details.


An extract is a saved subset of a data source that you can use to improve study and performance offline. The user can generate an extract by defining limits and filters that contain the data you want in the extract tab.

Filters Shelf

Filter shelf is located on the left panel of the workbook. Filters shelf tool is used to exclude the data from a view by filtering it using dimensions and measures.

Format Pane

The Format appears on the left side of the workbook and contains various formatting settings. It controls the entire view of the worksheet, as well as the outlook of the individual fields.

Level Of Detail (LOD) Expression

LOD Expression is a syntax that supports the combination of various dimensions other than the view level. With the help of LOD (level of detail) expressions, one can attach one or more aspects to an aggregate expression.


Marks are the part of the view that visually represents one or more rows in a data source. It can be, a line, bar, or square. You can control and alter the type, color, and size of marks.

Marks Card

Marks card appears to the left of the worksheet. In this tab, the user can drag fields to control their mark properties such as type, shape, label, color, size, tooltip, and detail.

Pages Shelf

Page shelf appears to the left of the pane. With the help of this shelf, one can split a view into a sequence of pages based on the values and members in a continuous or discrete field. In this, a new page is created for each new row whenever you add an area to the Pages shelf.

Rows Shelf

Row shelf appears at the top of the workbook. It is used to create the rows of a data table. The Row shelf allows various numbers of dimensions and measures. When the user places a dimension on the Rows shelf, Tableau creates headers for the members of that dimension. When you position a measure on the Rows shelf, Tableau generates quantitative axes for that specific measure.


Shelves are named areas that are located on the left and top of the pane view. One can build views by placing fields onto the shelves. Some shelves are only available when you select specific mark types. For example, the Shape shelf is only open when you choose the particular Shape mark type.


A workbook is a file that holds one or more worksheets or dashboards or stories in it. It has a .twb extension.


The worksheet contains a collection of sheets. It’s a place where you can construct the views of your data by dragging various fields onto the shelves.

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