Tableau Prep and #PreppinData 2024 week 2

Week two of getting to grips with Tableau Prep and I decided to countinue with #PreppingData. The team of Carl Allchin, Jenny Martin and Tom Prowse do a great job of picking challenges that gradually introduce you to functionality. This week covered unions, aggregation and reshaping data using pivots. I was particularly interested in pivots, as that’s a frequent challenge people have on the Tableau forums where we talk about data prep being a good option.

A more complex flow this time, and it probably took around 45-60 minutes. Below is my finished flow. And following that I share some more thoughts on this weeks use of Tableau Prep in the form of a quick “I like, I wish, I wonder” retro. Spoiler alert, there was a wow moment for me this week!

Week 2 solution:

My PreppinData week 2 solution

I like:

  • I liked that I could copy and paste the first aggregation step and then change the type of aggregation and the description on the copy.
  • And there was a moment of genuine delight when I realised I could copy the pivot step and paste against a different input (with the same pattern). I loved that!
    Tableau Prep option to paste in a step

I wish:

  • The fields didn’t reorder between steps. This is probably my OCD talking though!
  • I could define a sort order for the output. It would make it easier to sense check the output (granted it is easy to open in Excel and sort though).

I wonder:

  • If I needed to aggregate before pivoting, as the pivot step allowed me to pick an aggregation?
  • if it would be valuable to have a quick create option for pivot “rows to columns”? It took me a while to spot the option to change the pivot direction (screenshot below), when my brain was looking for an “unpivot” option instead.
    Tableau Prep pivot option to switch between Rows to Columns and Coliumns to Rows