Groups are an important part of everyday Tableau use. They let you put together data in a way that makes sense for your particular analysis needs.
Groups are an excellent way to put data together in a format that may not exist currently in your source data. This is often the case with geographical regions – sales territories, for example – where the business rules do not naturally match the data hierarchy.
Groups also allow you to address the inconsistencies that typically arise when you are pulling data from various sources and dealing with dirty data. They allow you to create custom combinations and hierarchies to get around inconsistencies like spelling variances (e.g. CA, CALIF and California) and different names assigned to data by the various business groups.
Groups are added to the data pane and can be used to any worksheet. They can be used on any mark including filtering and coloring.
In Groups, you also have the “Other” option, which allows you compare different things. It also serves as a great catchall for data coming in that may not be clean.
Check out our short video demo to get step-by-step instructions for how to use groups in Tableau.
Looking to take your Tableau Desktop skills to the next level? This technique is just one of those included in our Tableau class Intermediate Data Visualization and Dashboarding.