What are Dimensions and Measures in Tableau?

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In this post, you will learn the difference between Dimensions and measures in Tableau.

Measures –

In Tableau, Measures are numerical variables such as sales amount, height or weight of a person, price of a stock etc. By default, tableau automatically applies an aggregation function such as SUM or AVG to measures.

Measures are shown in the rectangle red box in the below picture.

Adding a Measure –

To add a measure to the view, drag the measure variable on the left vertical pane which says drop field here. Alternatively, you can also drop the measure field on the Rows shelf.

Let’s add the sales data to the view.

Dimensions –

In Tableau, Dimensions are categorical variables like gender of a person, city names, product category etc.

Dimensions are shown in the red box in the below figure.

Adding a Dimension –

To add a Dimension to the view, drop the dimension on top of the canvas which says drop here or you can also drop it on the column shelf.

Let’s add the category variable to the canvas to break the sales data by category.

Note – It is not necessary that dimensions will only goes to the column shelf and measures will only goes to the Rows shelf. I was just trying to create a vertical bar charts that’s why I have shown this way. If you want you can put dimension to rows shelf and measure to columns.

And If for some reasons you find that tableau has made a mistake in categorizing variables into measures and dimensions, you can correct it by simple dragging the variable to the appropriate section.

Marks –

Another important area in tableau is the Marks area. You can add measures and dimensions here. Using marks you can control the color, size, labels, details and tooltip.

Using color –

To see it in action drag the segment field into the color.

We will learn more about marks in our upcoming posts. So please subscribe to our blog to get notified.

Related Posts –

  1. Difference Between Discrete and Continuous in Tableau

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