 Deepika Singh

# Create Type-in/Ad-hoc Calculations in Tableau

• May 8, 2020
• 770 Views
• May 8, 2020
• 770 Views
Data
Data Analytics
Tableau

## Introduction

In business intelligence visualization, often the reports are presented in a manner that requires type-in or ad-hoc calculations to be performed. These are calculations that make a quick summary of the expression or formula you may want to implement. They allow you to create a calculation in the shelf, and are applicable only in the view where they are created. In this guide, you will learn how to create ad-hoc calculations.

## Data

The data to construct an ad-hoc calculation can be of any type, such as a measure, dimension, date etc. This guide will use the sample superstore data source available in the Tableau repository. There are three sheets: `People`, `Orders`, and `Return`, that have been joined to fetch the data. In the subsequent sections, you’ll work with different ad-hoc calculations.

The ad-hoc calculations can be constructed in Rows and Columns shelves, as well as in the Marks and Measures. To start with, double click on the Rows shelf to either create a temporary calculation or to call a measure from the Measures shelf.

Output: Typing the first few letters will display the names as shown below.

Output: The first calculation you’ll do is to sum the variable `Profit` which will result in the image below.

Output: You can also create an ad-hoc calculation on the Columns shelf and the Marks card. Drag the variable `Sub-Category` into the Rows shelf and the ad-hoc calculation can be created on the Columns shelf.

Output: In this example, you are calculating the profit margin by dividing the variable, `Profit`, with `Sales`. The column shelf is formatted to percentage, and the variable, `Category`, is placed in the Color option of the Marks card. This will generate the output below.

Output: To begin, drag `Segment` into the Rows shelf and the measure, `Sales`, into the Text label in the Marks card.

Output: The next step is to double click on the measure and edit the field with calculation. In this case, you’ll divide `Sales` to get the value in millions, as shown below.

Output: The above step will create the following output.

Output: ## Converting Ad-hoc to an Actual Calculation

Ad-hoc calculations are temporary calculations that don’t get saved in the workbook unless used in the view. To convert them into actual calculations, you simply need to drag the ad-hoc calculation into the Measures or Dimensions shelf. Doing this will prompt you to rename the calculation. This is shown below.

Output: In this example, you’ll name it `Profit Ratio`.

Output: You’ll begin by dragging the `Sales` variable into the Columns shelf, and `Region` into the Rows shelf.

Output: The next step is to double click on the blank space in the Rows shelf and create an ad-hoc calculation consisting of the `RANK()` function to sort the values.

Output: Next, right click on the ad-hoc calculation and make it discrete.

Output: Drag it before the variable, `Region`, which is now sorted in the descending order of `Sales` value.

Output: ## Conclusion

In this guide, you learned how to create ad-hoc calculations in Tableau. You also learned the different options for dealing with these ad-hoc calculations. This will help in strengthening your descriptive analytics capabilities.