TUTORIAL - Understanding Calculations in LinPack

Read the following article if you are interested in better understanding which calculations are automatically created by LinPack in your Tableau Workbook.

 

Global Calculations vs KPIs Calculations

LinPack creates two types of calculations:

  • Global Calculations: Set of Calculations which are used to handle the overall logic of the dashboard (time management, switch of KPIs, Switch of Dimensions...)
  • KPIs Calculations: Set of Calculations created for each of your KPIs (defined in a Dashboard Template or Manually defined in a Custom Dashboard)

Most of those calculations are related to parameters that LinPack adds to your workbook.

First, it is important to understand the role of those parameters.

 

Parameters created by LinPack

When you create a dashboard with LinPack, three folders are added automatically to your workbook, handling parameters:

  • Global Parameters
  • Selected Dimension / KPI / Indicator
  • Current Period

 

Global Parameters

"Global Parameters" folder contains the following parameters:

Parameter Description List of Values
Currency If your dashboard contains KPIs which are defined as amount, and if you defined a Currency for those amounts, then this parameters will contain the Currency name of those amounts (user defined)
Dashboard Title Title of your dashboard, as defined during the dashboard configuration process. This dashboard is used in your dashboard home page and in the footer of your dashboard pages. (user defined)
Organization Name Name of your organization, as defined during the dashboard configuration process. This dashboard is used in your dashboard home page and in the footer of your dashboard pages. (user defined)
Performance Scope When analyzing data in the dashboard, this parameter allows the user to switch from one point of performance view to another. For instance, your can switch from "Current Month vs Previous Month" to "Current Month vs Same Month, Previous Year". CM_vs_PM ("Current Month vs Previous Month")
CM_vs_PY ("Current Month vs Same Month, Previous Year")
ACT_vs_TGT ("Current Month: Actual vs Target")
CYTD_vs_PYTD ("Year-to-Date: Current Year vs Previous Year")
YTDACT_vs_YTDTGT ("Year-to-Date: Actual vs Target")
LinPack Generator internal LinPack parameter - DO NOT REMOVE NOR CHANGE -
LinPackCalculationType internal LinPack parameter - DO NOT REMOVE NOR CHANGE -
LinPackGeneratorDS internal LinPack parameter - DO NOT REMOVE NOR CHANGE -
LinPackGeneratorID internal LinPack parameter - DO NOT REMOVE NOR CHANGE -
LinPackPeriod internal LinPack parameter - DO NOT REMOVE NOR CHANGE -

 

Selected Dimension / KPI / Indicator

"Selected Dimension / KPI / Indicator" folder contains the following parameters:

Parameter Description List of Values
Select Dimension Allows to select one on the dimensions defined in your workbook (and flagged as 'analytical axis' in LinPack Configuration) (list of dimensions of your workbook)
Select Dimension 2 (same as above) (same as above)
Select Indicator Allows to select one of the Indicators defined in your dashboard -
Select Indicator 2 (same as above) (same as above)
Select KPI Allows to select one of the KPIs defined in your dashboard -
Select KPI 2 (same as above) (same as above)

 

Current Period

"Current Period" folder contains the following parameters:

Parameter Description List of Values
Current Month (*)

Allows the user to select  which month of data must be analyzed. This parameter is used in almost all the KPI calculations.

1 ("Jan")
2 ("Feb")
3 ("Mar")
4 ("Apr")
5 ("May")
6 ("Jun")
7 ("Jul")
8 ("Aug")
9 ("Sep")
10 ("Oct")
11 ("Nov")
12 ("Dec")
Current Year Allows the user to select which year of data must be analyzed. This parameter is used in almost all the KPI calculations. (same as above)

(*) When your dashboard periodicity is set to Week or Quarter, the parameter name and content is updated accordingly ("Current Week" or "Current Quarter")

 

Global Calculations created by LinPack

When you create a dashboard with LinPack, a set of folders are added automatically to your workbook, handling global calculations:

  • Global Attributes
  • Selected Dimension
  • Selected Indicator
  • Selected KPI

 

Global Attributes

"Global Attributes" folder contains the following calculations (mostly related to Time Management based on 'Current Month' and 'Current Year' parameters):

Calculation Involved Parameters Description Format
Period: Analysis Scope Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Returns a label to show which period is analyzed, and against which period is is compared ('Reference Period') Text
Period: Analysis Scope Type Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label value of parameter 'Performance Scope' Text
Period: Period Analyzed Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label of the period which is currently analyzed Text
Period: Period Analyzed (for trends) Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label of the period which is currently analyzed (to be used in a trend chart) Text
Period: Period of Reference Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label of the Reference Period (the period to which the current period is analyzed) Text
Period: Period of Reference (for trends) Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label of the Reference Period (the period to which the current period is analyzed) (to be used in a trend chart) Text
Period: Month Name of Current Month Current Month Returns the label of the Month selected in the parameter 'Current Month' Text
Period: Month Name of Previous Month Current Month Returns the label of the previous month of the month selected in the parameter 'Current Month' Text
Period: Month Number of Previous Month Current Month Returns the month number of the previous month of the month selected in the parameter 'Current Month' Number
Period: Months to Current Month Current Month
Current Year
Returns the number of months between the main date and the date defined by the combination of the two parameters 'Current Month' and 'Current Year' Number
Period: Name of Current Month Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label of Current Month, Current Year (e.g."Mar-2021") Text
Period: Name of Previous Month Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label of Previous Month (e.g."Feb-2021") Text
Period: Name of Same Month Previous Year Current Month
Current Year
Returns the label of Same Month, Previous Year (e.g."Mar-2020") Text
Filter: Performance Card Current Month
Current Year
Returns "Y" in main date od data is within the last 24 months compared to the period analyzed (defined by the parameters 'Current Month' and 'Current Year') (to be used as filter on "Y" in charts using KPI performance measures: Perf. Value, Perf. Reference....). Else returns "N". Text
Period: Year of Previous Month Current Month
Current Year
Returns the Year of the Previous Month Number
Period: Current Year Current Year Returns the value within the parameter 'Current Year'(used to initialize the default list of values of parameter 'Current Year' when the workbook opens) Number
Period: Previous Year Current Year Returns the Previous Year Number
Main Date: Month - For each dashboard, a main date is used for time-series calculations: Returns the month number of the main date Number
Main Date: Month (Display) - For each dashboard, a main date is used for time-series calculations: Returns the month label of the main date Text
Main Date: Year - For each dashboard, a main date is used for time-series calculations: Returns the year part of the main date Number
Main Date: Year (Display) - For each dashboard, a main date is used for time-series calculations: Returns the year part of the main date (text format) Text
Main Date: Month Year (Display) - Returns the label of the Month and Year of the main date (e.g. "Mar-2021") Text
Main Date: Month of Last Date - Returns the month number of the last known main date(used to initialize the default value of parameter 'Current Month' when the workbook opens) Number
Main Date: Year of Last Date - Returns the year of the last known main date (used to initialize the default value of parameter 'Current Year' when the workbook opens) Number
Placeholder (num)   Returns 0. Used as placeholder in some charts. Number

When your dashboard periodicity is set to Week or Quarter, the calculations names and contents are updated accordingly

 

Selected Dimension

"Selected Dimension" folder contains the following calculations:

Calculation Involved Parameters Description Format
Dimension Selected Dimension Returns the dimension content of the analytical axis selected by used using the parameter 'Selected Dimension'. Used to allow the user to switch from one dimension to another in a dataviz. (e.g. returns the list of Countries when 'Country' is selected in parameter 'Selected Dimension') Text
Dimension 2 Selected Dimension 2 Same as above, but based on parameter 'Selected Dimension 2'. Used when a dataviz requires the user to select two dimensions dynamically Text

 

Selected Indicator

"Selected Indicator" folder contains the following calculations:

Calculation Involved Parameters Description Format
Indicator Selected Indicator Returns the values of the indicator selected in the parameter 'Selected Indicator'. Used to allow the user to switch from one indicator to another in a dataviz. (e.g. returns Sales values when 'Total Sales' is selected in parameter 'Selected Indicator') Number
Indicator - Display Prefix Selected Indicator Returns the prefix of the selected Indicator format (e.g. returns '$' for an indicator like '$ 90'000'). Used when displaying the indicator value in a chart: <Indicator - Display Prefix><Indicator - Display Value><Indicator - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
Indicator - Display Suffix Selected Indicator Returns the suffix of the selected Indicator format (e.g. returns '%' for an indicator like '10%'). Used when displaying the indicator value in a chart: <Indicator - Display Prefix><Indicator - Display Value><Indicator - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
Indicator - Display Value Selected Indicator Returns the value of the selected Indicator format (e.g. returns '10' for an indicator like '10%'/'0.1'). Used when displaying the indicator value in a chart: <Indicator - Display Prefix><Indicator - Display Value><Indicator - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Number
Indicator Growth from Previous Period % Selected Indicator Returns the growth from one period to another for the selected indicator (used in a trend chart) %
Indicator Share of Total Selected Indicator Returns the market share of the indicator (used in a breakdown chart) %
Indicator 2 Selected Indicator 2 Returns the values of the indicator selected in the parameter 'Selected Indicator 2'. Used to allow the user to switch from one indicator to another in a dataviz. (e.g. returns Sales values when 'Total Sales' is selected in parameter 'Selected Indicator 2') Number
Indicator 2 - Display Prefix Selected Indicator 2 Returns the prefix of the selected Indicator format (e.g. returns '$' for an indicator like '$ 90'000'). Used when displaying the indicator value in a chart: <Indicator 2 - Display Prefix><Indicator 2 - Display Value><Indicator 2 - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
Indicator 2 - Display Suffix Selected Indicator 2 Returns the suffix of the selected Indicator format (e.g. returns '$' for an indicator like '$ 90'000'). Used when displaying the indicator value in a chart: <Indicator 2 - Display Prefix><Indicator 2 - Display Value><Indicator 2 - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
Indicator 2 - Display Value Selected Indicator 2 Returns the value of the selected Indicator format (e.g. returns '10' for an indicator like '10%'/'0.1'). Used when displaying the indicator value in a chart: <Indicator - Display Prefix><Indicator - Display Value><Indicator - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Number

 

Selected KPI

"Selected KPI" folder contains the following calculations:

Calculation Involved Parameters Description Format
KPI Selected KPI Returns the values of the KPI selected in the parameter 'Selected KPI'. Used to allow the user to switch from one KPI to another in a dataviz. (e.g. returns Sales values when 'Total Sales' is selected in parameter 'Selected KPI') Number
KPI - Display Prefix Selected KPI Returns the prefix of the selected KPI format (e.g. returns '$' for a KPI like '$ 90'000'). Used when displaying the KPI value in a chart: <KPI - Display Prefix><KPI - Display Value><KPI - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
KPI - Display Suffix Selected KPI Returns the suffix of the selected KPI format (e.g. returns '%' for a KPI like '10%'). Used when displaying the KPI value in a chart: <KPI - Display Prefix><KPI - Display Value><KPI - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
KPI - Display Value Selected KPI Returns the value of the selected KPI format (e.g. returns '10' for a KPI like '10%'/'0.1'). Used when displaying the KPI value in a chart: <KPI - Display Prefix><KPI  - Display Value><KPI - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Number
KPI Growth from Previous Period % Selected KPI Returns the growth from one period to another for the selected indicator (used in a trend chart) %
KPI Perf. -  Value Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value' calculation of the Selected KPI Number
KPI Perf. -  Value - Display Value Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value' calculation of the Selected KPI (to be used for display purpose, combined with related 'Suffix' and 'Prefix' calculations) Number
KPI Perf. -  Value (for trends) Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value (for trends)' calculation of the Selected KPI (to be used for display purpose, combined with related 'Suffix' and 'Prefix' calculations) Number
KPI Perf. -  Value (for trends) - Display Value Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value (for trends)' calculation of the Selected KPI (to be used for display purpose, combined with related 'Suffix' and 'Prefix' calculations) Number
KPI Perf. -  Value (Share of total) Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the Share of Total of Selected KPI %
KPI Perf. - Reference Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Reference' calculation of the Selected KPI Number
KPI Perf. - Reference - Display Value Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Reference' calculation of the Selected KPI (to be used for display purpose, combined with related 'Suffix' and 'Prefix' calculations) Number
KPI Perf. - Reference (for trends) Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Reference (for trends)' calculation of the Selected KPI  Number
KPI Perf. - Reference (for trends) - Display Value Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Reference (for trends)' calculation of the Selected KPI (to be used for display purpose, combined with related 'Suffix' and 'Prefix' calculations) Number
KPI Perf. - Value vs Reference Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value vs Reference' calculation of the Selected KPI Number
KPI Perf. - Value vs Reference - Display Prefix Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the format prefix of the calculation 'Perf. - Value vs Reference' Text
KPI Perf. - Value vs Reference - Display Value Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value vs Reference' calculation of the Selected KPI (to be used for display purpose, combined with related 'Suffix' and 'Prefix' calculations) Number
KPI Perf. - Value vs Reference (shape) Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value vs Reference (shape)' calculation of the Selected KPI Text
KPI Perf. - Value vs Reference % Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value vs Reference %' calculation of the Selected KPI %
KPI Perf. - Value vs Reference % (for trends) Selected KPI
Current Month
Current Year
Performance Scope
Returns the 'Perf. - Value vs Reference % (for trends)' calculation of the Selected KPI %
KPI 2 Selected KPI Returns the values of the KPI selected in the parameter 'Selected KPI 2'. Used to allow the user to switch from one KPI to another in a dataviz. (e.g. returns Sales values when 'Total Sales' is selected in parameter 'Selected KPI 2') Number
KPI 2 - Display Prefix Selected KPI 2 Returns the prefix of the selected KPI 2 format (e.g. returns '$' for a KPI like '$ 90'000'). Used when displaying the KPI value in a chart: <KPI 2 - Display Prefix><KPI 2 - Display Value><KPI 2 - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
KPI 2 - Display Suffix Selected KPI 2 Returns the suffix of the selected KPI format (e.g. returns '%' for a KPI like '10%'). Used when displaying the KPI value in a chart: <KPI 2 - Display Prefix><KPI 2 - Display Value><KPI 2 - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Text
KPI 2 - Display Value Selected KPI 2 Returns the value of the selected KPI format (e.g. returns '10' for a KPI like '10%'/'0.1'). Used when displaying the KPI value in a chart: <KPI 2 - Display Prefix><KPI 2 - Display Value><KPI 2 - Display Suffix> (allows to handle multiple formats for one single calculation) Number

 

KPIs Calculations created by LinPack

For each KPI defined in your dashboard configuration, LinPack will create a folder containing the following list of calculations.

The example below is based on a KPI called "Total Sales", defined as the "Sum of [Sales Amount]".

  Calculation Involved Parameters Description Format Palette
  _Total Sales (Expression) - Raw, non-aggregated expression, being the basis of the calculation. All the calculations related to this KPI are using this calculation. By changing it, all the KPIs calculations are updated accordingly. Float KPI Palette
  Total Sales - Total Sales:   Sum([Sales Amount]) Currency KPI Palette
MTD Total Sales MTD (Current Month) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales for Current Month, Current Year Currency KPI Palette
MTD Total Sales MTD (Current Month) (for trends) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales, Monthly Values for Current Year, until Current Month (to be used in a trend chart) Currency KPI Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD   (Previous Month) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales for Previous Month Currency KPI Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD   (Previous Year) (for trends) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales, Monthly Values for Previous Year, until Same Month (to be used in a trend chart) Currency KPI Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD  (Current vs Previous Month) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Current Month vs Previous Month △Currency KPI Variance Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD  (Current vs Previous Month) % Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Current Month vs Previous Month % △% KPI Variance Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD  (Previous Year) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Same Month, Previous Year Currency KPI Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD (Current vs Previous Year) Current Month
Current Year
Difference between Current Month and Same Month, Previous Year △Currency KPI Variance Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD (Current vs Previous Year) % Current Month
Current Year
Difference in % between Current Month and Same Month, Previous Year △% KPI Variance Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD Actual vs Target (Current Month) Current Month
Current Year
Difference between Current Month (Actual) and Current Month Target △Currency KPI Variance Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD Actual vs Target (Current Month) % Current Month
Current Year
Difference in % between Current Month (Actual) and Current Month Target △% KPI Variance Palette
MTD Total Sales  MTD Target (Current Month) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Current Month, Current Year Target Currency KPI Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD  (Current Year) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Year-to-Date, Current Year Currency KPI Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD  (Current Year) (for trends) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Monthly Values, Year-to-Date, Current Year  (to be used in a trend chart) Currency KPI Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD  (Previous Year) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Year-to-Date, Previous Year Currency KPI Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD  (Previous Year) (for trends) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Monthly Values, Year-to-Date, Previous Year (to be used in a trend chart) Currency KPI Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD (Current vs Previous Year) Current Month
Current Year
Difference between Total Sales Year-to-Date Current Year and Previous Year △Currency KPI Variance Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD (Current vs Previous Year) % Current Month
Current Year
Difference in % between Total Sales Year-to-Date Current Year and Previous Year △% KPI Variance Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD Actual vs Target (Current Year) Current Month
Current Year
Difference between Total Sales Year-to-Date Current Year (Actual) and Current Year Target △Currency KPI Variance Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD Actual vs Target (Current Year) % Current Month
Current Year
Difference in % between Total Sales Year-to-Date Current Year (Actual) and Current Year Target △% KPI Variance Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD Target  (Current Year) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Year-to-Date Target for Current Year Currency KPI Palette
YTD Total Sales  YTD Target  (Current Year) (for trends) Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Target Monthly Values, Year-to-Date, Previous Year (to be used in a trend chart) Currency KPI Palette
YTD Total Sales Growth from Previous Period % - Growth Rate from Previous Period (to be used in a trend chart)  △% KPI Variance Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. -  Value Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Based on the parameter 'Performance Scope' returns the value of the KPI for the period to analyze:
"Current Month vs Previous Month" → Total Sales MTD (Current Month)
"Current Month vs Same Month, Previous Year" → Total Sales MTD (Current Month)
"Current Month: Actual vs Target" → Total Sales MTD (Current Month)
"Year-to-Date: Current Year vs Previous Year" → Total Sales YTD (Current Year)
"Year-to-Date: Actual vs Target" → Total Sales YTD (Current Year)
Currency KPI Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. -  Value (for trends) Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Perf. Value, Monthly Values for Current Year, until Current Month (to be used in a trend chart) Currency KPI Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. - Reference Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Based on the parameter 'Performance Scope' returns the value of the KPI for the period of reference:
"Current Month vs Previous Month" → Total Sales MTD (Previous Month)
"Current Month vs Same Month, Previous Year" → Total Sales MTD (Previous Month)
"Current Month: Actual vs Target" → Total Sales  MTD Target (Current Month) // NULL if not target defined
"Year-to-Date: Current Year vs Previous Year" → Total Sales  YTD  (Previous Year)
"Year-to-Date: Actual vs Target" → Total Sales  YTD Target  (Current Year)  // NULL if not target defined
Currency KPI Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. - Reference (for trends) Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Total Sales Perf. Reference, Monthly Values for Current Year, until Current Month (to be used in a trend chart) Currency KPI Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. - Value vs Reference Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Difference between Total Sales for the period to analyze (Perf. Value) and Total Sales for the period of reference (Perf. Reference) △Currency KPI Variance Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. - Value vs Reference (for trends) Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Difference between Total Sales for the period to analyze (Perf. Value) and Total Sales for the period of reference (Perf. Reference) (to be used in a trend chart) △Currency KPI Variance Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. - Value vs Reference (shape) Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Return the shape character (▲,▼ or =) of the Difference between Total Sales for the period to analyze (Perf. Value) and Total Sales for the period of reference (Perf. Reference) ▲,▼ or = KPI Variance Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. - Value vs Reference % Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Difference in % between Total Sales for the period to analyze (Perf. Value) and Total Sales for the period of reference (Perf. Reference) △% KPI Variance Palette
Performance Total Sales Perf. - Value vs Reference % (for trends) Performance Scope
Current Month
Current Year
Difference in % between Total Sales for the period to analyze (Perf. Value) and Total Sales for the period of reference (Perf. Reference) (to be used in a trend chart) △% KPI Variance Palette

For dashboards where the periodicity is defined as "week" or "quarter", all the calculations are updated accordingly, meaning that "Current Month" becomes "Current Week" or "Current Quarter" for instance

 

 


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