Disclaimer: This is the first in a series of Tableau tips and tricks blogs for those just starting to use the tool. The intent of this series is to inform users on basic tips and tricks in order to speed the learning curve.

Tableau, like many visualization tools, is feature rich piece of software with a lot of bells and whistles. Often there are many ways to accomplish the same piece of functionality and this particular item is no different. Users using a version 10.3 and above have the simple option of checking "Filter to latest date value when workbook is opened", as seen below:

Tableau 10.3 and Above Option

Unfortunately, users of earlier versions must do a little more work, but it's not too difficult to setup Tableau to accomplish this task.

Try the following:

  1. In the particular worksheet we want to set the filter, create a calculated field named "Max Scan Date" or similarly named for easy identification
  • Analysis > Create Calculated Filed:

Max Scan DateCreate another Calculated Field named "Scan Date Filter":
Scan Date FilterDrag "Scan Date Filter" into the Filters section and select "Current" Upon data refresh, you can will now see the most updated Scan Date data

Right now, I'm sure you are asking yourself "Why did we use the Level of Detail Fixed?". This was done since you cannot compare aggregate and non-aggregate data in an IF statement. If you would like more information on Level of Detail calculations, please visit the Tableau help page here. The other part of the "Scan Date Filter" calculation parses and re-arranges the parts of the [Scan Date] field into something that's pretty for the end user and can be adapted to many different formats as shown below.

Our Final Product:

  1. With "Current" selected as Scan Date:Current Filter View
  2. With a date selected as Scan Date:

Filter with a Date