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dashboard / LEARN / Other / Tableau

Dynamic Label – Week29 Solution


This week I collaborated with my colleague, Tamás Gáspár to make you a great #WOW20 challenge. This challenge is based on a true story because this was a real claim from one of our clients. Let’s jump into it.

You can read the original requirements here:

We used our favourite Superstore dataset that is located on your laptop under the Tableau Repository>Datasources Folder but you can download it here as well.


  1. Have a heatmap where only the totals have labels.
  2. Show the cell value when the mouse is over it.


STEP #1: Prepare the date parts for the year and the month


  • Order Month
    datename(‘month’,[Order Date])
  • Order Year
    year([Order Date])
  • Bring Month to the Column shelf with month date part and Year to the Rows as year.
  • Add the average quantity to coloring.
    Tip: Grab the field on the data pane with right-click and put on coloring. This will bring up the available aggregation for the field. Useful when you don’t want to use the default aggregation.



  • Add Rows and Columns Totals.
  • Set the coloring for the totals too. Right-click on the color card on the right, go to ‘Edit colors… then tick the ‘Include Totals’ checkbox.

STEP #2: Making Labels

  • Now the first fun part. Making the label only for the total.
    • Create 3 calculated fields.

Two are for differentiating normal cells and totals.

1. Row Size
2. Column Size

The third is to handle the different cells:

3. Label
if [row size] = 1
or [column size] = 1
then avg([Quantity])

  • Now put the Label on the label mark

STEP#3: Set the chart type to Square

  • The labels are looking weird, we need to set the table calculations. Right-Click on the Label and pick ‘Edit Table Calculation…’ At the top, ‘Nested Calculations’ drop-down pick  Row Size’ and select ‘Table (Across)’ computation. Column Size’ needs to be set to ‘Table (Down)’. Now you should see the labels at the totals.
  • Note: This method also can be used, when you have special logic for the total, or you just want something different with the totals.

STEP #4: Making label for the hovered cell

  • We are going to use the Set Action function.
  • Create 2 sets from the fields on the axes. Call them Hovered Month and Hovered Year.

STEP #5: Making the action to control the labels

  • Put the sheet onto a dashboard.
  • Go to the Dashboard menu and select Actions…
  • Add Action and pick Change Set Values…
  • Name it Hover Month. Set it to ‘Hover‘, pick the Hovered Month set, and set to Remove all values from set, when clearing selection.

  • Do the same for the Year set.
  • The final step is to add an exception to our Label field:

if [Row Size] = 1
or [Column Size] = 1
or (attr([Hovered Month])
and attr([Hovered Year]))
then avg([Quantity])

  • One final thing, set the format of the label to 2 decimals and we are done! 🙂

Advanced Challenge


  1. Make the coloring dynamic. Have different metrics when a field is selected or not.
  2. Highlight the year and month of the selected cell.

STEP #1: Use our Basic for basis

STEP #2: Create 2 more sets for the selected cell

  • Make the selected cell’s value available for the rest of the cells (I call it, projecting the value to all the data points).
    I use window_max table calculation, but others are working fine too.

Picked year-month Value

if attr([Selected Month])
and attr([Selected Year])
then avg([Quantity])

  • Now we can make the difference calculation for the coloring and new label.


AVG([Quantity]) – ifnull([picked year-month value],0)

STEP #3: Create the advanced label

if isnull([picked year-month value])
then if [Row Size] = 1
        or [Column Size] = 1
        or (attr([Hovered Month])
        and attr([Hovered Year]))
        then avg([Quantity])
elseif AVG([Quantity]) = ifnull([picked year-month value],0)
then AVG([Quantity])
else AVG([Quantity]) – ifnull([picked year-month value],0)

  • Put Coloring to the Color mark and select Table (across then down) computation.
  • Put Selected Label to the Label mark then Edit table calculation…

Row Size: Across
Column Size: Down
Selected year-month Value: Table (across then down) 

STEP #4: Make the set and highlight actions

  • Make 2 more set actions on the dashboard for the new selected sets, but now run the action on Select  
  • And finally, do the highlighting. We want to highlight the year and month where the selected cell is.
    Create a new field.

Select Year or Month

[Selected Month]
or [Selected Year]

  • Put it on the Details mark and select max aggregation.

  • Now add the Highlight action through this field.
  • Go to Dashboard and select Action…
  • Add new Highlight action.
  • Set to Selected Fields, and pick the max(Select Year or Month)
  • Well Done, you have gone through a really long Workout Wednesday. 

Now you know how to:

  • Make custom totals.
  • Create set action.
  • Do nested table calculations.
  • Project values to other data points.
  • Make complex if statements.

That’s it!😎 We hope you enjoyed reading the solution. Find & download the workbook on Tableau Public here:

If you have any questions, reach out to us on Twitter @IvettAlexa@tamasgaspar2 !



Ivett Kovács

I love taking datasets into beautiful and informative visualizations. Besides data, I am also very passionate about traveling, surfing, cooking and exploring the outdoors with my dog.

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