Context Filters

By default, all filters that you set in Tableau are computed independently. That is, each filter accesses all rows in your data source without regard to other filters. However, you can set one or more categorical filters as context filters for the view. You can think of a context filter as being an independent filter. Any other filters that you set are defined as dependent filters because they process only the data that passes through the context filter.
You may create a context filter to:
  • Improve performance – If you set a lot of filters or have a large data source, the queries can be slow. You can set one or more context filters to improve performance.
  • Create a dependent numerical or top N filter – You can set a context filter to include only the data of interest, and then set a numerical or a top N filter.
For example, suppose you’re in charge of breakfast products for a large grocery chain. Your task is to find the top 10 breakfast products by profitability for all stores. If the data source is very large, you can set a context filter to include only breakfast products. Then you can create a top 10 filter by profit as a dependent filter, which would process only the data that passes through the context filter.
Context filters are particularly useful for relational data sources because a temporary table is created. This table is automatically generated by Tableau when you set the context, and acts as a separate (smaller) data source that results in increased performance when you build data views.
For SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle data sources, you must have permission to create a temporary table on the server.
For multidimensional data sources, temporary tables are not created and context filters only define which filters are independent and dependent.
  1. Creating Context Filters
  2. Example – Context Filters


  1. I read your blog.I thought it was great.. Hope you have a great day. God bless.


  2. I got a quick question regarding Tableau Online (Not Tableau Desktop). I can't seem to find a way to make a context filter. Am I missing something?

  3. it's great to collect this information about Tableau online training