We can imagine so many use cases for this new feature. Here are just a few:
1. Show sales territories: Sales territories are often built on low-level geographies like zip codes, with groups of zip codes defining individual sales territories. It’s now fast and easy to construct these in Tableau.
2. Group multi-national regions: Do you want to make maps of multi-national administrative regions? No problem. You can now represent the European Union with a single mark.
3. Aggregate postal codes: Use calculations to create three-digit zip codes in the US and postal code areas in the UK.
4. Compare geographic territories: Leverage this feature’s exploratory power. Examine what-if scenarios at the regional level. Compare geographic territories with ease.
Custom territories can be used with blending and data integration, so if your business data lives in another table, you can still visualize the data you want. Custom territories will work on point maps and filled maps. That means you can build proportionally-sized symbol maps and choropleth maps, just like you can with built-in geocoding data.
You might be wondering about the difference between custom territories and groups. You’ve been able to group in Tableau for years, but those groups always sit on top of the base unit. That’s not the case with custom territories. You can build your own territories, and then use those as your base analysis.
Under the hood, this feature is pretty complex. Imagine hundreds or thousands of polygons being unioned together, then dissolved to remove interior borders from adjacent polygons. Tableau is generating point centroids on the fly at lightning speed to keep you in the flow of your analysis.
We’d like to thank you, our community, for helping us build this powerful feature. Your suggestions and votes on the Ideas Forum helped guide our work. As you know, your feedback means great deal to us.