Understanding Level of Detail (LOD) Expressions

See how to use and leverage LOD Expressions in your analysis.

At Tableau, our goal is to make data analysis a delightful experience. People tell us that when they are deeply engaged in Tableau they stop thinking about the mechanics of using the product and just have fun asking questions of their data. We call this experience flow—a state of joyful immersion in a task.

If you have to start thinking about how to use the tool to solve the problem, the state of flow is broken. One common cause of this is the need to work with data that has been aggregated to different levels of detail. These questions are often simple to ask, but hard to answer. They often sound something like: Can I plot the number of days per quarter where my company had more than 100 orders?

To address these types of questions, Tableau 9.0 introduces a new syntax called Level of Detail (LOD) Expressions. This new syntax both simplifies and extends Tableau’s calculation language by making it possible to address level of detail questions directly.

In this whitepaper, you’ll gain insights into how LOD Expressions work, along with a more in-depth look at the different types of LOD Expressions and their respective use cases.