Why should we use the available extensions in Tableau?

decembrie 19, 2018

What is an extension?

An extensions in Tableau is an external development that can be used inside the application.

The use of it is not narrow at all, from custom visualization to narrative data summarization to excel 1:1 export up to ERP input integration.

So, basically, we can use them to do everything we want (or almost).

On the Tableau webpage, we can find 23 free extensions. See here the list.


Tested and recommendations

In the last period, I was a bit skeptic about the usage of the extensions in real life cases. Mainly because I wasn’t sure where to use them.

After browsing the extension library on the Tableau web page 2 of them popped out:

  • the “Button Filter”, developed by Biztory;
  • and the “Brush Filter”, developed by Starschema;


Extensions in Tableau – Button Filter from Biztory

For the ones that are used with Excel this more or less the same as the slicer.

Even though you can obtain the same functionality using a workaround with shapes in Tableau. This is a quite simple way of for a beginner to start using the buttons in his reports.

Some improvements that I would consider for this functionality is to add some custom shapes for the buttons and functionality to change the color of the buttons.

See the extension in action:


Extensions in Tableau – Brush Filter from Starschema

The second extension that has caught my attention is the Brush Filter, a filtering tool for dates only.

This is a cool feature in Tableau and I would consider this as a build in function, not as an add-in on top of the app.

I see three advantages of using a brush filter:

  • fast filtering
  • it’s highly intuitive for any user
  • and it is appealing for reporting

A disadvantage of the brush filter is mainly the fact that is quite inaccurate. I mean, you do know exactly the starting and ending point. But, this can be solved with some workarounds directly in dashboards.


The development from Starschema has a single minus on top of all of the many pluses. I could not get off the scrollbar from the bottom.

See the extension in action:


As a conclusion, I can say that I see a lot of potential for development and making good reporting experience using the extensions in Tableau.


You Might Also Like