Best of the new features Tableau has given us in the 2020.2 release

By Lee Ronan, Commercial Director, CSL

In the latest 2020.2 release, key highlights are the introduction of relationship-based modelling and set controls along with updates to metrics.
All data shown is illustrative.


A HUGE change coming to tableau 2020.2 is the new relationship-based modelling. In essence, tables will no longer need to be joined together to a single level of detail in the data pane. They will now be left separate with the level of detail of the view defining how the tables are finally joined together.

An example of where this new feature would be useful is when joining a sales table to a table which contains targets, where a difference in level of detail is common. Using a join here would mean duplication of the target number for every row of data in which the territory has sales, as shown below.

Setting up the relationship is similar to the previous set up for a join, however, notice below that there is now no join operator, as this is assigned automatically and only defined when in each view. You will also notice that the data from the two tables will not be merged in the data grid at the bottom of the data source page.

As soon as the territory field is dragged into the view of a sheet then that is the level of detail that both tables will be aggregated to. So, when sales from the first table and targets from the second are subsequently dragged in no duplication of data will occur, allowing for quick and simple comparisons and analysis. 

Note: Tableau have made it very clear that no existing join-based reports will be affected by this upgrade and that joins will still be available to use but will no longer be the default.

Set Controls

Set controls are a new feature coming to tableau 2020.2 which will allow users to add and remove data from a set using a familiar filter like control.

Set actions have previously enabled users to click/hover within graphs to add data to sets, however this was not always ideal, for example if an account you wanted to add to a set was too small in a graph to click. Giving a filter like option for set controls is a useful way to see all your set options together and to allow visualisations to be more dynamic and functional for an end user.

The graph below is showing a set control which controls the colour formatting of the bars. When a trust is selected in the control then all the bars with sales less than the selected trust’s will be coloured orange and those that are greater are coloured green. The numbers above the bars show the difference in value between the trusts in the viz and the selected trust in the set control.

Best of the new features Tableau has given us in the 2020.2 release


Metrics is a feature that will display a summary of important KPI’s on Tableau mobile and on the web. A single client can have multiple different Tableau dashboards that they have to click through in order to see only two or three metrics that they are interested in on a regular basis. This update will allow a user to personalise which metrics from multiple dashboards that they are most interested in and will display them together so they can quickly be viewed in one place.

For a full list, including any feature I did not touch on, here’s the official announcement

If you want to know any more about how you could be using these new features in Tableau, please contact us on


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