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Date Functions

This article introduces date functions and their uses in Tableau. It also demonstrates how to create a date calculation using an example.

In this article

Why use date functions

List of date functions in Tableau

Create a date calculation example

date_part values

Why use date functions

Date functions allow you to manipulate dates in your data source.

For example, you might have a date field with year, month, and day for each value (2004-04-15). From these existing values, you can create new date values with a date function, such as the DATETRUNC function. For example, you can find the date of the beginning of the quarter for any existing date value.

The date calculation might look something like this:

DATETRUNC('quarter', [Order Date])

So, if the original date is '3/27/2011', using the above calculation would return '1/1/2011' to indicate that Q1 started on January 1. If the orginal date is '5/3/2011', then the calculation would return '4/1/2011' to indicate that Q2 started on April 1, four months into the year.

See the Create a date calculation section below for an example.

Date functions available in Tableau:

For more detailed definitions of these functions, as well as syntax and examples, see Tableau Functions (by Category) and click Date functions.

Create a date calculation

Follow along with the steps below to learn how to create a date calculation.

  1. In Tableau Desktop, connect to the Sample-Superstore saved data source, which comes with Tableau.

  2. Navigate to a worksheet.

  3. From the Data pane, under Dimensions, drag Order Date to the Rows shelf.

  4. On the Rows shelf, click the plus icon (+) on the YEAR(Order Date) field.

    QUARTER(Order Date) is added to the Rows shelf and the view updates.

  5. On the Rows shelf, click the plus icon (+) on the QUARTER(Order Date) field to drill down to MONTH(Order Date).

  6. Select Analysis > Create Calculated Field.

  7. In the calculation editor that opens, do the following:

  8. From the Data pane, under Dimensions, drag Quarter Date to the Rows shelf and place it to the right of MONTH(Order Date).

    The visualization updates with year values. This is because Tableau rolls date data up to the highest level of detail.

  9. On the Rows shelf, right-click YEAR(Quarter Date) and select Exact Date.

  10. On the Rows shelf, right-click YEAR(Quarter Date) again and select Discrete.

    The visualization updates with the exact quarter date for each row in the table.

date_part values

Many date functions in Tableau use date_part, which is a constant string argument. The valid date_part values that you can use are:

date_part Values
'year' Four-digit year
'quarter' 1-4
'month' 1-12 or "January", "February", and so on
'dayofyear' Day of the year; Jan 1 is 1, Feb 1 is 32, and so on
'day' 1-31
'weekday' 1-7 or "Sunday", "Monday", and so on
'week' 1-52
'hour' 0-23
'minute' 0-59
'second' 0-60

For more information on formatting date functions, see the Literal Expressions section of the At a glance: calculation syntax table.

Note: Date functions do not take account of the configured fiscal year start. See Fiscal Dates for more information.

See Also

Fiscal Dates

Dates and Times

Date Properties for a Data Source

Custom Dates

Custom Date Formats

Tableau Functions (Alphabetical)

Tableau Functions (by Category)

Formatting Calculations in Tableau

Functions in Tableau