Does the Tableau Desktop Pivot Feature work on SQL Tables?

Nope.

If you need to pivot data from a SQL table for use in Tableau, Tableau Desktop’s default pivot feature can’t help you.

So what can you do? You have two readily available alternatives.

First, you can use a Custom SQL statement to do the pivot. The drawback to that is Custom SQL statements are notoriously slow in Tableau.

Your second option is to use the Pivot Function in Tableau Prep (or another data preparation tool). That function doesn’t limit you like its counterpart in Tableau Desktop.

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Need more guidance on how to prepare your data for Tableau? Check out our upcoming workshop Data & Tableau in early January for more tips like this.