Add Synonyms for Ask Data

People may not use the same terminology found in your data source, so data source owners and Tableau administrators can add synonyms for specific data field names and values. Synonyms you enter are available throughout your organization, making data analysis quicker and easier for everyone.

Note: You can't use synonyms that reflect standard analytical terms like “by” or “max”. Likewise, you can't create synonyms for these special types of data: sets, bins, clusters, hierarchies, combined fields, table calculations, or latitude and longitude.

Add field and value synonyms for a specific data source or lens

  1. Go to the Ask Data tab for a data source or individual lens.
  2. Hover over a data source field at left, and click the Edit Field Details icon (the pencil).

  3. To enter synonyms for the field name, use the Synonyms text box.
  4. To enter synonyms for field values, click the arrow in the lower left corner.

    Then use the search box to find specific values, and enter synonyms for them at right.

    Tip: To help Ask Data better interpret users' questions, make synonyms for field values unique and short.

Add synonyms for multiple data sources

When a field or value has similar usage throughout your organization, use data roles to apply the same synonyms across multiple data sources. For example, data roles are a great choice if every subsidiary uses the same names for business departments, or if product lines have a consistent set of sub-products.

Using data roles for synonyms saves you a lot of time, because you can manage them centrally in Tableau Online or Tableau Server. From Ask Data, you can publish new data roles and apply existing ones created in Ask Data or Tableau Prep(Link opens in a new window).

Publish synonyms to a new data role

  1. Follow the steps for adding field name and value synonyms for a specific data source.
  2. From the Data Role menu, choose Publish Data Role.
  3. Enter a name for the role, and then click Publish.

Apply synonyms from an existing data role

Note: When applying existing data roles, you can select only roles you have permission to access.

  1. Go to the Ask Data tab for a data source or individual lens.
  2. Hover over a data field at left, and click the Edit Field Details icon (the pencil).

  3. From the Data Role menu, choose Apply Data Role.
  4. Enter search terms to narrow the list of roles. Then select a role from the list, and click Apply.

    Synonyms from the role appear grayed out, but you can edit them on the central page for the data role.

    Grayed-out synonyms must be edited on the data role page. In this example, “Area” comes from a data role, while “Vertical” is specific to the current data source.

Change or remove an applied data role

Note: You cannot change built-in data roles for geographic fields like country, state, province, or city.

  1. Go to the Ask Data tab for a data source or individual lens.
  2. Hover over a data source field at left, and click the Edit Field Details icon .
  3. Click the name of the currently applied data role, and choose either Apply a Different Data Role or Remove Data Role.

Edit field name or value synonyms for a data role

  1. Go to the Ask Data tab for a data source or individual lens.
  2. Hover over a data source field at left, and click the Edit Field Details icon .
  3. Click the name of the currently applied data role, and choose View Data Role.
  4. On the central page for the data role, do the following:
    • To edit synonyms for the field name, click the Synonyms section at top. Then add or remove synonyms in the text box, and click Save.

    • To edit synonyms for field values, click the pencil icon next to Values.

      Then edit values in the Synonyms column, and click Save. For fields with long lists of values, use the search box at right to narrow things down.

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