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Tableau Data Interpreter - Magic Feature For Data Cleaning

Updated: Mar 15

Author: Ajay CB

Have you ever tried to use a document like the one I have displayed below and wondered how to handle the nulls in Tableau?

Let’s see what this file looks like when I use this on Tableau.

As you can see, there are so many null values that are considered since we had inserted a text in a separate column on top of the document. So one way is that we can manually delete the heading and put all our data on top. But is it really required to do this much manual work? No. Tableau has made handling such issues with ease with its amazing feature called data interpreter. This has helped a lot of people to start cleaning the data at the initial stages and process it later, such as pivoting, unpivoting, etc.

So how do we use Tableau data interpreter?

All you have to do is just click that check box on the left (Use data interpreter) and, Tableau does all the magic for you! And voila! As you can see, the unwanted data has been removed, and now the data is clean. All these have been done in just a single click.

How do I review what was excluded and what was included after I have used a data interpreter?

All you have to do is click on (review the results), and it will download an xlsx file which you can open to review the results.

As you can see that the data with green color in its shading are the values that come under the clean data.

And this is how we got the clean data in Tableau after using the data interpreter feature. This has saved us a lot of time and manual work.

Where can we use this feature?

  • Data interpreter is supported for Xls, xlsx, Text, CSV Files, PDF, and Google sheets

  • It can be used when the data contains less than 3000 rows and less than 150 columns


Data interpreter helps to clean the data at the initial stages by excluding nulls and unwanted data; this saves a lot of time and a lot of manual work for further process.

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