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# Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – Type Conversion

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Not everyone is a Tableau guru, at least not yet. To help Tableau rookies, we’re starting from square one with the Tableau Essentials blog series. The series is intended to be an easy-to-read reference on the basics of using Tableau Software, particularly Tableau Desktop. Since there are so many cool features to cover in Tableau, the series will include several different posts.

In our next Tableau Essentials article on functions, we’ll examine Type Conversion Functions. This group of functions allow you to take the result of any expression and convert it to another specific data type. These are important for preparing some fields for calculation or in the case that the underlying data source needs a little bit of preparation to get the most out of your visualization.

These are pretty straight forward, so let’s just jump right in!

## DATE Function

### DATE(expression)

The Date function converts a number, string or date expression into a date. Here’s an example:

## DATETIME Function

### DATETIME(expression)

Similar to the Date function above, the Datetime function takes it a step further by returning a time component. Again, you can return a datetime from a date, number or string. Here’s an example:

## FLOAT Function

### FLOAT(expression)

The Float function converts its argument into a floating point number. Here’s an example:

## INT Function

### INT(expression)

The INT function returns its argument as an integer. For expressions, the INT function truncates results to the closest integer towards zero. Here’s an example:

## STR Function

### STR(expression)

This function will return the argument as the string data type. Here’s an example:

Using these functions, you can convert different arguments to different data types. If you need to ensure that all of the values in a date field are indeed considered date or datetime data types, then you can use the Date or Datetime function to do so.

## Calculated Fields

Calculated fields can add a whole new layer of insight to your Tableau dashboards. The possibilities are practically endless, but we’ll be covering the fundamentals, especially functions, to help you build a foundational understanding of how and when to use them. Check back for more posts covering:

Introduction

Another great resource for functions is Dan Murray’s best-selling guidebook, “Tableau Your Data!” It features a whole section devoted the functions we’ll be covering in this series and much, much more.

## More Tableau Essentials

Want to learn more about Tableau? We have several posts outlining all of Tableau’s fantastic features. Check out the full list on our Tableau Essentials blog channel.

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