Filter Action does not Run when Target Worksheet uses Different Primary Data Source

Published: 09 Aug 2013
Last Modified Date: 12 Aug 2020


When a source sheet and a target sheet have different data sources as their primary data sources, then triggering the Filter Action may not filter the target view.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Filter Actions


The following options may be used to work around the issue:

Option 1: Add the linking field to the source sheet
Note: the target worksheet will only be filtered by the linking field, which may be an issue if the linking field is less granular than the intended filter. In this case, Option 3 may be a better choice.

Option 2: Add a target filter
When the two data sources have a field with matching values, but different names, and the field is not a linking field, then it is still possible to filter the target worksheet by setting up a target filter. Once target filters are set up, the target worksheet will only be filtered by the target filters. Note that the field specified in the target filter must also be included in source worksheet.
  1. In the Edit Action Filter dialog, under Target Filters choose Selected Fields
  2. Click Add Filter
  3. In the Add Filter dialog, select the fields with matching values from each data source
  4. Click OK twice to close all dialog boxes

Option 3: Use a cross database join instead of data blending
If the linking field, or the field from the target filter, cannot be added to the source sheet, then a cross database join may be a better option. For directions on creating a cross database join, see Combine tables from different databases.

After the cross database join is set up then the Filter Action will use all dimensions from the source worksheet to filter the target worksheet.

Option 4: Add the fields to be used to filter the target view to the secondary data source
If a cross database join is not an option, then edit the data source used as the primary data source for the target worksheet to include all fields that should be used in the Filter Action.


Filter Actions can only filter the target worksheet with fields from the primary data source of the source worksheet, or the linking fields which have clear relationships to the primary data source defined.
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