Configuring User Filters in Tableau

Written By Eleonor Hellblom, Edited By Lewis Fogden
Thu 24 August 2017, in category Business intelligence



When working in any form of enterprise environment, data access generally needs to be restricted for different departments, roles, and individuals, based on a set of defined permissions. One easy and convenient way to do this in Tableau is to apply User Filters.

User Filters are linked to the server and restrict data depending on either the user's server login username or what group the user belongs to. You can apply filters on a user by user basis, giving each user specific and unique restrictions, or give everybody in the same group a common set of restrictions. In order to set up a user group, talk to your server administrator.

Below is a step-by-step on how to apply a User Filter:

1 - Log in to the server, and in the drop down menu go to Create User Filter and choose what field you want to restrict by.


2 - In the dialog box that pops up, you can see the different users and groups available. Expanding the groups will show you the members that are currently in them, so you can be sure they are the correct people to access your potentially sensitive data. By highlighting a user / group you can then choose what filters to apply to that person / whole group. To create the filter, enter a name and click OK.


3 - The User Filter you just created will be shown under Sets in the bottom left corner. Drag the filter to the filters shelf.


If you add a filter and you haven’t given yourself the necessary permissions, the sheet will go blank. Add yourself to the User Filter to be able to view the sheet.

4 - Right click on the filter, then Apply to Worksheets, and either Selected Worksheets or All Using This Data Source.


5 - Publish the sheets to the server and your users will only see the data they have permission to view.