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Any data view in Tableau can include subtotals. For example, you may have a view containing the total sales for two product types broken down by specific products. In addition to seeing the sales for each product you may want to see the total sales for each product type.
To calculate subtotals, identify the field you want to subtotal (Product Type in the above example) and select Subtotals from its context menu. The subtotal is the total of all the members in that field.
When you turn on subtotals for a specific field, the totals will change based on where that field is in the view. Consider the following example. The view below shows the sales for different product types sold across four different markets. Each product type is broken down by specific products. In addition, subtotals are turned on so that the view shows the total sales for each product type.
Now let’s move the Product Type field from the Rows shelf to the Columns shelf. The view still shows the sales for four different product types; but now, the product types are broken down by market. Because subtotals were turned on for the Product Type, the subtotals are the sum of the sales completed in each market.
By default subtotals are computed on the server if you are connected to an SSAS data source and locally if you are connected to an Essbase data source using the aggregation specified in the cube. That means if you are analyzing the average sales for each product, calculating the subtotals for each product type would result in the average sales of all products within that product type. This is not the case if you perform the computation locally instead of remotely.