Heatmap for Multi Picklist

  • 8 August 2017
  • 3 replies

Is there a way to do a heatmap on a field that is a multi picklist that is a contains and doesn’t show each string but rather the individual picklist item with a count of if each object contains taht specific item.

It might be better to walk someone through by a visual.

3 replies

Hi @p_talkad

It would depend on the ETL process for the multi-select picklist field into the underlying database. On a high level, you would need to split out the items the picklist contains to then get a count of each item.

Assuming Looker is getting the Multi-Select Picklist as a string, the most straight forward way to pull out the specific values from the picklist is a ‘yesno’ dimension for each option on the picklist, and then using a count measure to get your count. Since you have to create a seperate dimension for each item on the picklist that you want to count, it is a bit laborious.

dimension: picklist_AAA {

type: yesno

sql: ${picklist} LIKE ‘%AAA%’ ;;


You can see more information on the yesno dimension here:

Multi-Select Picklist is a very specific dimension type for Salesforce that can be difficult to integrate with visualizations and analytics outside of Salesforce. But with a little effort, you will be able to tease out the details you need to do your analysis and create visualizations from it.

the thing is, the picklist is over 30+ items, so the separate dimension doesn’t seem to be the most effective way.

How do you split out the items on the picklist (the first option)?

The other option would be to discuss splitting this field out into many fields with your database administrator during ETL. Multi-Select Picklists are difficult to work with outside of Salesforce.

To stay within Looker, what I described above is how you would need to split the values out so you could count them. Looker isn’t going to see each item unless you create a method for Looker to isolate the items because essentially there are 30+ fields mashed into one. There really is no graceful way to handle them in Looker because of the format of multi-select picklists.