Knowledge Drop

Filter a column on multiple values from another column

Userlevel 2

Last tested: Sep 7, 2019

Say you want to filter a column by multiple values in a "sub column", i.e you have a column order id's and a column product id's, and you want to filter for order id's that contain product id A AND product id B.

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The issue: You can't use a custom filter because that filter is a row based filter and won't account for multiple row values of product id for one value of order id.

The bad solution: You can use a PDT to filter on product id A then filter on product id B in the explore (or in a derived table with the filter for A as a sub select)

The better solution: A group concatenation aggregate function! How this works: The aggregate function works like any other function and will concat values based on the grouping. Implementation: We can either use

Approach 1: Create measure type list

measure: product_id_list {

type: list

list_field: product_id;;



Approach 2: Create measure of type string and use appropriate sql dialect for group_concat

measure: group_concat_product_id {

type: string

sql: group_concat(${product_id}) ;;



Note: The group_concat function varies by dialect.

Once you create the measure, you can then select orders in your explore and then apply a custom filter to 'group_concat_product_id' like so:

${view_name.group_concat_product_id} contains(A) AND

${view_name.group_concat_product_id} contains(B)


One thing to keep in mind that the measure just concats all id's together which could cause incorrect results, i.e. if you have a product_id that is "ABC", the above filter wont filter out that value. This can be solved by using a separator (i.e. a comma) and including that separator in the filter.


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3 replies

Userlevel 2

possibly super late response but looker already behaves like this. 


When you have a dashboard with several filters, on filter options you can link filters among them , this way if you select an order , it will query the producst and only show you the associated ones by order_id.

@Beto As the previous solution of choice does not seem to work (for me, or anymore?) I was curious if you could elaborate more on your suggestion? Could you post an example? Thanks so much!

Is it possible to show a few examples of each approach with dummy data? 
I’m not quite sure how the concatenation works in each example. 

Thank you very much for the help!