When you place a measure on a shelf, Tableau automatically aggregates the data, usually by summing it. You can easily determine the aggregation applied to a field because the function always appears in front of the field’s name when it is placed on a shelf. For example, Sales becomes SUM(Sales).
Disaggregating your data allows you to view every row of the data source which can be useful when you are analyzing measures that you may want to use both independently and dependently in the view. For example, you may be analyzing the results from a product satisfaction survey with the Age of participants along one axis. You can aggregate the Age field to determine the average age of participants or disaggregate the data to determine at what age participants were most satisfied with the product.