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PARETO CHART

In this blog we are going to see how Pareto Charts are created and how it is used in Tableau for Visualization and why it is used.



A Pareto chart is a type of chart that contains both bars and a line graph, where individual values are represented in descending order by bars, and the ascending cumulative total is represented by the line. It is named for Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and philosopher, who formulated what has become know as the Pareto principal.

Pareto made the observation that 80% of land was typically owned by 20% of the population. Eventually, the principal was further extrapolated by others to propose that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business, for example, 80% of profits not infrequently derive from 20% of the available products.

In Tableau, we can apply a table calculation to sales data to create a chart that shows the percentage of total sales that come from the top products. For this we will use the procedure from the dataset called Sample-Superstore provided with Tableau Desktop.


For getting in to the analysis of how Pareto chart is used we follow the steps below:

First we are going to determine the category (dimensions) and the number (measure) for the base analysis. So for this we will use from the dataset Sub-Category which can be used as a dimension and it is mainly for the total sales.

The following steps are used to create a Pareto Chart:

  1. Create a bar chart that shows Sales by Sub-Category in descending order.

  2. Add a line chart that also shows Sales by Sub-Category.

  3. Add a table calculation to the line chart to show sales by Sub-Category as a Running Total and as a Percent of Total.

The above steps uses the Sample-Superstore data source provided with Tableau Desktop.


  1. Connect to the Sample-Superstore data source.

  2. From the Data pane, drag Sub-Category to Columns and then drag Sales to Rows.

  3. Click Sub-Category on Columns and choose Sort.

The next step we need to do in the Sort dialog box .

  1. Under Sort order , choose Descending.

  2. Under Sort by , choose Field.

  3. Leave all other values unchanged, including Sales as the selected field and Sum as the selected aggregation.

  4. Click OK to exit the Sort dialog box.

We will now see the charts progress one by one in the following sheets with all the steps one by one by using the Sales by Sub-Category.


  1. From the Data pane, drag Sales to Rows and Sub-Category to the columns.



2. Drag Sales again to the Rows and make it as a Dual Axis.




3. Select Sum(Sales)(2) on the Marks card, and change the mark type to Line.




The above sheet represents the dual axis representation after you do the above steps mentioned.


4. Add a table calculation to the line chart to show sales by Sub-Category as a running total, and as a percent of total.

  1. Click the second Sum(Sales) on Rows and choose Add Table Calculation.

  2. Add a primary table calculation to Sum(Sales) to present sales as a running total. Choose Running Total as the Calculation Type.

  3. Add a secondary table calculation to present the data as a percent of total. Click Add Secondary Calculation and choose Percent of Total as the Secondary Calculation Type.

Below is the table which shows as the dialog box for the Table Calculation.




5. Click Color in the Marks card to change the color of the line.





The above result is the Pareto Chart for the Sales as per the Sub-Category.


Once you save this one in to Tableau Public your visualization for this Pareto Chart will be as follows:







Importance of Pareto Chart in Tableau


A highly effective technique to know the performances build in to any business process. The below are the some of the benefits to adopt Pareto for better business data visibility.


  1. A chart that graphically summarizes the relative importance group of data

  2. A very useful tool that helps to concentrate on the big problem in your business.

  3. It solves the issue- what 20% of inputs are creating 80% of benefits or problems.

  4. It gives the output in % value.

  5. It is reusable and can be customized once we change the data.

The conclusion regarding this Pareto Chart analysis is very effective, though it may not be suitable for every case it solves the critical problems, but also helps in allocating time , esource and effort.

Hope everyone likes my blog and give me comments if you like it because that one only motivates me to do more and more.

Happy Reading!!!!






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