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Pareto chart in Tableau

Pareto are freely stemmed from the Pareto Principle (likewise called the 80 20 rule). The Pareto Concept states that 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the reasons. Sometimes you may see this specified as 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the effort/work.

On the primary axis, bars are used to show the raw quantities for each dimension member, sorted in descending order.

On the secondary axis, a line graph is used to show the cumulative total in percent format.

While this chart type can serve a variety of purposes, it is part of the seven basic tools of quality control, and is traditionally used to identify the biggest opportunities for improvement.

How to Make a Pareto Chart in Tableau

In this Example I will use the Sample – Superstore data set to look at which Product Sub-Categories contribute the most Profit.

First, create a bar chart that looks at the Sum(Profit) per Product Sub-Category and sort it in descending order:

Next, create a dual-axis combination chart by dragging the Profit measure from the Measure Shelf to the rows, changing the mark type on the primary axis back to bar, and changing the mark type for the secondary axis to line and also changing line color to Dark Pink .

Now, you have to combine two graphs for that you have to click on the SUM(Profit) measure and select dual axis.

For a refresher on creating this type of chart, click here

At this point, the visualization will look similar to this:

The steps to make it a Pareto Chart.

We will add a table calculation and a secondary table calculation to the second Profit pill(on Rows) to display the cumulative percent of profit across product sub-Categories.

Firstly, click on Add Table Calculation then change "Primary Calculation Type" as "Running Total"

Next, To add a secondary table calculation, click the second Profit pill again(on Rows), choose “Edit Table Calculation…”, and check the box at the bottom of the interface that says “Add Secondary Calculation”.

Changing the Secondary Calculation Type to Percent of Total will display the cumulative percent of total

At this point, the visualization will look similar to this:

Next, add a label to the Sub-Categories by dragging Sub-Categories measure into Label of Marks Sum(Profit) and Profit measure into Label of Marks Sum(Profit)(2).

Now, I want to change Label on Profit line as "% of Total running Sum of Profit", To achieve that right click on SUM(Profit) -> select Add Table Calculation . Then change "Primary Calculation Type" as "Running Total" and "Secondary Calculation Type" to "Percent of Total".

Note : You can always change the format (Font and Colors) as per your liking.

Final Pareto Chart

This chart can now be used for insights such as, “The business’ three most profitable Product Sub-Categories are causing about 50% of the total profit.”

Pareto Charts are an effective way to quickly highlight opportunities for improvement and provide a scale for how urgently a quality control problem should be treated.

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