TRL – Tooltip Exclude and Top N with Others

Here is a quick “Tableau Request Live” post — I wanted to be sure I published this short (but helpful) TRL video on the blog! This video covers two situations you might run into in Tableau: A tooltip ‘Exclude’, and creating a Top N with Others view of your data.

Tooltip Exclude

In the video, Joe Mako and I explore the behavior of choosing the ‘Exclude’ option in a tooltip.  The key to this ‘Exclude’ option in a tooltip is that we are essentially creating a filter based on the active dimensions in the view — in the video example, there are two dimensions in the view that impact what is filtered when the tooltip ‘Exclude’ option is chosen — by converting one of those Dimensions into a Measure, we ensure that the ‘Exclude’ only filters on the single intended dimension.

Top N with Others — Using a Set for the ‘Top N and Others’ Removes Complexity

We also walk through a simple Top N with Others example that leverages a Conditional Set, and a RANK() table calculation to create a “Top 10 with Others” view in Tableau — this method seemed a bit easier than using Table Calcs on top of Table Calcs to create the final view.

This method can remove some complexity, since a Set can be referenced in a row level calculation (in other words, we can create a Dimension based on a Conditional Set in a calculated field–this is shown in the video at around the 6:30 mark), whereas a Table Calc would need to best nested within another Table Calc, and each and every Table Calc would have to be set up with the correct “Compute Using”, or Partitioning/Addressing, for the dimensions in the view.  See this post from Interworks for an example of the added complexity when using Table Calcs alone for this type of problem.

Using the Set method for the Top N also makes it simpler to further explore the “Top N and Others” view — in this example, we place a simple Percent of Total measure in the view, and doing so is incredibly simple since we can base the Percent of Total on the dimension resulting from the Set (this is shown in the video at around 11:48 mark).  We can also turn on Grand Totals, and everything works beautifully since we’re only dealing with a single level of detail in the view — that level of detail is defined based on the single dimension in the view, the [Items] dimension that resulted from the calculation on the Set–that calc was defined in the video as:

IF [In Top N] then [Product Name] else ‘Others’ END

There are several alternate/related methods for obtaining a Top N with Others type of view in Tableau.  Below are some links that explore options.

Alternate/Related Links on Top N and Others:

Additionally, this type of question comes up often on the Tableau Forums – a quick search on the Tableau Community Welcome page will exemplify that (for more info on how to search the Forums, see this post):

I hope you find this video and the blog post helpful as you navigate your way through learning Tableau.  I am still learning more and more about Tableau as I explore these scenarios with Joe Mako, and others, on a regular basis.

Your feedback on the videos and the related blog posts is welcomed.  Since the videos are recorded “live”, we hope you will find them useful, even without much added commentary and/or details.  We hope the videos themselves help you to learn more about how Tableau works, and enable you to choose a path that will lead you to your desired results.

Until next time.

TRL: Ratio of Ratios in Tableau – Nested Table Calc Example


I’m a little late getting this video up on this Blog (we recorded it more than a week ago)… but here it is: Joe Mako walking me through an example of a Nested Table Calculation, a Ratio of Ratios example.  He breaks down the problem itself, and describes how he reaches a final solution by evaluating all the necessary measures to make the final result appear on the screen.

The original Tableau Forums question is located here:

Keith Helfrich already blogged about the video, and I’m not sure I can add much more detail than what you’ll find in the video itself, Keith’s blog post, and the original Forums post.

The video can be watched below:

There is another video in the Think Data Thursday Video Library on Nested Table Calculations, although I’m not sure if there are audio/video issues in that video.  You can check it out here:

Please feel free to reach out with questions, comments, or if you would like to share ideas for some online Tableau collaboration!  I cannot say enough about how much I’m learning by putting myself out there and allowing other Tableau users, like Joe Mako, to share their knowledge with me via online screen sharing sessions.

Until next time.

Sheet Swapping and Popping with Joe Oppelt (and a Tip on Searching the Tableau Forums)

Here is a quick and easy Saturday morning post!

Tableau Forums user Joe Oppelt and I wanted to put a video out that shows how to build a Tableau Dashboard with Worksheets that show or hide based on a Parameter selection, AND each worksheet has an object that pops in and out of the dashboard display, based on the user’s selection in a Parameterized list of values.

The first part of this is very much like the “sheet swapping” technique shown in one of  Tableau’s own KB articles:

Another great resource for learning more is Joshua Milligan‘s “Sheet Selection on Steroids” post, in which he comprehensively covers Tableau scenarios that can be used to initiate a Sheet Swap on a Dashboard, including Quick Filters, Action Filters, and even Swapping based on the number of items selected!  His blog posts are very thorough and easy to follow, which is why I refer to them often!

Quick Side Note: Joshua did a great Think Data Thursday presentation, which uses some sheet swapping techniques, on 10/2/2014; you can watch his TDT Video here, or in the TDT Video Library.

These tricks can be expanded in many ways — my goal in posting this is to show you a couple of methods Joe uses in his own work for accomplishing this swapping and popping of objects on a dashboard.  This does not cover all use cases, and your own mileage may vary based on what you hope to accomplish.  The video quality is decent, but the cursor does not match all of Joe Oppelt’s mouse clicks during his demo (that may have been my fault, as this was the first recording I was hosting myself)–I hope the main concepts shown are clear to those who watch the video — your feedback is most certainly welcome!

If you want to see many other tricks along these same lines, I would recommend reading through Tableau Forum user Ville Tyrväinen‘s posts… his Activity stream has many threads in which he has posted workarounds/tricks related to Sheet Swapping and Popping.   I believe Joe has been very inspired by Ville’s posts on the Forums, and I cannot credit him enough for teaching others on the Tableau Forums some new tricks!

For me, the most important pieces here are: realizing the impact of the filter used on each sheet, and the impact of sheets being placed inside of a layout container together.   There are several other tricks I picked up from Joe through making this video, though:  one was that Floating Objects on a dashboard can be placed outside the boundaries of that dashboard by inputting values directly in the “Layout” pane.  Tableau will not allow us to drag them off the dashboard, but as Joe shows in the video, we can type in whatever values we want to position a Floating Object any place we like!

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the Comments section, or at the Tableau Forums post where Joe shared the video publicly:

I hope this can serve as a reference point for users trying to learn similar tricks in Tableau.  I also hope users will see how incredibly easy this video was to make for Joe and I.  All it took was some willingness to reach out (I asked Joe if he’d do this video with me), and about an hour of our time on a Saturday.  I would encourage other Tableau users to reach out to others, and do screen sharing sessions, or record your own videos to share with others!


Did you know that the Tableau Community Forums has two search options?  The one in the top-right corner of every page is for searching the entire website:

Searches Entire Tableau Site

While the search found on the Tableau  Community Welcome Page under “What are you looking For?’ will only search Forum posts:

Type Forum Questions Here

I hope this helps clear up some confusion!

Until next time.