The Pareto chart is a dual-axis chart that contains both bars and a line graph.
This chart is named after the Italian engineer Vilfredo Pareto who founded the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule.
The Pareto principle states that around 80% of the result comes from 20% of the causes.
For example, 80% of a company’s sales number comes from 20% of the products and services offered. Or 80% of a company’s revenue is generated by 20% of its customers.
The Pareto chart uses the Pareto principle to help you identify the variable that has the most impact on your graph.
In the context of a business, it can be used to analyze the best-selling items and determine which items are the most important for the business’s success.
Here’s an example of a Pareto chart created with Tableau, showing the relation between the
Total Sales percentage amount for each
In the example above, you can see that the sales of
Binder contributes around 40% of the total sales amount.
On the other hand, the
Chair only makes up roughly 7% of the total sales amount.
This tutorial will help you create the above chart using Tableau.
Creating a Pareto chart using Tableau
First, you need to grab the example dataset used for this tutorial here:
The dataset contains fictional sales data of an office supplies company. Load the file into Tableau as a Text File and open the Sheet view.
You need to create a dual-axis chart as the foundation of the Pareto chart with the following steps:
- Drag the
Itemvariable into the Columns shelf
- Drag the
Total Salesvariable into the Rows shelf twice.
- Right-click on the second
SUM(Total Sales)variable in your Rows shelf and select the Dual Axis option.
You will have a dual-axis chart with circles as the graph marks. You need to change the marks used by the two rows.
In the Marks pane, change the
SUM(Total Sales) type from
Then, change the
SUM(Total Sales)(2) mark type from
Use the screenshot below to help you make the changes:
The line graph and the bars have the same blue color, making the line hard to see.
You can change the color of the line mark to any color you like. I will use Orange in this example.
Next, you need to sort the
Item variable from highest to lowest total sales value.
Right-click on the
Item variable in the Columns shelf and do the following steps:
Fieldas the Sort By option
- Sort Order as
Total Salesas the Field Name
Sumas the Aggregation method
The sort option should look as follows:
Close the sort window, and you should see the Item bars sorted from highest to lowest:
Adding Table calculation for the Pareto chart
Item variable sorted, you need to add a table calculation to the line graph.
This calculation will show the total sales data as a running total to 100% with each graph as a percentage of the total.
Right-click on the
SUM(Total Sales) variable that makes up the line graph in the Rows shelf and select Add Table Calculation… option.
Here are the steps to make the table calculation:
Running Totalas the Primary Calculation type, then select
Sumas the aggregation
- Check the Add secondary calculation box, then select
Percent of Totalas the Secondary Calculation type
Your table calculation should look as follows:
Once done, close the table calculation window and you should see the line graph adds up to 100% from left to right.
Adding the contribution percentage to the line graph
The last thing you need to do is add the
Total Sales variable as a Label mark to the line graph.
Right-click the label mark you’ve just added and select Quick Table Calculation > Percent of Total
You should see the completed Pareto chart as shown below:
The percentage shown on the line graph makes it easy for you to see how much each
Item contributes to the total sales amount.
This insight helps your business to focus on improving the winning product more than the rest which has lower contributions.
You can view and download the Workbook for this tutorial here:
And that’s how you create a Pareto chart using Tableau. You can modify the example workbook to fit your project requirements. 👍