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Tableau Charts: Pareto chart

Updated: May 17

Pareto chart in Tableau


Pareto chart contains both bar and a line chart, where individual values are presented in descending order by bars and the cumulative total is presented by the line chart.

The chart is named after the pareto principle which states that “For many events, roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes”.

Pareto chart is used in highlighting the most important among a (typically large) set of factors.

Example of a pareto chart

Example of a pareto chart created in Tableau

Pareto chart best practices

  • Always label the axis clearly.

  • Ensure the line chart is visually noted by adding more weight on size.

  • Provide additional details on the tooltip.

Step by step guide on how to create a pareto chart in Tableau.

Using Superstores data set pre-loaded with Tableau app, I am going to show you how to create a Pareto chart to find-out the States contributed 80% of all Profits generated by the superstores. (Note; in your own set-up, you'll find an appropriate problem to solve using this technique).

Once you're connected to Superstores data set above,..

  • Drag dimension State to the Columns shelf.

  • Drag measure field Profit to the Rows shelf. (Note, the aggregation is SUM()).

See the resulting chart,...

resulting to tableau column chart

Sort State in descending order by Profit..

Sorting chart in descending order

Duplicate the chart. To do this, Hold down CTRL key and drag the field SUM(Profit) on the Rows shelf next to itself. See below.

duplicating charts in tableau

Add a quick Table calculation by computing Running Totals for one of the charts. See below.

adding tableau running totals

Add a secondary table calculation to compute 'Percent of Total'. (Note, all these table calculations are computed using dimension State).

adding tableau table calculation percent of total

Executing above, changing the chart type of the first chart to a 'Line' and renaming the axis 'Percent', we've.

Making the chart dual results to our final chart. See below.

creating tableau dual axis chart

Now lets find the States generated 80% of all Profits.

tableau pareto chart

Extending my selection to view States I have.

tableau pareto chart final

From the above view, we can say. Approximately 80% of profits generated came from five States; namely, California, New York, Washington, Michigan and Virginia.

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