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Tableau tips: Set action - Part to whole analysis

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Tableau set action

Business demands require different skills and techniques to quickly and substantially respond to them – talking from the data perspective. Having the ability to quickly build data solutions to many of the organization business questions can make your work as a data analyst smooth. But, to amass the necessary skill and speed to respond to these changing business needs requires some serious investment in learning. That’s why this article is part of the small skills of the bigger skill.

The problem

You have been tasked to compute the contribution of certain members or data points to the whole? And do it in such a way that the end user has flexibility to choose which particular members or data points to use when computing this.

The solution – Using set action

Why set action?

A set is divided into two – IN/OUT set.

With this, we can create a set action that captures end user selection on the dashboard to form now the IN set which will be used in our calculation.

Step by step guide

We’ll be using data on Traffic Incidences in Kenya, to show contribution of a County or a group of Counties to the total number of deaths or injuries recorded countrywide in the year 2011.

(In your own business environment, you will find other scenarios where this technique can be applicable)

Create a map showing distribution of road accident victims

  • Drag dimension field County to details shelf – Note: Assign geographical role of this field as a State/Province.

  • Drag measure field Victims to the color shelf.

Filled map in Tableau

Create a set consisting a couple of counties

Creating a set in Tableau

Create a pie chart computing the proportion of deaths resulting from the counties we’ve selected above.

  • Select Pie under marks card

  • Drag measure field Deaths to the Angle

  • Drag our set County set to the color

  • Label the view and compute the percent of total

Creating a pie chart in tableau

Repeat the step above but now using the field – Injured to compute the proportion of Injured resulted from the IN set.

Combine the three views in a dashboard as show below

Tableau dashboard

This dashboard is somehow static, this is because the computation on proportion of deaths and Injured is based on a fixed set, we therefore need to create a set action to enable change of IN set based on user selection on the dashboard.

To do that;

  • Go to Dashboard menu >> Actions…

  • Set as shown below

Executing this leaves us with a more flexible & informative view. Computing contribution of a county or a group of counties to the total is a simple as selecting a portion of the viz.

Set action in Tableau

I hope this was helpful to you. To receive more of the Tableau tips and tricks on data visualization, kindly join our mailing list by subscribing below.

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About Me

More About the Author

Bernard K

Analytics Consultant | 3X Tableau Certified

Bernard is a data analytics consultant helping businesses reveal the true power of their data and bring clarity to their reporting dashboards. He loves building things and sharing knowledge on how to build dashboards that drive better outcomes.

Let’s discuss your data challenges! Let’s work together!

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