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Tableau set action - asymmetric drill down

Tableau set action for asymmetric drill down

The problem

When working with data that has hierarchical information such as product category, sub-category, manufacturer and product name, you will notice that when drilling down a hierarchy all values expand at a given level instead on a single value.

Tableau drill down

(In the above example, drilling down reveals all sub-category members, when in the actual sense you might be interested in ‘Technology’ sub-categories only)

The solution with Tableau set actions

Using Sample-superstores dataset, lets apply set actions to create a symmetric drill-down experience – enabling users drill-down (category to sub-category to manufacturer)

Step 1: Create a set for Category field named Category set, by choosing any category to be a member of the set.

(Note: The current membership is temporally and will be overwritten by the set actions)

Tableau set

Step 2: Create a calculated field named ‘Asymmetric Sub-category’ as shown below.

Tableau calculated field

Note: This calculation will be returning the sub-categories of the IN-SET (selected category), otherwise it will return the category again.

Step 3: Create a set for Sub-category field named ‘Sub-category set’, by choosing any Sub-category member of the set.

Note: This set is created from the field ‘Asymmetric Sub-category’

Step 4: Create a calculated field named ‘Asymmetric Manufacturer’ as shown below.

Note: This calculation will be returning the Manufacturer of the IN-SET (selected Sub-category), otherwise it will return the Sub-category.

Let’s build our view

  • Drag Category to the rows shelf

  • Next drag Asymmetric Sub-category followed by Asymmetric manufacturer to the rows shelf

  • Drag Sales to the label

(Note: The table is drilled down at the members used in Category set and Sub-category set respectively - in this case ‘Furniture’ and ‘Chairs’)

These default members will be overwritten by our set-action below.

Creating a set action

To create a set action, go to Worksheet menu >> Actions…

On the pop-up menu click Add action >> Change set values…

Creating a set action to drill-down to sub-categories

  • Rename your set action, in this case the first set action is renamed ‘Drill to Sub-categories’

  • Choose source worksheet in this case ‘Sheet 2’

  • Select how the action will be executed – in this case run action on ‘Selection

  • Choose the target data source ‘Sample-Superstores’

  • Choose the target set – in this case ‘Category set’

  • Running the action will ‘Assign values to the set’

  • Clearing the selection will ‘Remove all values from the set’

Adding Tableau set action

Creating a set action to drill-down to manufacturers

To add another set action, select >> Add Action >>Change set values…

Repeated the above step and select the target set to be ‘Sub-category set’ instead of ‘Category set

Tableau set action

Executing this we’ve a symmetric drill-down which expands on a single value instead of the whole level.

Tableau set action example

I hope this article was somewhat helpful to you. To receive more of the Tableau tips and tricks, 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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