Build a Tableau Parameter Action Dashboard

This video is inspired by Filippos Lymperopoulos who has a great article on parameter action concatenation. Definitely check out his article here. I am a hands on person who learns from building and sharing, therefore I put together this video to explore, tweak and hammer home the concept.

In this video we’ll build a Sales Analysis dashboard in Tableau using Parameter Actions and the Concatenation Aggregation functionality. The great thing about this tip is that you can use it across multiple data sources. This is a must see!

This approach relies upon the use of two different data connections. In this manner our data tables are completely un-joined without an established relationship. We have a data-set comprised of a customer list and one comprised of customer transactions across three years.

The key to linking the data sets together relies upon the following calculated field which creates a de-facto set that we can use to highlight customer purchases:

Tableau Concat Calc Field

When we setup a concatenation parameter action on our dashboard, the very act of selecting a [Customer Name] will add that Customer Name to the parameter named [Selected Customer]. This will cause all selected customers to resolve to TRUE, which allows highlighting of the sales bar charts related to the user selected customers.

Tableau Concat Parameter Action Thumb1

In the screenshot above, notice the selected [Customer Name] values on the left hand side are also concatenated together at the bottom of the dashboard (i.e., Franciso Hernandez, Jose Garcia, and Terrye Marchi). All of their respective purchases are also highlighted in the middle of the dashboard.

Tableau Concat Calc Field Label

The above calculated field is used to only show the [QTY] purchased for the user selected customer and is placed on the bar chart label.

Feel free to interact with the viz and download the workbook on Tableau public:

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All views and opinions are solely my own and do NOT necessarily reflect those my employer.

How to Highlight the Bottom Bar Chart Values in Tableau

 

I decided to make this video after someone left a comment on another video I made titled “How to Highlight the Top 3 Bar Chart Values in Tableau” asking how to find the last three values.

Youtube Comment Highlight Bottom 3

In this video I will show you how to highlight the bottom three sales values on a bar chart. You’ll also learn how to use a parameter to dynamically change the number of lowest bars highlighted.

Bottom 3 Bar Chart Values Thumbnail

We can accomplish the highlighting of the bottom N bar chart values via two ways. We can either create a set or create a calculated field to accomplish this task. The set method is cleaner but has its limitations when multiple dimensions are used in the visual. Therefore, the calculated field approach serves us well when we add multiple dimensions.

Watch the video to see how it all comes together but the calculation boils down to this:

RANK(SUM(0-[Sales]))<=[Highlight Parameter]

By adjusting the [Highlight Parameter] control, the user can determine how many bottom sales values are highlighted in the visual. This method also maintains its functionality when an additional dimension is added to the visual.

As always, If you find this type of instruction valuable make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel.

All views and opinions are solely my own and do NOT necessarily reflect those my employer.

Create Multiple Bar Charts in Python using Matplotlib and Pandas

In this Python visualization tutorial you’ll learn how to create and save as a file multiple bar charts in Python using Matplotlib and Pandas. We’ll easily read in a .csv file to a Pandas dataframe and then let Matplotlib perform the visualization. As a bonus you’ll also learn how to save the plot as a file.

The key to making two plots work is the creation of two axes that will hold the respective bar chart subplots.

# define the figure container and the two plot axes
fig = plt.figure(figsize=(20,5))

# add subplots to the figure (build a 1x2 grid and place chart in the first or second section)
ax1 = fig.add_subplot(1,2,1)
ax2 = fig.add_subplot(1,2,2)

Understanding the subplot nomenclature is essential. Adding axes to the figure as part of a subplot arrangement is simple with the fig.add_subplot() call. In this arrangement the first digit is the number of rows, the second represents the number of columns, and the third is the index of the subplot (where we want to place our visualization).

Of course you need to watch the video to see how all of the code comes together.

Also, keep this Matplotlib style sheet reference handy for changing up the style on your visual.

NBA Blocks Assists

As always, If you find this type of instruction valuable make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel.

All views and opinions are solely my own and do NOT necessarily reflect those my employer.

See the following links for additional background:

https://matplotlib.org/3.1.0/gallery/subplots_axes_and_figures/subplots_demo.html

https://matplotlib.org/3.1.1/api/_as_gen/matplotlib.figure.Figure.html#matplotlib.figure.Figure.add_subplot

Sum Top and Bottom 10 Products by Sales in Power BI

In this video we will cover how to calculate the aggregate sum of only the Top and Bottom 10 Product Sales using DAX in Power BI. There are always multiple ways to accomplish a task with Power BI and DAX but I will share the technique I used to visualize the Bottom 10 Sales Products when there is a rare single tie among the products. The solution may be a bit over-engineered to my data-set but the aim is to share an approach you can use to tackle similar data issues in your dashboards. It’s well worth the watch!

I won’t give way the whole video but I’ll share the DAX formula to sum the Top top products by Sales Price from my table named ‘Company Sales Data’.

1_SumSalesTop10Products = 
CALCULATE(
          SUM('Company Sales Data'[Sales Price]),
          TOPN(
               10,GROUPBY('Company Sales Data','Company Sales Data'[Product]),
               CALCULATE(sum('Company Sales Data'[Sales Price]))
              )
         )

I have created a variable named 1_SumSalesTop10Products that uses the CALCULATE function to

  • SUM the [Sales Price] variable from the [Company Sales Data] table (see the first argument to the CALCULATE function);
  • But it only sums the [Sales Price] for the TOP 10 highest selling products, because we use the TOP N function to create a temporary table that only returns the products with the 10 highest aggregated Sales Prices;
    • The GROUP BY function is used to aggregate the table rows by product and then the CALCULATE argument sums the Sales Price for the aggregated products;

Don’t let this scare you off, watch the video to get a better understanding, and to learn how I sum the Bottom 10 products by Sales Price.

As always, get out there and do some great things with your data!

 

 

Top and Bottom 10 Products by Sales Using RANKX in Power BI

In this video we’ll venture outside of the default Power BI TOPN functionality used to isolate the top and bottom N values in a visual. Because you’re an astute follower of my blog and YouTube channel, you want to know more than default functionality. The key to pulling off this feat lies with the RANKX function. By using RANKX to provide a ranking to each row in our data set, we can then determine the TOP and BOTTOM 10 values.

Of course watch the video for further breakdown, but they key to using RANKX effectively in Power BI is to use the ALL function as a parameter. In this way the contents of the entire table are considered for appropriate ranking.

The DESC or ASC parameters will enable the calculation of a rank in either descending or ascending sort order.

And finally the DENSE parameter tells RANKX how ties should be handled in the data. For example if you provide DENSE as a parameter, if 10 values are tied with a rank of 1 then the next value will receive a rank of 2.

Power BI Top 10 and Bottom 10 Thumbnail

Here is an example use of RANKX that will return a ranking of Sales Price by Product, that ranks the results in descending order (highest Sales receive the lowest ranks) and ties are in contiguous order. Watch the video to determine how to calculate the BOTTOM 10 ranking and to use RANKX to enable the top or bottom 10 values in a visualization.

ProductRank = RANKX(ALL('Company Sales Data'[Product]), calculate(sum('Company Sales Data'[Sales Price])),,DESC,dense)

As a refresher, check out this popular video to build the calendar table referenced in this video: Power BI Dashboard Tutorial: Year over Year Difference Analysis

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All views and opinions are solely my own and do NOT necessarily reflect those my employer.

Create a Bar Chart in Python using Matplotlib and Pandas

In this Python visualization tutorial you’ll learn how to create and save as a file a stylish bar chart in Python using Matplotlib and Pandas. We’ll easily read in a .csv file to a Pandas dataframe and then let Matplotlib perform the visualization. As a bonus you’ll also learn how to save the plot as a file.

I am using the Anaconda Distribution which is a great one stop shop for all your python needs as it is a free and open source distribution of python. I love this option because it gives you the ability to quickly download multiple python packages for analyses and visualizations. As a bonus it includes Jupyter notebooks (which is a web based environment for writing code).

Packages Used

In case you aren’t familiar with Python packages:

  • Pandas is the killer app so to speak for reading, writing and wrangling data.
  • Matplotlib is the visualization plotting library we will use.
  • Pyplot is collection of functions that enables changes to a figure. Think of a figure as a container that can contain multiple plots know as axes. We can plot our bar chart in the figure plotting area and then enhance the plot with labels, etc.
  • Finally OS is a module that enables the use of operating system functionality. We’ll use this package to point our working directory to where our .csv file is located.

Once you follow the instructions in the video, you’ll produce an image like the following which can be saved to a directory location of your choice.

Keep this Matplotlib style sheet reference handy for changing up your visual.

NBA Blocks

As always, If you find this type of instruction valuable make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel.

All views and opinions are solely my own and do NOT necessarily reflect those my employer.

Create a Tableau Waffle Chart Fast and Easy

In this Tableau tutorial I am serving up some delectable waffles in the form of a fast and easy waffle chart. Watch the video to learn the easiest and quickest way to create a waffle chart in Tableau.

If you’re familiar with the Southeast United States then you know that we love The Waffle House down here. As an homage, I made a simple dashboard in the iconic Waffle House signage style.

A waffle chart depends upon a data connection to the data you wish to visualize and a data connection to the waffle chart template. Once you have these two items setup, you simply create a calculated field that marks the fill percentage in your waffle.

Help yourself to some waffles below:

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All views and opinions are solely my own and do NOT necessarily reflect those my employer.