How to connect your customer and employee data with Top N Set analysis from Tableau Desktop

Top N Set Analysis in Tableau

Having a tool for data and information display is a key resource for a company. Data accuracy and data analysis simplify the way in which strategic business decisions are made. We constantly need data analysis to quickly understand the trends of increasing or decreasing profitability of a component from your organization. The teams and clients that you work with are two important sources that are generating data. It is important to be able to access and understand the data flow, the numbers and results that they are producing, so you can easily identify the key information that we need.

Tableau Software’s “Top N Set” analysis is a dedicated analysis tool for top management, department managers, team leaders and to all those who are a decision-maker in terms of employee KPIs or client situations. “Top N Set” assists the user in creating an interactive visualization regarding the top sales by departments, the top of the best-selling product or product categories, the top employees by performance, top of departments according to employee performance, the top customers, the top of the receipts by departments, etc.

With analysis tool “Top N Set” from Tableau Desktop users can configure an interactive view on two groups of people: “TOP category” and “Others category”. In the Top Category users can customize the number of fields according to their preferences, adjusting the desired number of clients, employees, departments, etc. All others are automatically transmitted in the Others category.

Top N Set” analysis offers flexibility to the user due to its ability to be configured and built according to the given parameters or categories that the user wants to be viewed. Below you can find a step by step guide which shows you how to create a “Top N Set” type analysis, followed by a video demonstration.

Step 1: Connect to data

In Tableau Desktop, connect to Superstore sample data provided by Tableau Software.

Step 2: Create the visualization

→ Create a parameter, named Top Customers and select it from the Data type area as Integer, at Current value type the value 5, from the Allowable values area select Range and for the Minimum field type the value 5, for the Maximum field type the value 20 and for the Step size field type the value 5.

→ From the Data pane area, right click on Customer Name and select Create -> Set.

→ On the Name field type Top N Customers by Sales. Click on Top tab, select By field and from Category list select Sales. For Aggregation select SUM and then click OK.

→ Go to the Sets area and drag the Top N Customers by Sales field on Rows.

→ From the Dimension area, drag the Customers Name field on Rows.

→ From the Measures area, drag the Sales field on Column.

→ From the Toolbar, click the Sort Descending button.

→ From the Data pane area, under Sets, right click on Top N Customers by Sales set and then select Create Calculated Field, named Subset labels with the formula:

IF [Top N Customers by Sales]

THEN “Top ” + str([Top Customers]) + ” Customers”

ELSE “Others”


→ From the Dimensions area, drag the Subset Labels on Rows and put it between Top N Customers Set and Customer Name.

→ From Sets, drag the Top N Customers by Sales set in the Marks area on Color.

→ From Data pane, right click on Top N Customers by Sales set and then select Edit Set.

→ Go to the Top tab and from the By field area select Top and add from the list Top Customers parameter.

→ Right click on the Top Customers parameter and select Show Parameter Control.

→ Now you can control the value of the Top N parameter, so that it will show the first N clients you want.

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By Adelina Popescu

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