Launch, grow, and unlock your career in data

April 5, 2017

Workout Wednesday: Do UK exports fit the Pareto Principle?

I love Pareto charts! They're on of my favorite charts to teach and the Pareto principle itself is pretty interesting. The Principle suggests:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity)[1] states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
For Workout Wednesday week 14, Emma decided to look at UK exports and see if they follow the Pareto principle. As an exporter, I imagine it would be really bad if 80% of your exports only went to 20% of countries. I'd think you'd want to spread your exports around the world. I'm not an economist, so I'm just guessing.

What's the answer? No, UK exports do not follow the Pareto principle.

Having done this type of chart countless times, it only took me about 1 minute. The trickiest part for me was getting the first ranked country into the sheet title. I accomplished this through a table calc since I already had country in the view and I knew I needed to compute by country for the calculation.

I used a LOOKUP table calc because it let's me find a specific value in the view no matter which mark I'm on. I then added the IF THEN because the US and Other needed to have special labels. Pretty straightforward.

UPDATE: I just took a peek at how Emma created the title calc and she used an LOD along with a LOOKUP. Overly complex I'd say, but it gets the job done and that's the beauty of Tableau. You can nearly always solve the same problem many ways.

Here's my Workout Wednesday creation:


  1. I did the title as a separate view filtered to top 1 :-)

  2. Hi Andy,
    Really liked to see how you simplified that First Country calculated field! :)

    Then, I'm thinking, Andy was using IF statement for the purpose of changing Country's name,
    So, if I first edit Aliases for US to 'The US' and Other to 'Other Countries' then,
    the calculated field could be even shorten to one line, right?
    LOOKUP(MIN([Destination Country]), FIRST())

    So, I gave a try, but the Title still showed 'US' instead of 'The US'.
    Does Aliases get ignored when it's aggregated in the function? (like MIN(Destination Country] ?)

    1. Yes, aliases get ignored in all fields and calculations except the field you change the aliases in.