2021 Week 31: Can You Find the Needle in the Haystack?


The ability to efficiently find the proverbial needle in a haystack is worth its weight in gold.  How many times has a key stakeholder asked you to give them a shortlist of products (insert the focus of your analysis) to focus on for business improvement/optimization opportunities…and they’ve asked you to get back to them in some ridiculously short time-frame and added some set of conditions to the inquiry requiring a multi-layered approach.  


Your dataset has millions of products to sift through, so you’re faced with a couple of options:

  1. Pull an all nighter re-enacting a data cosplay of Princess and the Pea trying to find that elusive list

  2. Create some multiple line calculated field monstrosity to get there and cross your fingers that the net it cast wasn’t too wide or narrow to support your analysis

  3. SET yourself up to get this list to them before your next meeting in 15 minutes with time to spare


I personally LOVE sleep and religiously subscribe to the “work smarter not harder” mantra, so I would opt for what’s behind door #3.  


The application of this week’s challenge can help you make you look like a data rock star to your stakeholders and help you pass the Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate certification exam.  



  • Highlight the products that are among the Top 50 for sales, are unprofitable, and have a lower than average customer count.

  • Dashboard size: 800×650

  • Color of bars should be based on whether the product’s number of distinct customers is higher/lower than the entire dataset’s average number of distinct customers per product

  • Only (1) field can be used to filter data

  • No table calculations

  • Product, Category, Sub-Category must be in the same column, same row

  • Same formatting and tooltips


This week uses the superstore dataset for Tableau 2021.2. You can get it here at data.world


When you publish your solution on Tableau Public make sure to take the time and include a link to the original inspiration.  Also include the hashtag #WOW2021 in your description to make it searchable!


After you finish your workout, share on Twitter using the hashtag #WOW2021 and tag @AnnUJackson, @ItsCandraM, @LukeStanke, @_Lorna_Brown and @HipsterVizNinja



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