Week 34: Can You Build a Top N Bar Chart on a Single Worksheet?

We’re in week 3 of Community Contributor Month.  This week’s challenge is brought to us by Jeffrey Shaffer.  Jeffrey is a 4 time Tableau Zen Master, co-author of The Big Book of Dashboards, and maintains several websites (including must-bookmark TableauReferenceGuide.com).

So where did the challenge come from?  Here it is in Jeff’s own words:

This Workout Wednesday comes from a real-world example where we wanted to show the top N dimensions within another dimension. This could be done on multiple worksheets, but building this on a single worksheet was more efficient.

The dataset this week is the Superstore data and we will be showing the Top N Manufacturers by Region. The Manufacturers showing in the Top N will be different from Region to Region, but the “Other” category of Manufacturer is the most frequent. Therefore, we will give the user the ability to turn on/off the “Other” category of Manufacturer and enter how many N to show in the Top N. All of this should be done on a single worksheet.

Click to view on Tableau Public


  • Single Worksheet
  • Create a bar chart showing:
    • Quantity by Top N Manufacturers by Region – note that the top N are different from region to region.
  • Format the bar charts as close as possible.
    • Show Quantity in descending order.
    • Right-align the Manufacturer name
    • Show the Quantity label on the bar and remove x-axis labels.
    • Show a single line for the y-axis without any other lines.
    • Color the Manufacturers, the bars and the labels by Region (ex. Nuriel Stone).
    • Remove Tooltip
  • Use a parameter to control for N in the Top N.
  • Use a parameter to include/exclude the ‘Other’ category.
  • Use the Top N value in the title.
  • Highlight the Manufacturer name on hover.
  • Include the rank with the Manufacturer name on hover.


This week uses the superstore dataset for Tableau 2019.1+.  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.


After you finish your workout, share on Twitter using the hashtag #WorkoutWednesday2019 and tag @HighVizAbility@AnnUJackson@LukeStanke@lorna_eden, and @curtisharris_!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbKf5D34D50[/embedyt]

3 thoughts on “Week 34: Can You Build a Top N Bar Chart on a Single Worksheet?”

  1. How to get Manufacturer names from sample superstore data. Do we need to manually create groups?
    If not then how to create.

  2. Make a duplicate of Product Name and rename it as Manufacturing group. Then right click on the manufacturing group to create group and combine all the Xerox product as one category called ‘XEROX’, combine all the GBC products as one category called ‘GBC’. Hope this helps. I believe this is the way manufacturer was created as group.

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