5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 15, 2015 9:18 AM by Nils Sand

    Sorting "none of the above" in Tableau

    Nils Sand

      Hi everyone, I have a question about sorting survey data in Tableau.


      Does anyone know how to create a rule where categories like "Other" or "none of above" are always sorted last/in the buttom of the sort - when using nested sorting.




        • 1. Re: Sorting "none of the above" in Tableau
          Jonathan Drummey

          Hi Nils,


          By nested sorting do you mean that you are using a table calculation like INDEX() or FIRST() or RANK() to generate the sort?



          • 2. Re: Sorting "none of the above" in Tableau
            Nils Sand

            Hi Jonathan


            Actually I am using a sorting with combined fields, as I have several tables in the same sheet. /Nils

            • 3. Re: Sorting "none of the above" in Tableau
              Bruce Segal


              I do it w/ a bit of a work around, rather than a programatic solution. I usually just name "other" or "none of the above" as "z Other" or "z None of Above."


              That way when sorted alphabetically they're always at the bottom, and I don't have to worry about remembering or documenting a table calc that I create just to sort a list of words.


              If I can't control the raw data, I'll do a formula in Tableau along the lines of


              IF [ListOfText] == "Other" THEN "z " + [ListOfText]

              ELSE [ListOfText]


              • 4. Re: Sorting "none of the above" in Tableau
                Jonathan Drummey

                I set up a quick example in Superstore, using Region as the top-level dimension and Department as the bottom-level with "Furniture" being a stand-in for your "other". Then I created a calculated field Sales for Sort with the following formula:


                IF [Department] == 'Furniture' THEN


                This just makes the sales for Furniture/Office a gigantically negative number. Here's a view that has the combined field sorted on Sales, so we see the nesting working for Sales but Furniture/Other is not at the bottom:

                Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 5.59.08 PM.png


                Now I've changed the combined field to sort on the new measure, and Furniture/Other is now at the bottom of every Region:


                Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 5.59.41 PM.png


                So the solution Bruce proposed is taking advantage of Tableau's built-in alphanumeric sort of the dimension values. The solution I'm proposing is using Tableau's ability to sort a dimension by a measure and setting that measures's values to be ones that sort in the desired order.


                I've attached a packaged v9.0 workbook.



                • 5. Re: Sorting "none of the above" in Tableau
                  Nils Sand

                  @Bruce: Thank you for that - a trick that i will for sure keep in mind!


                  Jonathan,thank you very much for that elaborate description!  It worked perfectly.

                  However this is only the case when I'm dealing with single choice questions. They have: Question, label and value - in the rows.

                  The question is for example Q1, the label is for example - What gender are you? And the value then male or female.


                  Im trying to do the same with a multiple choice answer, but i cant get that to work. The problem is that the value is now checked/unchecked - so i have to add an extra dimension to get the real value - and not just checked.

                  The data then looks like this:

                  Question ( Q1), Label(For example, Which food do you like), Extra label (for example Pizza), Value(Checked/Unchecked)


                  Do you have any suggestions on how to do the same sorting with the calculated field?