How about creating a Sort Order Column in your original dataset, based on which you should be able to sort your data in the viz using Sort using "Field" option?
In your case, once you bring through the Sort Order column, you'd be selecting that field instead of the Sales shown above.
I guess what you actually want is to sort by the City/Region name - i.e.:
In which case I can only think of manipulating the string to remove references to words that aren't related to the location.
For example you could change the wording so the list becomes something along the lines of:
Surrey (The University of Surrey)
Sussex (The University of Sussex)
Swansea (Swansea University)
Teesside (Teeside University)
This should force the sort as it becomes alphabetic however may not work for all institutions - for example where should UMIST appear?
I think the biggest difficulty you're facing is the logic behind the sort, once you are able to define that logic this should become easier.
I believe the Sort by Field option is only available when you have dragged the pill onto the Columns or Rows shelf. Can you try right-click and sort on the Columns/Rows and see if you get the Sort by Field option please?
The problem is, sorting the entries in the quick filter needs to be done on the dimension by right clicking it, selecting default properties, sort. In this context, the sort by another field option is not available.
The quick filter will not honor the sort which is applied within the current sheet, so the sort by another field option goes out.
I see you as having a couple of options;
1. Create a concatenated field which is effectively City: University name. I.e. Surrey - The University of Surrey. Use this for the quick filter.
2. Create a sheet with your university list sorted in the manner you need, then use that as a filter selector on a dashboard - Creating Filters with Actions on Dashboards | Tableau Software
Thank you for your suggestions.
Concatenation - The problem is that not all of the universities have a natural city/place location by which to sort. So Royal College of XXX will sit beneath Reading University on the list.
I had thought of creating a second list of universities with generated number before it - so they always stayed in order - but the way the data is structured (with multiple appearances of each university) means that would be tricky to manage.
I had explored the option of using a new sheet with a list of all the universities as a filter but sadly it wasn't quite right for the dashboard as:
> there are so many universities the list would have to be scrollable (and looked quite ugly) not ideal as our dashboard is fairly compact/narrow
> we need the option to multiple-select several universities at a time
It appears you're struggling with the logic behind the sort order, which for me wouldn't be easy as I can think of outliers for most simple possibilities. Would it make sense to ask your client which order makes sense to them?
We actually have the data in the right order in the original dataset - the client has sorted it into the industry approved / generally agreed order.
The problem is, Tableau won't keep it that way - AND its a non-logical sort that means I can't generate it automatically.
Plus - as I'm using a quick filter I am not able to sort by another field ...
Its a pickle
As it's a non logical sort in a way that makes things easier - you won't be able to do it via a calculation. Therefore maybe your only option is to prefix a number the universities before bringing into Tableau, then the Tableau sort will work via the number.
Not ideal as 5. Aston University isn't quite as nice to read as just Aston University and it also takes up slightly more screen real estate as your filter would have to be a bit wider.
Sorry not able to help more than that, good luck with whatever solution you finish up with.