Let’s start with a little history lesson. The Pareto Chart is named after Vilfredo Pareto – an Italian civil engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and philosopher. One of his discoveries was that 20% of the population in Italy unequally held 80% of the wealth. 

To visualise a graph like this we use both a line and bar graph. The bars represent the measure in descending order (for example SUM(Sales) or the percentage of Total Sales) and the line represent the cumulative percentage of the total number of occurrences (for example per cent of Customers).


Let’s see how we can build a Pareto Chart using our favourite Superstore Data Set, to see what is the relationship between Customers and Sales.


  1. First, we will create the Line Graph:
    • Drug the SUM(Sales) to rows and the Customer Name to columns. 
    • Sort the Customer Name in Descending order by SUM(Sales).
    • Fit Width your chart. 

    • Add Quick Table Calculation on SUM(Sales).
    • Configure as per below:

(We want to first calculate the Running Total, and then find out what Percent to Total it contributes).


2. At the moment we see the COUNT of Customer Names but what we want to see is the Percent of Total instead:

    • Add Customer Name to Details in the Marks Card (It requires so we can configure the Quick Table Calc).
    • Right-click on the Customer Name in columns.
    • Click on Measure and change to Count (Distinct).

    • Repeat step 1 (5th point) for CNTD(Customer Name).


3. Now we’ll create the Bar Graph and then align both graphs in the same view:

    • Drag again SUM(Sales) into the Rows.
    • Change the second chart from Line to Bar.
    • Right-click on SUM(Sales) and click Dual Axis.
    • Right-click on the axis and Move axis to front.


In our example, it looks like 8% of the Customers Make 27% of Sales, so the Pareto Rule doesn’t apply perfectly, but I hope this post helps you recreate it with data relevant to you. 


If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on social.

Dana Voroshchuk
Author: Dana Voroshchuk