In this short blogpost, I’ll continue my walkthrough of the practice questions on the Tableau Certified Associate Exam Guide by discussing questions 4 and 5.

4. What is the percent of total Sales for the ‘Home Office’ Customer Segment in July of 2012?

a. 23.50%
b. 23.97%
c. 20.14%
d. 32.56%

By simply reading the question carefully, we can immediately deduce the three elements that we’ll need to construct the right chart: Sales, Customer Segment, and Order Date. Note that Ship Date is also available, and the question itself doesn’t provide enough context to rule it out. For the sake of moving quickly, we’ll need to just assume that Order Date is the right date field. If our answers don’t line up with the available choices (spoiler: they do line up), we can try Ship Date afterward.

Start by dragging Sales to Text in the Marks card and Customer Segment to Rows up top (Columns is also fine). This will sort the sales figures into their respective segments.

The figures are currently for the entire dataset, when really we only want July 2012. When we want to narrow our results down to a specific portion of a specific dimensions, filters are the way to go. Drag Order Date onto the Filters card and select Month / Year, then pick July 2012.

At this point you could just get out a calculator and find the answer, but we’re going to do this the proper way. Right click SUM(Sales), go to Quick Table Calculation, and select Percent of Total.

And there’s the answer we were looking for: 23.97%.


5. Find the top 10 Product Names by Sales within each region. Which product is ranked #2 in both the Central and West regions in 2011?

a. Riverside Palais Royal Lawyers Bookcase
b. Bush Mission Pointe Library
c. Sharp AL-1530CS Digital Copier
d. Global Troy Executive Leather Low Back Tilte

Again, we can quickly read off the relevant fields: Product Name, Sales, Region, and at the end there’s also a mention of (Order) Date.

There are a few ways of completing this challenge, here’s one of them. Start by creating a chart of sales by product name.

Now we simply have to filter by date and region. The date, according to the question, is fixed at 2011. With region, we can set the filter to Central. Then, sort the data by descending.

Assuming everything was done correctly, we already have the answer: Sharp AL-1530CS Digital Copier. It never hurts to be sure, though, and double checking by changing the region filter to West confirms that the AL-1530CS is #2 there as well.

John Jiang
Author: John Jiang