In this short blogpost, I’ll continue my walkthrough of the practice questions on the Tableau Certified Associate Exam Guide by discussing question 6.

6. In the Technology Product Category, which unprofitable state is surrounded by only profitable states?

a. Colorado
b. Missouri
c. Wyoming
d. Utah

Again, there are three elements in this question. There’s Product Category and Profit. There’s also geolocation, which is not stated explicitly in the wording but is implied by the word “surrounded”: clearly, the exam wants us to visualize the problem.

Let’s start with geolocation. By dragging the “State or Province” dimension onto the center of the sheet, we’ll get a map, with each state represented by a dot.

Note that if you’re not in the U.S., the states may not display properly at first. You can fix this by clicking on the “49 unknown” indicator on the bottom right and changing the country to the United States.

Now that we have the map, drag the Profit measure onto Color on the Marks card, and then filter by Product Category.

At this point, you could eyeball the map for an answer, especially if you’re pressed for time. If you’d rather do it “properly”, though, you could edit the color scheme to conform to a profitable/unprofitable binary. This can be done by double-clicking the Profit measure in your Marks card and simply typing “>0” at the end.

The end product is this:

We can now see clearly that the correct answer is Colorado. All the other unprofitable states border another unprofitable state, the sea, or Canada.

The Data School
Author: The Data School