Having a way to drill down into your data can be very useful. They’re great for when space is at a premium and for reducing cognitive load for the end user. I’m a big fan and I’ve used it a few times in my client projects at The Data School.

In the above screenshot, I can click on a Product and it will show me a breakdown of how much each Sub-Product contributes.

Let’s not waste any time and get straight to the tutorial (I will be using the Superstore dataset included with Tableau):

The picture below is for demo purposes. This is the structure that we want for our drill down. We want to be able to click on a Category and it shows us all of the Sub-Categories inside that Category. If the Category isn’t selected then it stays collapsed.

1. Place Category onto the Rows

2. Create a Set from the Category field

3. Create a calculated field called ‘Sub-Category Drilldown’ and place this onto the Rows

IF [Category Set] THEN [Sub-Category]

4. Create a Set Action by going to ‘Worksheet’ at the top left of Tableau and clicking on ‘Actions…’. Next click on ‘Add Actions’ in the new window that pops up

5. Name this Set ‘Change Category Set Drilldown’ and make sure you have ‘Remove all values from set’ selected at the bottom right of this window

To tidy it up you can also hide the field label.

And here’s the final result:

Thomas Maple
Author: Thomas Maple

Tom is an enthusiastic and determined member of The Data School. He previously worked as a network engineer for a wholesale ISP and even created his own virtual escape room business with colleagues during COVID lockdowns. Tom has completed an associate degree in Engineering Technology, as well as his bachelor and honours in Computer and Network Engineering at RMIT. He is always striving to upskill, achieving certifications such as Cisco CCNA, Juniper JNCIA. While at The Data School he has recently achieved his Alteryx Core certificate and is currently studying to achieve his Alteryx Advanced and Tableau Desktop Certified Associate certificate. Tom’s interests include sports (particularly AFL, he follows the Melbourne Football Club), horse racing, cooking (and eating), as well as outdoor activities such as camping, hiking and SCUBA diving.