Are You as Tableau-Smart as a Tableau Consultant?

By Bronson Shonk 2015/10/23

I joined Tableau in September 2013 as a product consultant. We PCs are Tableau experts. We help with all things product-related, from technical sales to internal support and training, to content development. Basically, if you have a problem in Tableau, you get help from a PC.

So how did I become a Tableau expert after graduating with a degree in Environmental Science and Studio Art? How did I go from possessing weak Excel skills to writing advanced calculations and nested LOD Expressions?

It started with solving customer challenges. In the beginning, they were easy:

“How do I connect to my data?”

And then I had to solve slightly more difficult problems like this one:

“I want to highlight all of the weeks that have sales above a threshold and then for all of the weeks above the threshold label the last week in a row with the total amount of sales above the threshold in the consecutive series.”

Every time I solved a customer challenge like the one above, I would document the solution so that I could reference it in the future. Eventually I had built a library of practical solutions that I could use to easily answer any Tableau question.

Solving these customer challenges proved to be the most effective way of learning Tableau. I noticed that this was not just true for me, but for all of the PCs around me. So I turned my library of Tableau solutions into a library of Tableau challenges. I called this the challenge workbook.

Every new PC starts working through the challenge workbook on the first day. The goal is to become an expert before ever getting on a customer call. This works so well for us internally that I thought it would only be fair to share with our community! So without further ado, I present to you the Tableau challenge workbook, which I first shared with TC15 attendees earlier this week:


Submitted by David Pires (not verified) on


Don't seem to be able to download the workbook.


Submitted by Junjappa M. on

@Bronson not able to download the workbook, it would be very helpful to understand the logic if you could help fellow Tableau folks by allowing to download the workbook

Submitted by Dibyendu (not verified) on

Dear Bronson,

Could you please allow to download the workbook as this is currently disabled. Difficult to understand without know what has gone inside the setup


Submitted by Andy D (not verified) on

You can download if you click on each challenge. Only the ones marked as blue have a solution though

Submitted by Hannes K. on


I would be very much interested in the solution for 'Distinct count over a range'. Could some Tableau Jedi provide a solution please? :)



Submitted by Raksha Jesrani (not verified) on

Thanks for the practice lessons.

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

It only allows for you to download Image or PDF, not the whole workbook -- even clicking on an individual link.

Submitted by Bronson (not verified) on

The viz is not meant to be downloaded. The workflow is as follows:
1. Select a challenge on the left
2. Read the description
3. Download the challenge on the bottom to try for yourself.

If the images are not rendering when you click the challenge try a different browser. I know that IE and Chrome both work. Chrome works best.
If you are getting errors using other browsers please let me know which they are so that I can make a note of this in the viz.


Submitted by Bronson (not verified) on

Are you interested in seeing how to build a similar workbook?
If you are just having trouble downloading the challenges see my comments below.

Submitted by Bronson (not verified) on

Are you interested in seeing how to build a similar workbook?
If you are just having trouble downloading the challenges see my comments below.

Submitted by Jason Cantrell (not verified) on

Solution to trellis chart.!/vizhome/TrellisChartExample/TrellisChartExample

Submitted by Jason Cantrell (not verified) on

@Hannes K. - Here's a solution for the Distinct Count Over Range problem.!/vizhome/MovingCountDistinctExample/MovingCountDExample

Submitted by Ann S. on

@Bronson There's a third solution to Remove Null and All - creating a duplicate field, excluding the item Null, and adjusting the filter options to only show relevant values.

Submitted by sai E (not verified) on

@Bronson, Where can we fins the solutions for the other challenges?

Submitted by Melissa B. on

That's the way I have been removing my Null values too (but not always successfully)!

Submitted by Anthony S. on

Can these challenges be opened in Tableau public?

When I download a challenge, I receive a pop up that it does not exist on Tableau public so cannot be opened. However, I see it on your Tableau Public profile. Anyone else remedy this issue? Tried in IE, Chrome, and a few other things..

Thanks in advance.

Submitted by Ojoswi (not verified) on

Click on the 'Challenge' Button to download. Does not work on FireFox

Submitted by Ojoswi Basu (not verified) on

Solved the Beginner > Measure Selector (solution time: < 1 minute).
Find the Solution uploaded to Tableau Public:!/vizhome/measureselector/MeasureSelectorChallenge

Submitted by ojoswi (not verified) on

Solution time < 3 minutes
Published the solution to tableau public:!/publish-confirm

Submitted by ojoswi (not verified) on

Resolved Expand Selected Attribute
Resolution time < 1 minute
Check published solution:!/publish-confirm

Submitted by Steve Taylor (not verified) on

This is a fantastic resource, Thanks Bronson.

(it's also driving me crazy, took 45mins for the restarting running sum challenge!)

Submitted by Ojoswi (not verified) on

Resolved: Intermediate > Cascading Hierarchies
Solution posted to Public:!/vizhome/cascadinghierarchies/Challenge
Time to solve < 2 minutes, Added 4 Action Filters

Submitted by Ojoswi Basu (not verified) on

Resolved: Intermediate > Splitting First and Last Names
Resolution time < 3 minutes using Tableau 9 function 'SPLIT'
Solved workbook published to Tableau public:!/vizhome/SplitNames/SplitNames

Submitted by Ojoswi Basu (not verified) on

Intermediate > Top 10 by Region
Resolved in < 3 minutes
Solution published to Tableau Public:!/vizhome/Top10_10/Dashboard1

Submitted by Ojoswi Basu (not verified) on

Intermediate > Profitable Days in a month: Resolved
Resolution time ~7 minutes
Solution published to:!/vizhome/ProfitableDays/Dashboard1

Submitted by Richard v. on

Despite the words of caution, but eager to get my hands on the workbooks, I tried using FireFox to download the workbooks and it works well (but not like you'd expect). Just click the link of the challenge, hit the Challenge-button at the bottom of the workbook. Now comes the trick... click with your right mouse button in the frame with the gobbledygook, select 'This frame »' and download using 'Save Frame As'. Workbook is now downloaded as .twbx.

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

Resolved: Intermediate > Top 5 with Unfiltered SubTotals
Resolution Time < 2 minutes
Solution published to Tableau Public:!/vizhome/Top5UnfilteredTotals/Dashboard1

Submitted by Ojoswi Basu (not verified) on

Resolved: Intermediate > Running Sum Restarting
Resolution Time < 4 minutes
Solution Published to:!/vizhome/RunningSumRestarting/RunningSumRestarting

Submitted by Ojoswi (not verified) on

The Intermediate > Time Series Realignment is rather interesting as in real life i wonder how it may be applied to offset start dates to same date.
Resolution time: ~12 minutes (5 minutes to think about a solution, 3 minutes to get the table calculation(s) right)
Solution uploaded to Tableau Public:!/vizhome/timeseriesalignment/TimeSeries

Submitted by karthik.1616 (not verified) on

is that your provided image right?. iam asking for the purpose of cross check iam not getting the solutions if your image is right?

Submitted by Bronson (not verified) on

The images should be correct - can you let me know which one you are trying and I can double check.

Submitted by Robb Y. on

This is great! thanks for sharing.

Submitted by himanshi lamba (not verified) on

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Submitted by Vicki VW (not verified) on

I was working on the Market Basket challenge and came across an issue (using 9.2, 9.3 & 10.0 versions). I'm not able to add the <> join for the sub-category join. Does anyone else have/know of this issue? I'm going to try and work this by using a calc instead, but was curious.

Submitted by Vicki VW (not verified) on

Please disregard, as I missed the comment concerning the Excel connection. I was able to solve for this with a table calculation using the Excel data.

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