Let’s look at an example using the Superstore sample in Tableau. In my Profit Analysis view, I want to understand profit profile by product. I notice a mark—the lowest profit—and want to know more about it. From details in the tooltip, I learn the Category is Technology, the Sub-Category is Machines, and the Ship Mode is Standard Class. Immediately, the question arises: Do other products like this one also have unusually low profit? With tooltip selection, the answer is just one click away.
- By selecting Technology in the tooltip, I can quickly see that, overall, Technology product profits are much higher than average.
- When I select Machines, I see the profit is still higher than the overall average, but not as high as Technology’s.
- And when I select the Product Name, that’s where I stumble upon an actionable discovery: It looks like I’m losing less money when I ship this particular machine using First Class instead of Standard shipping. This is great news I can act on today.
In this example, I didn’t set out to optimize my profits by Ship Mode, but in the process of interactively exploring the data, I found an opportunity for improvement.
Like other selection methods in Tableau, I can use tooltip selection to filter (Keep Only or Exclude), group, make sets, and with actions (as in the example above). The mechanic is the same, but the method—allowing me to query the data by domain value—is unique. Of course, tooltip selection works with any discrete variables (including clusters), on all viz types, and on all sheet types (worksheets, dashboards, and stories).