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Funnel Charts in Tableau: Traditional & Advanced

Funnel Charts are used to represent different levels of a process in the form of funnels representing top-down approach. The size of funnels can be shown through any measures like Sales, Profit or Costs etc. It is very useful in identifying the problem areas in a process or identifying the biggest sales proportion.


As the name suggests, a funnel chart is shaped like a funnel. It has a wide top and gets narrower as it goes down. This shape is meant to represent the progress of a process, with the widest part at the top representing the beginning of the process and the narrowest part at the bottom representing the end of the process.


Hence, it is a type of visualization that represents linear workflows in decreasing order.


There are two ways to create funnel charts in Tableau:

  1. Traditional or Stepped funnel chart.

  2. Advanced chart also known as a Smooth funnel chart.

Traditional or Stepped Funnel Chart

Follow the steps given below to create a stepped funnel chart in Tableau:


Step 1: Upload the dataset in your Tableau software and drag and drop the sheets to make connections between them. I have used Superstore dataset.


Step 2: Click on the sheet1 to open the worksheet.


Step 3: Add one measure (Sales) to the Rows section. We select the aggregation type as SUM.


Step 4: Next, select a dimension (Region) from the list of Dimensions at the left and drag it onto the Colors card in the Marks section. It will divide our vertical bar into four different colors each of which represents a region.


Step 5: We add SUM(Sales) into the Size in the Marks section and select the icon for the “Sort Region descending by Sales” option.

Step 6: Convert Standard View to Entire View


Step 7: Add the fields Region and SUM(Sales) into the Label box present in the Marks section.


This is the final funnel chart showing the total sales of items in four different regions. The chart shows total sales in descending order from top to bottom. Thus, this is a simple or stepped funnel chart.


Advanced or Smooth Funnel Chart

Follow the steps given below to create a smooth funnel chart in Tableau:


Step 1: We take a dimension, Ship Mode and a measure, SUM(Profit) and put them into Columns and Rows section.


Step 2: Change the view from vertical bars to horizontal bars, by clicking at the swap rows and columns icon. And then click on the icon, "Sorted descending by sum of profit within ship mode".


Step 3: Click the mark type drop-down list and select Area option from it. This creates a continuous area covering all the horizontal bars that were in the bar graph.


Step 4: Change the view type from Standard to Entire View.


Step 5: Right-click on measure Profit and select Create and then select Calculated Field. Create a calculated field, by entering formula –[Profit]. Also, name this calculated field as Negative Profit. We apply the formula by clicking on Apply and then OK.



Step 6: Negative Profit field is displayed in the measures list and will select and put it in the Columns section.


This will not show us the funnel shape, so we will swap the column positions and funnel shape will be formed.


Step 7: Add a dimension called Ship Mode to the Label in the Marks section.

Select a distinct color to the left half of our funnel chart that shows a negative profit and different color to the right half of the funnel.

Add a measure named Profit or SUM(Profit) in the Labels of Marks section. This adds labels pertaining to total profit on the right half of the funnel chart.




In this way, we made an advanced, also known as smooth funnel chart in tableau which shows both the shipment mode and total profit done with respect to each shipment mode.


Funnel charts helps you visualize a linear process that has sequential, connected stages.


Hope you found the tutorial on Tableau funnel charts useful. You can now easily create a funnel chart on your own using your dataset in Tableau software.


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