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Everything to know about Lollipop chart

Regular Lollipop Chart

The very first step is to connect your tableau to the sample superstore dataset. Now, drag order date to column shelf and select discrete month and drag sales to the row shelf. Change mark type from automatic to bar. Now the bar chart should look something like the below chart (Fig 1).

Figure 1

Next drag sales to row shelf again to see two bar charts stacked on top of each other. Click Dual axis on the second sales and make sure the synchronized axis is checked. On the mark type of the second sales, change it to circle from bar, which creates the candy portion of the lollipop as shown in the figure 2.

Figure 2

Now adjust the size of the bar chart. Select the first sales from marks card and select size, decrease the size to one third so that the bar appears as stick and overall chart looks like lollipop as shown in figure 3.

Figure 3

Diverging Lollipop Chart

This chart is a great way to emphasize the directionality of the data. Let’s start by adding Sub-Category to column shelf and two instances of profit to row shelf. Now click the dual axis and the chart should look similar to Figure 4.

Figure 4

After the dual axis, make sure the synchronized axis is checked. At this stage, Tableau will automatically swap all the mark types from bar to circle as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5

Now, change the ‘automatic’ mark type from first profit instance to bar. And as we added circle mark type to second instance in previous lollipop chart, here we will add arrow mark type instead of circle. Upper arrow mark type for positive value and down arrow mark type for negative value. Hence, we create a calculated field as shown below;

IF SUM([Profit])>0 THEN 'Positive'

ELSEIF SUM([Profit]) <0 THEN 'Negative'

ELSEIF SUM([Profit]) =0 THEN 'Zero'


Once the calculated field is created, change the mark type in second instance of profit to shape. Then drag and drop the calculated field to shape property.

Click on the shape property and select ‘filled’ shape palette. Now assign the upper arrow for positive value and lower arrow for negative values. Make sure to adjust the arrow size accordingly. This chart should something like below figure 6.

Figure 6

Next step is sorting, right click on sub-category on x-axis on the chart and select sort by descending. Next let us add color to the chart, click on all instance of the marks card. Now drag and drop profit onto the color field. The diverging color palette is assigned to the bars and arrows. The final chart looks as show below in figure 7.

Figure 7

Multi-layer Lollipop Chart

This visualization is a great option when you want to make comparison between two values. Let us begin by adding order date on to column shelf and select first discrete month and next we drag measure values into row shelf and filter out to just profit and sales. Now add measure names into color property of marks card. The chart should look like below figure.

Figure 8

Now, let’s duplicate the measure values on the row shelf by pressing the CTRL and drag and drop measure value on row. Now our chart will have two similar charts stacked upon each other. Now dual axis and synchronize the axes.

Now click on first instance of measure values and change marks type to bar and adjust size accordingly. Next, we click on second instance of measure values and select circle. Tableau automatically stacks profit bars on sales bar. To adjust this, select analysis from menu bar, go over stack marks and choose off. Now the final multi-layer chart is ready as shown in below figure.

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