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Tableau: A tour through different charts

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a data visualization company focused on business intelligence. Tableau helps connect with any file to visualize data, get insights from data, find hidden trends, and make business decisions. Its simple drag-and-drop user interface makes Tableau a relatively easy-to-learn data analysis and visualization tool. Tableau has its proprietary language called VisQL (similar to SQL), but most of the desktop code is written in C++.


Benefits of Tableau

  • Easily create interactive visualization by using drag-and-drop functionality

  • Advanced visualizations using different types of charts

  • Trend lines and future forecast analysis features

  • Collaboration and sharing options are available

  • Offers mobile version of the app

  • Availability of map

  • Support a variety of data sources to connect with tableau

  • Handle large amounts of data

  • Informative dashboard and story creation

  • Custom layout options for each sheet

Understanding Tableau workbook

Tableau uses a workbook and sheet file structure to visualize and analyze data. A workbook contains sheets. A sheet can be a worksheet, a dashboard, or a story.


1. Worksheet

A worksheet contains a single view along with shelves, legends, and the Data pane. There is no limit to the number of sheets that we can use in a workbook. Every single sheet is used to create individual visualizations. New worksheets can be accessed from the bottom tab of the workbook.

Single Worksheet
2. Dashboard

A dashboard is a collection of several sheets that let you compare a variety of data simultaneously. Like worksheets, you can access dashboards from tabs at the bottom of a workbook. Data in each sheet and dashboard is connected; when you modify a sheet, any dashboards containing it changes automatically, and vice versa.

Dashboard
3. Story

A story contains a sequence of worksheets or dashboards that work together to convey information. The story tab is also present at the bottom of a workbook similar to worksheets and dashboards. Each individual sheet in a story is called a story point. When you share a story, users can interact with the story to reveal new findings or ask new questions about the data.


Story

Charts for Data Visualization

Tableau uses a variety of chats to visualize data. A chart is a representation of data in the form of a graph, diagram, map, or tabular format. In Tableau, charts are created by using the measures and dimensions we choose. Click on "Show Me" and hover the mouse over a graph symbol, it tells how many measures or dimensions are needed to generate the chart. There are 24 different types of charts available in tableau. In this blog, we are understanding a few basic charts.


The data source used for my analysis is given below (Source: http://www.kaggle.com/ )

Sample - Superstore
.xls
Download XLS • 3.38MB

1. Bar Chart

Segmented bar chart

A bar chart is the most popular chart type in Tableau. This chart helps to visualize measures against a dimension using bars. The height of the bars corresponds to the value of the measure. Here we are analyzing a segmented bar chart.

The picture shown above visualizes how to create a Bar chart in Tableau.

Steps to create Segment wise category sales using a bar chart :

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: Drag and drop the sum(sales) into rows (Measure).

Step 2: Drag and drop the category into columns ( Dimensions).

Step 3: On the Marks card select "Bar"

Step 4: Drag Segment into color

Step 5: Drag Sum(sales) and Segment into Labels.

2. Line Chart

A line chart, also known as a line graph or a line plot, connects a series of data points using a line. They provide a basic way to visualize a sequence of values and are useful when you want to see current trends or forecast future values.

The picture shown below visualizes how to create a Line chart in Tableau.

Line Chart

Steps to create Monthwise profit using a line chart :

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: Drag and drop sum(Profit) into rows (Measure).

Step 2: Drag and drop Order Date (Select month from the drop-down list) into columns ( Dimensions).

Step 3: On the Marks card select "Line"

Step 4: Drag and drop Sum(Profit) into Label.

3. Area Chart

An area chart is a line chart where the area between the line and the axis is shaded with color.

The picture shown below visualizes how to create an Area chart in Tableau.

Area Chart

Steps to create Monthwise Sales using an Area chart :

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: Drag and drop the sum(Sales) into rows (Measure).

Step 2: Drag and drop Order Date (Select month from the drop-down list) into columns ( Dimensions).

Step 3: On the Marks card select "Area" from the drop-down list.

Step 4: Drag and drop Sum(Sales) into Label.

4. Bubble Chart

A bubble chart ( also called a bubble plot or bubble graph) visualizes data using a cluster of circles( bubbles). A bubble chart is a type of chart that can display three dimensions of data. Due to the bubble size, a bubble chart can not be used to display a lot of data. In a bubble chart, dimensions define the individual circles, and measures define the size or color of the individual circles.

The picture shown below visualizes how to create a Bubble chart in Tableau.

Bubble Chart

Steps to create Segment wise Sales using a Bubble chart :

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: Drag and drop Sum(Sales) into the size field on the Marks card.

Step 2: Drag and drop Segment into the color field on the Marks card.

Step 3: Select "Packed bubbles" from the "show me" drop-down list.

5. Map Chart

Map charts are used for geographic analysis of data sources. They can visualize a two-dimensional view of the earth's entire surface or just a small portion or even a small locality in detail. All maps have distortions because it doesn't support a three-dimensional object( maps are two-dimensional).

The picture shown below visualizes how to create a Map chart in Tableau.

Regional Map Chart

Steps to create Region wise Sales using a Map chart :

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: On the Marks card select "map" from the drop-down list.

Step 2: Drag and drop Region into the worksheet.

Step 3: Drag and drop Region and sum(sales) into the label field on the Marks card

Step 4: Drag and drop the sum(sales) into the color field on the Marks card.

6. Tree Map

Tree maps are used to display data in nested rectangles. In tree maps, dimensions are responsible to define the structure of the chart, and the size and color of each rectangle should be based on the measures we used. Network administrators often use treemaps to analyze disk space use.

The picture shown below visualizes how to create a Tree chart in Tableau.

Tree Map

Steps to create Subcategory wise Profit and Sales using a Tree Map :

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: Drag and drop Sub-Categoty into columns.

Step 2: Drag and drop Sum(Sales) into rows.

Step 3: Select "Tree Map" from the "show me" drop-down list.

Step 4: Drag drop Sum(Profit) into the Color field on the Marks card.

7. Pie Chart

Pie charts consist of a circle divided into segments that represent the component parts of the whole based on some measures.

The picture shown below visualizes how to create a Pie chart in Tableau.

Pie Chart

Steps to create Subcategory wise Sales using a Pie chart :

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: Drag and drop Sum(Sales) into the rows.

Step 2: Drag and drop Sub-Category into the Columns.

Step 3: Select "Pie charts" from the "show me" drop-down list.

Step 4: Drag and drop Sub-Category and Sum(sales) into the Label field on the Marks card.

8. Table Chart

A table chart is a view of arranging data in rows and columns. In Tableau, text tables (also called cross-tabs or pivot tables) in the "Show me " list is used to create table charts. Table charts views are created by placing one dimension on the Rows shelf and another dimension on the Columns shelf, then completing the view by dragging one or more measures to the Text field on the Marks card.

The picture shown below visualizes how to create a Table chart in Tableau.

Steps to create a Table chart of Segment and category-wise profit/year and grand total

Connect to Superstore data source and open worksheet :

Step 1: Drag and drop Segment and Category in rows.

Step 2: Drag and drop Year(order date) in columns.

Step 3: Drag and drop Sum(profit) into the Label field on the Marks card.

Step 4: In the Data pane, click "Totals" in the Analytics tab (To print the Grand totals)


In this blog, we have discussed some common charts on a single worksheet. We will discuss more special charts and their analysis on a dashboard and story in the upcoming blogs.



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