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Tally Chart

A Tally chart is a table used for counting and comparing the numbers of multiple classes of a data set.

Tally charts are used to collect data quickly and efficiently, since filling a chart with marks is much speedier than writing words. The format also lends itself nicely to collecting data in subgroups, which can be useful.

The initial data is recorded using 'hashes' or tally marks, organized into groups of five. Each occurrence is shown by a tally mark, with every fifth tally being drawn diagonally to make a “gate” of five. This makes keeping track of the total number much easier, as you can simply count the groups of tally marks by five.





A tally chart is just one method of collecting data using tally marks. Data can be collected on any topic and for any purpose, meaning that it is used in everything from scientific research and finance to business management and retail. This data can then be used to create more detailed and visual graphs and charts to compare the information that has been collected


Benefits of Using Tally Marks

Assume that we are given raw data or random values to formulate a frequency distribution. We have options to make an individual observation or class intervals. It is difficult to count all the occurrences and enter the data as there are chances of mistakes. Also, going back to the list repeatedly to cross-check the entire list becomes time-consuming. This complication can be minimized by using the tally marks.

In this case, we have to add a tally mark for every different observation or class interval. In this way, we have to pass over the list only once. Then by counting the tally marks, we can write down the corresponding frequencies. Thus, the table obtained is the required frequency distribution table for the given data.

This is how the tally marks become beneficial for finding the frequencies of the data set, particularly for ungrouped raw data. The below example helps us understand the concept in a better way.



I am going to show how we can create tally chart with below problem statement.


Problem Statement: Show the top 10 products sold latest year with their quantity using the tally chart.


Solution : Here we will use sample super store data and the tally path sheet which is created as below.



First we will prepare an excel sheet with the content as shown in below snippet.















  • Drag order sheet and add a new connection and locate the data path and position sheet .

  • This will create a cross database join between sample super store and path and position sheet.









Tis provides value for path in position to create the sticks in our tally chart by joining with our actual data.

Here we have kept a maximum value of 100 but you can also change it according to the count range in your data.

We will use sample super store data join tally path to create "Tally Chart" .


However as there are no common columns in our sheets, we will get an error that shows the join has no join clauses. To add a cross join click add new join clause as below


  • Click on create join calculation "Type 1" click on "Ok"

  • Similarly add 1 as a joining clause for the second data source











  • Drag and drop the product name on rows.

  • Drag order date onto filters and then select "Years" and click next.
























  • Check filter to latest date value when workbook is opened and click "Ok".

  • This will only filter the product sold in the latest year.

























Drag product name to filters , select "Top" tab choose the "By field" radio button .

Select "Quantity" from the drop-down click "Ok"

This will generate top 10 products based on the total quantity sold across all years.























We need to add Year filter to the next context, right click on the year filter and click "Add to Context".

The Year context filter will pass only relevant values to the product name filter.

Which in return will give the top 10 products based on the quantity sold .




























  • Under the marks we will change mark type to line.

  • Create a calculated field "Index"

  • This calculated field computes the value of index for each product based on the quantity then it compares the same with the maximum quantity across all the products to provide the indexes till the quantity of each product is calculated.














  • Right click on "Path" measure select create "Bins"

  • provide a suitable bin name and set the bin size as one .

  • Drag and drop path (bin) to detail












  • Drag and drop "Index" on columns.

  • Right click on index select compute using and click on path bin











  • Drag position to the rows right -click the position spin and convert it to a dimension

  • This will generate a single stick from minus 1 to 1 (-1 to 1) for every product










For the diagonal line, let us create calculated field as X position.

This calculated field will identify all the multiples of 5 and calculate their positions on X-axis to plot the slant lines









  • Replace index with " X- positions" on columns .

  • Right - click the X position select compute using and click on path bin.















  • Filter out the null values select filter data

  • Select entire view the "TALLY CHART " is ready



  • Drag and drop "product name " on to colors

  • Click on "Entire View".



Conclusion :


In this article, we have done a detailed study of the tally chart. We explained how a tally mark chart could be prepared and read. For better understanding the idea of the tally chart, examples have been solved for Superstore data.


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