How to create a Scrolling Bar Chart Animation

We prepared for you today a new Tableau challenge, more precisely all the steps about how to create a Scrolling Bar Chart Animation. Animations in Tableau are available starting with the Tableau 2021.1 version. Creating animations can be challenging because you must control all the dimensions in your view.

In order to create a Scrolling Bar Chart in Tableau, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Connect to data

→ In Tableau Desktop, connect to Sample – Superstore sample data provided by Tableau.

Step 2: Create a static baseline chart

Create a new calculation called [Order Date | Week]. This calculation will just be the rounded week.

DATETRUNC(‘week’, [Order Date])

Add this to columns as a continuous exact date.

Add [Order ID]to rows and change the aggregation to COUNTD().

Step 3: Create dynamic dates

Create a new parameter called [Baseline Date]. This parameter will eventually be tied to the [Order Date | Week] calculation you just created.

Create calculated fields:  [Start]and [End] will be used to create a band using a reference line.

→[Start]returns the larger of two values: either 200 days less than the [baseline date] or the earliest day in the dataset.

MAX([Baseline Date] – 200, {MIN([Order Date | Week])})

→[End]returns the smaller of two values: either 200 days more than the [baseline date] or the latest day in the dataset.

MIN([Baseline Date] + 200, {MAX([Order Date | Week])})

→[Color]returns a boolean if the values between or equal to +/- 200 days from the [baseline date].

[Order Date | Week] >= ([baseline date] – 200)


[Order Date | Week] <= ([baseline date] + 200)

Add [Start]and [End] to Detail of the marks card. And add [color] to color.

Step 4: A reference line for the baseline visualization

Add a reference band on the  [Order Date | Week]  Have the band run from [Start]to [End].

Step 5:  Build the scrolling visualization

Create a new calculation called [Adjusted Date]. This will be the [Order Date | Week] minus the [baseline date].

[Order Date | Week] – [baseline date]

Add this calculation to columns as MIN() aggregate.

Also, add COUNTD([Order ID]) to rows.

Add [Order Date | Week] to detail on the marks card and be sure it’s a continuous exact date.

Change the mark type to bar.

On the Size button on the marks, card select fixed, type in 7 (for the days in a week), and choose left for alignment.

Edit the axis on MIN([Adjusted Date]) axis. Set the values to run from -200 to 200.

Create a new calculation called [Top]This will also be used for a reference line. [Top] calculates the maximum number of orders in a week.

{MAX({FIXED [Order Date | Week] : COUNTD([Order ID])})}

Create another calculation called [0] where the value is set to 0.

Add both calculations to detail.

Add a reference band on the rows axis of COUNTD([Order ID]).

Set the band to run from [0] to [Top].

Step 6:  Add a second axis

On rows, double click to the right of your existing value and type MIN(-0.001).

Choose Bar for the mark type and set the size of the bars to fixed, size 7 (for days), and left-aligned.

Create a dual-axis chart and synchronize the axes

Create a new calculation called [Axis Label]. This will be the label of the axis. This can be any number of labels but for my calculation, I am going to label every other bar in MMM-D, ‘YY format.

IF (DATEPART(“week”, [Order Date | Week]) %2) = 1

THEN LEFT(STR(DATENAME(“month”,[Order Date | Week])),3)

  + “-” + STR(DAY([Order Date | Week]))

  + ” ‘” + RIGHT(STR(YEAR([Order Date | Week])),2) + ” –”


Add this calculation to labels on the MIN(-0.001) marks card.

Set the label direction to up and the vertical alignment to the bottom.

Step 7:  Build the dashboard. Add the action. 

Add the two sheets to a single dashboard.

Add a parameter action on the dashboard. When [Order Date | Week] is selected from the baseline visualization, the [Baseline Date]parameter should be updated with that date.

Step 8:  Add animation

On the Main Menu go to Format → Animations. Turn animations on and set the duration to 2.00 seconds and the style to simultaneous. This will give the scroll a dramatic effect.

If you like video tutorials, we recorded for you the entire process as you can see in the #skillpill video below, created by our colleague Andreea Chiriac, Data Analyst.

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