Another Friday, another blog post, and a new skill pill in Tableau! What a better way to end the week than with a quick read about another great way to represent data in Tableau? As we have said many times, our blog posts refer both to the technical features that can be used and to the visual capabilities of data representation. Although we all know countless types of graphs and analyzes in Tableau, which are more and more visually interactive, we can always identify at least one new type of graph to use depending on the circumstances given by our data. Thus, in today’s post we will discuss how we can build a Stream Chart in Tableau.
What we appreciate most about Tableau are the visual capabilities that we can use in our analysis and that help us quickly identify answers to our questions. Not occasionally it happens that at a simple glance, the visual representation of our data offers us actionable insights, without necessarily needing to display certain values. Of course, for cases where we need accurate information, it will not be enough to analyze only visually, but we will also need values of our data. But to extract general information as quickly as possible, the visual capabilities found in Tableau make it the best tool for visualizing and exploring data.
A Stream Chart is frequently used when we want to observe the evolution of volumes in our data, from several categories. This chart is built around an axis, so that displaying volumes and their evolution will be made above or below the axis. To better understand how a Stream Chart works, we can imagine that we want to see how sales have evolved over a period in certain regions. Another example that we can consider can be given by analyzing the number of orders, in a period, on a certain segment of customers.
Often a Stream Chart is used because it provides an impressive visual effect when used in a complex view. Also, like many other types of graphs in Tableau, it manages to build a story around dimensions, such as date, orders or product categories, and around values associated with them.
In the video below you will see how we built a Stream Chart in Tableau. All the steps you must go through to create such a chart are mentioned below the video.
→ In Tableau Desktop, connect to Sample Superstore.
→ Select the category you want to visualize on colors, and drag it into rows so you can see the name of the values. In this case we will use Ship Mode
→ Create a new calculated field as:
Case [Ship Mode]
when ‘First Class’ then [Sales]
when ‘Same Day’ then [Sales]
→ Drag [Order Date] into columns and select the date level you need, and then make sure to have Continuous selected
→ Drag the new calculated field into rows and remove [Ship Mode]
→ Drag the category ([Ship Mode]) onto Color
→ Select Area in Marks
→ Right click on the new calculated field (the rows one)
→ Select Add Table Calculation -> Calculation Type -> Average -> Previous Values -> Pick the value based on need
By Andrei Stan