The jittering technique in Tableau

Jittering technique

Last week we talked about how to create a jitter plot in Tableau, and this week we will understand more about the jittering technique overall. Better than in an excel sheet or online, jittering allows you to separate overlapping marks on a view. This way, you will be able to observe more of the hidden data and analyse it.

The jittering technique helps you scatter your data points, so they aren’t plotted directly on top of each other. You could also separate marks or dots in different columns. This can be done in the best analytics tool, Tableau.

When not to use a Jitter Plot?

If you work with geographic data

If you want to see details of more countries on the view

If you don’t want to separate marks or dots into different columns

For day-to-day reports

Here are the steps that define the Jittering Technique in Tableau:

Step 1: Connect to data

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

Step 2: Create the calculated fields and the parameter

Create a calculated field named “Jitter:


Duplicate Jitter and rename it to Jitter 2 :


Go to Analysis and make sure that the Aggregate Measures option is unchecked

Add Category to Columns

Add Order ID to Detail

Add Category to Color

Add Sales on Size

Change Marks from Automatic to Circle

For this Tableau viz, Șerban Grecu, Data Analyst @ btProvider used the Global Superstore database. Learn more about how:

If you want to build jitter charts for presentations or covers, you can use the following steps to build one from scratch. The information will look aggregated and on a granular level as well.

Step 1: Connect to data

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

Step 2: Create the visualization

Add Segment to Columns

Add Order Id to Details

Add Sales on Size

Create a Calculated Field named Bar Height, make it a Dimension, then add it to Columns (format to percentage)

{FIXED [Segment]: SUM([Sales])}


{FIXED : SUM([Sales])}

Create a Calculated Field named Random using the below formula:

(PREVIOUS_VALUE(MIN(1)) * 1140671485 + 12820163) % (2^24)

Create a Calculated field named Columns, then add it to Columns.

(PREVIOUS_VALUE(MIN(2)) * 1140671485 + 12820163) % (2^24)

Create a Calculated field named Rows, then add it to Rows

[Random]*sum([Bar Height])

For both Columns and Rows fields, use Compute using Order ID

Add Market to Filters and select US.

Change the Mark Type from Automatic to Circle, increase the Size and set Transparency to 75%.

More details are in the #skillpill video below, created by Ana-Maria Scarlat – Data Analyst @ btProvider.

About btProvider:

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