Tableau bar chart tutorial

The fastest way to compare your data is creating Tableau bar chart. In this tutorial, I choose to open Superstore Sales file that I’ve mentioned in my datasets for analysis page. After opening excel file, I choose Orders sheet and drag to data source field.

Selecting measures and dimensions

After connecting with the Super Store Sales file, we see these measures and dimensions: –>

Let’s think what we want to see in our bar chart.

Profit is one of the main KPI’s in business, we are choosing that measure and dragging to rows field. Furthermore, to see what product categories and sub-categories are generating most profit, we need to drag those dimensions to the columns field.


tableau bar chart
tableau bar chart

tableau bar chart

Polishing the Tableau Bar Chart

The bar chart is made now, but we have to make it more beautiful and easier to read. Here are the steps that we follow to upgrade our chart:
  1.  Move Office supplies category to the left, because it has most sub-categories. Also move technology category in front of the office supplies, because technology bars are much higher. This way it will look better.tableau bar chart
  2.  Add profit numbers to bars by dragging Profit measure to label field
  3. Now we see that Telephones and Communication category label is not there. Number that would be used for a label is too big, so we decrease text size from 9 to 8.  tableau bar chart
  4. Sort sub-categories by profit (descending).
  5. Add colors to Tableau bar chart to make things further clear. Drag Profit measure to color field. I chose to use red-green diverging for this example. Also, I have marked Use Full Color Range box so that the worst sub-category will be visualized with the richest red in the range. tableau color selection

Final chart view

After finishing our bar chart we can see which categories and sub-categories makes good profit numbers. We see that “the Store” loses money by selling Bookcases and Tables. In a real-world situation, middle managers would be required to report what were the reasons for that. Additionally, as analysts, we can drill-down into subcategories and try to find those reasons in our data.

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