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How do I build a Bump Chart in Tableau – Tableau Training

Step-by-step Bump Chart in Tableau – Tableau Training

As part of our Tableau Training at The Information Lab Ireland, we like to show our clients a varying range of charts. Bump Charts are typically used when we want to show a change in rank over a period of time. What’s great about bump charts, is that when we reach a major turning point, lines cross each other as one values jumps above or below another. This allows you to focus on a moment of change and, if that is your motivation, to argue for or against a change in decision-making.

That could be the allocation of a research budget for a branch in a supermarket chain that is outperforming others, changing the focus on sales to markets that are outperforming others or in this instance arguing the case for promotion and demotion in the Six Nations Rugby Championship on the back of Georgia’s improved World Rankings since 2011 when compared to Italy.

How do I build a Bump Chart in Tableau?

Bump Charts are relatively easy to build. There are two things to bear in mind at all times – change in rank over time. In this case the data itself is no great shakes and nothing much to worry about (though you will need to make sure that your Year Dimension has been changed to Year) This data came from the excellent World Rugby Rankings table, which is fairly comprehensive itself and worth a look if you’re interested in how the system works.

By pulling Year into the Column shelf and Measure Values into the Rows shelf we can see that the Sheet is beginning to take a little bit of shape, albeit at this point, it’s really rather messy. This will change when we pull our Measure Names into Colour on the Marks Card and automatically filters the values…

Choose your Line Style

Tableau allows you to choose your line style. In this case, and it’s purely just to be different, we are going to go with a step line. This may or may not work for your bump chart but it is an option.

Clean up your Y axis in your Tableau Bump Chart

Looks a smidgen better, doesn’t it. But we are not quite there yet. There is still quite a bit of cleaning up to do. Let’s start on the Y axis where we can fix the range of values. In this case we are going to fix the values from 10 – 17. This will relieve us of a lot of useless white space (0 – 9) and make the viz clearer. It’s worth noting that later on we will amend the range slightly 9 – 18 but this is done for aesthetic reasons which will become clear later.

The final touches…

As always, and this just makes sense, tidy up that Tooltip so it tells a story. Use colour and match what they represent. You can also change the colour of the lines…

Given the amount space on the sheet, it is probably worth using as much of it as possible. Increase the width of the lines to make a bigger impact.

Finally, you will remember, just a few steps back, that we spoke about fixing the range of the values. As you can see, the range here is fixed at 10 – 17 but there is a slight problem in that the lines cutting across the top and bottom of the range look slightly cropped.

Because we have the space and the range in values is not exactly huge, we decided to amend the range slightly. This gave us just a little more breathing space and made the whole thing look just that little bit better.

Who/What is…?

The Information Lab Ireland

The Information Lab (“TIL”) is a Gold resale partner of Tableau and Alteryx and offers related consulting and training across seven territories in Europe. TIL has offices in Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Clients include Coca-Cola, Close Bros Bank, PepsiCo, Deloitte, UBS, Solar Turbines & Boston Consulting Group. The Information Lab has worked with Close Brothers Bank to support their use of Alteryx for compliance with IFRS 9.

The Information Lab Ireland is at the forefront of creating a data-driven culture in Ireland. As part of its vision, The Information Lab Ireland regularly hosts free events throughout the country to show how being data-driven can improve decision making and lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

For more on these events please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


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