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How do I build Dual Axis Chart in Tableau?

Step-by-step Dual Axis Chart – Tableau Training

A key component of our Tableau Training at The Information Lab Ireland, is presenting our clients with a varying range of charts that they can adapt and use to suit their needs.

A Dual Axis Chart allows you to show and compare two measures together. It allows you to spot relationships between the two and answer business questions on the patterns that emerge. For example, the K Good Co. had a spike in sales in July but their profits have decreased quite considerably. Why is this happening? Are our sales teams handing out big discounts? Was there a sale on? Being able to see the relationship clearly, gives us the insight that allows us to ask those questions.

How do I build a Dual Axis Chart in Tableau?

Dual Axis charts are relatively quick and straightforward to build and they can make quite an impact.

Start by dragging your Dimension Month into the Columns Shelf. Be sure to change the calendar from Year to Month by right clicking and selecting Month from the dropdown menu.

Pull in your first measure Sales and notice how it defaults to a Line Graph. This is of course easily changed by selecting the Bars in your Marks Card.

We are now going to do the same with our second Measure, Profit. This results in two bar charts which can confuse matters when presenting. We want to create a Dual Axis and follow that by changing how one set of data is presented.

To create a Dual Axis, simply right click on the Profit Axis and select Dual Axis.

You will notice that the Profit Ticks (20k, 30k etc) have now moved to the right. Sales remain on the left.

We now want to change the marks and can do this by simply selecting SUM (Profit) in the Marks Card and changing it from Bar to Line.

Tidy Your Tooltip

Don’t forget to tidy your Tooltip (or on this case Tootips!) and use colour to make your narrative clearer.

It is probably best to keep the information in the Tooltips related only to the Marks they reference.

As a final point, in our visualization we have changed the line path to emphasise the falling profits in the middle of the year. Tis is entirely up to yourself of course but anything that adds clarity to a data visualization and emphasises change is a good thing.

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