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How do I build a Grouped Bar Chart in Tableau?

Tableau Training  in Ireland

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

A Grouped Bar Chart is used when two or more data sets are plotted side-by-side and grouped together under different categories, all on the same axis.

The length of each bar is used to show discrete numerical comparisons between categories and allows for comparisons between those categories, using the same values. They are also known as a Multi Set Bar Charts or Clustered Bar Charts.

While Grouped Bar Charts are excellent in certain situations, they can become a bit cluttered and harder to read the more bars are on the sheet.

How do I build a Grouped Bar Chart in Tableau?

Step-by-Step guide to building a Grouped Bar Chart in Tableau – Tableau Training.

Start by bringing your Dimension Month into the Columns shelf. Be sure that Month is selected from the drop down menu as it may not always default to this setting. Once this is done, you will see your months line out across your Sheet.

Set your Marks to Bars on your Marks Card (this can be done afterwards) and bring your Measures SUM (Sales) & SUM (Profit) into the Rows shelf. You will see two bar charts on your sheet. These will have to be merged in order to create a Grouped Bar Chart.

In order to do this, we need to select Dual Axis from our drop down menu in SUM(Profit). You will see the Measures are now combined into one bar. We now have to split those bars out and stand them beside one another.

We do this by bringing our Dimension Measure Names into the Columns Shelf.

Synchronize your Axis

In this case because the range of values for each Measure was different, the relationship between the bars is out of sync. In order to make sense of the bars, we have to remedy that situation. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult…

All we have to do, is right click on the Sales Axis and select Synchronize Axis.

This will bring our values into line with each other and makes the relationship between Sales & Profit much clearer.

Tidy Your Sheet & Tooltip

Don’t forget to tidy your Tooltip (or on this case Tootips!) and use colour to make your narrative clearer. If you have a style guide (and we really think you should), make sure the titles, colours and fonts fit in with what has been decided by your team.

It is probably best to keep the information in the Tooltips related only to the Marks they reference but opinions differ on that and ultimately that is up to you and how you want to tell your story.

(We hope that you enjoyed this post and that it was helpful. If you liked it, please don’t hesitate to share it across your social media with your friends and colleagues.)

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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