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How do I make a Dual Axis Bump Chart in Tableau?

Last week The Information Lab Ireland took you through the steps required for building a Line and Dot Chart in Tableau. In our final view, we had separated the departments of our fictitious K Good Company across the view.

To free up some space, maybe make our Marks bigger and our patterns clearer when contrasted against each other, we can merge the Departments. This is a commonly used Dual Axis Bump Chart.

It won’t surprise you to learn that this type of chart is favoured by DataViz builders who follow of sports leagues and who like to track the ups and downs of individual teams over the course of a season or seasons.

Here our consultant Ian Baldwin has built a Line & Dot Chart for our Six Nations Event earlier this year. This is an impressive use of this kind of chart and it’s little wonder it has been viewed nearly seven-thousand times on his Tableau Public profile.

Line and Dot Chart in Tableau of Six Nations History
Ian Baldwin of The Information Lab Ireland built his History of the Six Nations early in 2019

How do I build a Dual Axis Bump Chart in Tableau?

Last week you will recall we finished with our Line and Dot Chart looking something like this…

In order to merge the Departments we now have to move our Department Dimension off the Rows Shelf and pop it onto the Detail on our Marks Card. Notice how the view changes because our Rows are no longer being split by department. Instead we are going to move the Department Dimension into the Detail on our Marks Card and let the Marks take care of showing the Ranks in each.

We will have to click the Rank Left pill in our Rows Shelf and from the dropdown click Edit Table Calculation. Choose Specific Dimensions and select Department. This will need to be done for both Rank pills.

The Bump Chart is beginning to take shape but in this instance you will really need to change the line path on your Marks Card in Rank Left Measure from Step to Linear. This will help with the shape/patterns of the different Departments and will make them easier to discern when contrasted against each other.

We are now pretty much set but you will need to make sure we give clear instruction on our dashboard when we come to publish. While this view does give us back more space on our dashboard, it will require just a little more effort on the part of the end user to see the patterns you want them to see. That said they now have several options. They can view by month, by rank or by department at the click of a button.

Line and Dot Bump Chart in Tableau


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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