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Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau to explore top-performing outliers in Regional Sales

The Information Lab Ireland is the leading provider of training in Tableau in Ireland. Every week, we post Tableau Tips. This week we take a look at how to build a Box & Whisker chart in Tableau to look for top-performing outliers in regional sales.

In this instance, we are using the chart in an exploratory manner. We want to find products that are out-performing other products in various states within our region and from there explore the reasons for that performance. This chart is a starting point rather than an end point and so might or might not be part of a presentation to stakeholders.

Essentially, you are using this great speed and functionality to find nuggets of business insight gold which you can then tidy to put on your monthly executive reporting dashboard or regional manager dashboard.

How do I build a Box & Whisker chart in Tableau?

Let’s start by taking our SUM(Sales) and dragging the pill the the Rows shelf. Straight away we see it defaults to a bar chart.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

Now we can take our States and introduce them to the Columns. So far so bar charty and that’s fine but remember we are on the search for outliers in regional sales so we have a bit to go yet.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

We are trying to find out what products are out-performing so we need to split out SUM (Sales) by Sub-Category. Introduce the Sub-Category into the Marks card and you can see that the bars have been segmented.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

We are now going to filter the States by Region. We are concerned with how Central is doing as that, for the sake of this blog anyway, is our turf. Choose Central, hit Apply to check all is good and then hit OK to make it happen.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau


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Build a Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

You can now see that the number of States has been greatly reduced and we are now looking at the relevant region. Before we go on to make the Box & Whisker, we need to change the Marks from Automatic to Circle.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

Now right-click on the Sales Axis and from the pop up choose Add Reference Line.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

This will produce another pop up and here we select Box Plot. You can see at this point that there are Marks under the Boxes & Whiskers. Remeber we are on the hunt for outliers so let’s get rid of those for now.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

Simply select the Hide Underlying Marks (except outliers) options to give full attention to the outliers.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

If you wish you can edit the colour of Box & Whisker.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

Finally add the Sub-Category to Colour on the Marks Card so you can explore which products outshine the others in each State in your region.

You edit the colours to suit your purposes or to make it look a little more presentable but it is worth bearing in mind that this type of chart is for exploration and may not end up as part of a final presentation so don’t be too finicky. Then again, perhaps your stakeholders like to see the process so that is worth bearing in mind too.

Box & Whisker Chart in Tableau

Take a look at the full interactive viz below…

About The Information Lab Ireland

The Information Lab Ireland is at the forefront of creating a data-driven culture in Ireland. 

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