Sometimes to give a more dynamic view of change over time, you might want to animate a visualisation in Tableau. This feature came out quite a few years ago and as you can imagine, it was very popular. Analysts loved playing with it and showing what it could do but just because it is there doesn’t always mean it should be used and it is always important to remember how it impacts the overall message. That said it is easy to create and if changes over time are dramatic, this can a great way of showing that change.
Animate a Visualisation in Tableau
In this instance we are going to look at Birth Rates in Europe using a Bar Chart that changes over the years 2000 – 2012.
First off we create our Bar Chart by dragging Region and then Country/Region onto our Columns Shelf. You will need to filter out the other continents until you are left with Europe and the relevant countries.
Right click on the countries Axis and select Rotate Label so the countries can fit across your Sheet and be sure to click on Entire View to spread them evenly across the Sheet.
Now we want to make sure that our Animations are enabled. Click on Format above the Sheet and go to Animations. A new Pane will pop to the left of your Sheet and from here you can set up your Animations as you see fit. We want ours to last for 30 seconds and we only want it to apply to Sheet 3 in this case. This means that when come to creating a dashboard with more sheets we can use static sheets and animations to highlight the starting or end points against the change over time.
Now with everything in place, we simply bring the Year onto our Pages and press play. You can change the speed of the change within the Animation Control Panel on the right of the Sheet.
Here you can see it in action…
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