How do I build a Jitter Plot in Tableau?
How do I build a Jitter Plot in Tableau?

A Jitter plot in Tableau is used to give marks space to breathe, be seen and used to gain insights. It is a great way of stretching and revealing  overlapping marks on a view and invites a more thorough and altogether more rewarding exploration of data. But how do we build a Jitter PLot in Tableau? Thankfully, it is not too difficult so let’s take a look.

We start off by setting up the data we want to look at. IN this case using dummy data we are going to look at Inbound Touirism to the continent of Africa and compare countries against each other to see who the stand out perfromers are.

So we need to drop the region onto our Columns Shelf and then filter to the region we want to look at. Drop SUM(Tourism Inbound) on to the Rows shelf.

This leaves us with Africa and now we can drop Country/Region onto the Detail in the Marks Card. You can see the segmentation of the continent by country but at this point nothing is really easy to discern.

Let’s change the marks to Circle. This gives us a little more in that we can now see there are clear differences between countries in the region but we want more clarity really.

How to create the Jitter Plot in Tableau

So we now have to Create Calculated Filed by going to the drop down above our data shelf and selecting exactly that. The calculation itself couldn’t be easier – RANDOM () – which you will see pooping up on the bottom left. Make sure to give it a name so that it doesn’t get lost. It’s hardly going to happen on this occasion but it’s a great habit to get into.


Build a Jitter Plot in Tableau

Bring the Jitter Calc up to the Columns Shelf and place it beside Region. You can see it changes the whole view but you will need to make sure that you change the new calc to a Dimension rather than a Measure by clicking on the bullet and changing it.

jitter plot in tableau

From here we can start to tidy up a bit. Remove the header from the Jitter Calc, tidy up your circles by maybe increasing the size slightly, reducing the opacity to maybe 75% so that circles can be seen behind each other and adding a border around the circle to give it extra definition.

You will be able to do more in terms of sizing on the dashboard itself and it will work well with other views on a more complex dashboard.

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