1 2 3 Previous Next 44 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2017 7:52 AM by Michelle Ford

    YOY YTD Bar Chart


      I had never seen this YOY YTD Bar Comparison solution in any book or blog when accidentally discovering it in May 2013. The lack of feedback in the first 4½ months puzzled me, because I truly thought this was valuable to others too. Later many shared their appreciation of this "chart type" and probably also put it to use. This was nice to hear 


      What is special about this method is that it makes it possible to compare whole periods and partial at the same time as so nicely stated by  Adam Karolewski  in  this comment.  Comparing a part of a bar with a whole bar and at the same time with the same part in other bars is what  Compare highlighted legends in stacked bars  also is about. – I guess multi-comparisons in bar charts is something that attracts me 



      Development History


      2013-05-29Version 1: Introduction of the YOY YTD Bar Chart.kettan
      (forgotten)Version 2: Emphasize This Year (see screenshot below)kettan
      2014-02-01Fiscal YOY YTD Bar Comparisonkettan
      2014-04-13Version 3: Projected revenue in-line with actual full year revenue  .Rebecca Sundquist
      2015-08-16Version 2a: 1) Unified Dates  2) TODAY() as parameterkettan
      2016-08-30Version 1: WOW WTD Bar Chartkettan


      YOY YTD Bar Comparison v2.png


      Today, August 16, 2015, formulas in version 2 were simplified in an effort to make this technique easier to understand and build. Two of the major changes were to replace  1) day-of-year with  Unified Dates  and  2)  function TODAY() with parameter [Today] so attached examples show the technique in use when opened.


      Step-by-step GIF Guide of re-building version 2a:







      1  Add Pills

      Columns: Sum(Sales)

      Rows: Product Category, YEAR(Order Date)

      Color: YTD Comparison

      Detail: Sales This Year (to be used in reference line)

      Filter: Exclude future (true)



      Mark Type: Bar

      YOY YTD Bar Comparison - 1 Add Pills.gif







      2  Sort Pills

      Product Category: Sort Order: Descending;  Sort by: Sales This Year; Aggregate: SUM

      YEAR(Order Date): Sort Order: Descending

      YOY YTD Bar Comparison - 2 Pill Sort Settings.gif







      3  Add Reference Line YTD This Year

      Scope: Per Pane

      Value: Sum(Sales This Year); Aggregate: Maximum

      Label: None

      Line: Grey RGB 215,215,215

      YOY YTD Bar Comparison - 3 Reference Line YTD This Year.gif







      4  Add Reference Line for Year Total

      Scope: Per Cell

      Value: Sum(Sales); Aggregate: Sum

      Label: Value

      Line: None


      Show total outside the bar:

      Format > Alignment > Horizontal:  Right

      YOY YTD Bar Comparison - 4 Reference Line Year Total.gif






      5  Finish

      Hide Field Labels for Rows

      Manually Shrink Year Column

      YOY YTD Bar Comparison - 5 Finish.gif


      Attached Workbook Versions:


      YOY YTD Bar Comparison v2a.twbx:   Tableau 9.0
      YOY YTD Bar Comparison v2.twbx:   Tableau 8.0
      YOY YTD Bar Comparison.twbx:   Tableau 8.0


        • 1. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
          Chris Hobson

          Thanks for sharing the workbook.  Very helpful!

          • 2. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison

            Thanks for feedback. It is very encouraging!


            I have been wondering why seemingly no-one finds this workbook useful.

            After 4½ months, it is encouraging to hear a feedback saying it was helpful.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
              Chris Hobson

              For sure.  Now I just need to modify it a bit to do some MTD lines instead of YTD. 

              • 4. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                Shawn Wallwork

                Johan I have experienced this (your) sense of forum isolation many times. I (maybe 'we all') post things we think should be EXTREMELY (obviously) useful to others; only to wait for a response that never comes -- though it looks like you were lucky and helped someone 4.5 months later.


                I have no quick-fix to any of this. Someone returned to the forums today after 6 months to ask a follow-up question, explaining they hadn't been able to get it working. What do you (we) do with this? I'm really not sure. Is a 6 month old question a real question? Is it worth anyone's time -- if it takes six months for the questioner to realize it's important?


                But then on the flip side, isn't it great Johan that someone searched and found a post you made four and half months ago, and found it helpful? Just thinking out loud here; just wanting to start one of those 'old' conversations the forums were known for; what is the 'answer' to this issue? Is there one?


                What do you (anyone) think?



                • 5. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                  Chris Hobson

                  As a long-time user of internet forums, I can say that old posts definitely have value.  For a new user being able to go back to older posts and learn from the old info is great.  I hate seeing an interesting thread die before its time because of lack of interest. 

                  When I’m new to a forum I go back and read every post that is interesting, even something posted a year or more ago has value.  The first time someone sees a post might be 4.5 months after it was first posted. Especially in something as niche as a specific data visualization product. J


                  For the six month old question, they may just have been able to get to the point of asking it.  I know I still reference old blogs/posts about involved DB setups or auto part installs.  I might first see it, and then not need to use the information for a LONG time (I reference back to posts written in 2005-2006 all the time when it comes to tuning my car).  But when I finally need it, being able to ask the question and receive a response is huge.

                  • 6. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison

                    I think feedback is important and prefer helping newcomers and those with a good feedback record.

                    But then on the flip side, isn't it great Johan that someone searched and found a post you made four and half months ago, and found it helpful?

                    Very nice. Maybe someone else also found it helpful. But without being informed, the good feeling of having contributed something of value isn't experienced.

                    Just thinking out loud here; just wanting to start one of those 'old' conversations the forums were known for; what is the 'answer' to this issue? Is there one?

                    I miss those 'old' conversations. They were very enjoyable, fun, educational, and created a good feeling of belonging to a friendly community.

                    • 7. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                      David Walp

                      I don't know about others, but I find the contributions on these forums invaluable, and hope to be able to contribute someday.  I truly appreciate the time, effort, knowledge and advice so many contribute here.  There should be Nobel prizes for community service for the many contributors in the Tableau family.

                      • 8. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                        Chris Stone

                        @kettan Thank you very much for posting this I found it very helpful!!

                        • 9. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison

                          Thanks, Chris. It is encouraging to hear positive feedback 

                          • 10. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                            Sumana Kandaka

                            Thanks for this post ... it has helped me out!

                            • 11. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison

                              For anyone interested:


                              There is a fiscal-ready version of this YOY YTD Bar Comparison available in the workbook library:


                              Fiscal YOY YTD Bar Comparison.

                              • 12. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                                Ryan Milanowski

                                Finding this almost a year later.  I have a lot of use for YTD information and hadn't thought of something like this.  Thanks much!

                                • 13. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                                  Wendy Zhou

                                  Thank you for sharing kettan! This great!

                                  • 14. Re: YOY YTD Bar Comparison
                                    Tom Scarr

                                    Thanks for this kettan it's great! I wondered if you've made any progress on version 3?

                                    I'm pretty new to Tableau so I've got no idea how i'd go about building a sales forecast based on the information in this chart, if anyone can point me in the direction of a post that could help me out it'd be much appreciated.

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