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My latest best new Tableau skill reflects on a technique I used within this week's Makeover Monday during which people were challenged to visualise the sustainability of public transport around the world.

 

I wanted my visualisation to replicate a Bus Route with each city alternating to the left and right of a centre line, effectively representing each city as a stop on a route. I hoped this would relate the visualisation to the theme of the data and as such increase engagement with the analysis; here is how I did it:

 

- Ensure you have a field that orders your
data. In my Makeover Monday example I wanted cities ordered by the most
sustainable so I created a RANK_UNIQUE table calculation:

RANK_UNIQUE(max([Sustainable Cities
Mobility Index
]),'desc')

 

- Create a calculated field that assigns each
value to an ‘Odd or Even’, i.e. left or right of the centre line:

iif(int([Rank])%2!=0,'Odd','Even')

 

- Using the ‘Odd or Even’ calculation amend
your measure to create alternating negative and positive values:

if [Odd or even]
= 'Even' then max([Sustainable Cities Mobility Index]) else -max([Sustainable Cities Mobility Index]) END

 

Place the amended measure value (3) into columns and your dimension into rows and sort
your dimension by your measure value (if you required a sorted alternating viz).

 

The attached document also includes a picture of the final output; if you would like to view and download my Makeover Monday viz to allow you to replicate the technique the link is below:

 

https://public.tableau.com/profile/simon.beaumont#!/vizhome/MakeoverMonday-Week46Top10citiesforsustainablepublictransport/MakeoverMonday-Week46Top10citiesforsustainablepublictransport

 

I hope you find the technique useful; happy viz'ing.

 

Simon