13 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2010 4:02 AM by guest contributor

    Micro Charts

    . keyurs

      Love this product! Would love to see the ability to show micro charts next to tabular data. A lot of my sheets have data in tables, and would love to see a little micro chart next to the row of data.

       

      Similar to Microcharts or Sparklines for Excel.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Micro Charts
          Michael Cristiani

          Keyurs,

           

          This is certainly possible. Here is a rough explanation.  When I have more time I will post pix, unless someone else beats me to it.

           

          What I do is

          1.  make calculated fields based on each of the measueres (numeric fields) I need to show in the viz, such that each one is equal its source.  For example, [calc_sales]=[sales], where [calc_sales] is the new field and [sales] already exists in your datasource as a measure, or is itself a calculated measure.  Alternatively, [calc_sales]=str(round([sales],2)).

          2. In either case, convert the calculated fields you make into dimensions.

          3. Place all dimensions in their proper order on the Row shelf, such that the new calculated fields show up too.  For example:

          Rows: [Region][State][Sales Rep][calc_sales][calc_profit][calc_units_sold]

          The "trick" here is to make sure that you have sufficient dimensions lined up to make each row unique in the end. If you have more than six dimensions lined up this way, go to Tables|Options on the Tableau menu, and increase the number of Row and/or Column labels you need. 

           

          4. Place any measure (for example, [sales] or [avg_sales] you want to microchart on the Column shelf, like so

          Columns: [year_month][sales].

          5. Set the Mark type as necessary.

          6. Format, etc.

          6. Voila, microcharts.

           

          Again, this is a very rough idea on how to do this.  I have to catch a bus, so I cannot complete this now, but thought you might be able to get started. More later.

           

          MANY BLESSINGS!

          Peace and All Good!

          Michael W Cristiani

          Market Intelligence Group, LLC

          • 2. Re: Micro Charts
            Michael Cristiani

            UPDATED WITH SCREENSHOT

             

            Keyurs,

             

            This is certainly possible. Surely there are smarter ways to do this, but here is a rough explanation of what have tried:

             

            1. make calculated fields based on each of the measueres (numeric fields) I need to show in the viz, such that each one is equal its source. For example, [calc_sales]=[sales], where [calc_sales] is the new field and [sales] already exists in your datasource as a measure, or is itself a calculated measure. Alternatively, [calc_sales]=str(round([sales],2)).

            2. In either case, convert the calculated fields you make into dimensions.

            3. Place all dimensions in their proper order on the Row shelf, such that the new calculated fields show up too. For example:

            Rows: [Region][State][Sales Rep][calc_sales][calc_profit][calc_units_sold]

            The "trick" here is to make sure that you have sufficient dimensions lined up to make each row unique in the end. If you have more than six dimensions lined up this way, go to Tables|Options on the Tableau menu, and increase the number of Row and/or Column labels you need.

             

            4. Place any measure (for example, [sales] or [avg_sales] you want to microchart on the Column shelf, like so

            Columns: [year_month][sales].

            5. Set the Mark type as necessary.

            6. Format, etc.

            6. Voila, microcharts.

             

             

            MANY BLESSINGS!

            Peace and All Good!

            Michael W Cristiani

            Market Intelligence Group, LLC

            • 3. Re: Micro Charts
              . keyurs

              Hello Michael,

               

              Thank you for all your hard work in providing the instructions and screenshot. That did help. It is interesting to turn the measure into a dimension and place the data that way. This will help with some of the charts.

               

              I will play around with it a bit more to see if it can work. I had trouble showing a linechart similar to the format here,

               

              http://www.ozgrid.com/charts/micro-charts.htm (second table down)

               

              Instead of a proper linechart, it is showing individual linedots, which seems due to the new dimension that I have to the left of the aggreate in the row line. In the column field, I have a date by month.

               

              Though this technique will help, it still lacks a few of the features available on the microcharts on the sites as below.

               

              sparklines-excel.blogspot.com

               

              I like the functionality to show min, max ranges, true bullet charts, lines overlaying on the data. And the flexibility in Excel, to show the ranges anywhere on the sheet.

               

              I may have to just export to Excel and do it that way, but it would be nice, if this can be looked into, as it creates for some nice dashboards as well.

               

              Examples of dashboards using micro charts in Excel:

               

              http://tinyurl.com/ceushc

               

              http://tinyurl.com/nvu38d

               

              Thanks!

              • 4. Re: Micro Charts
                Eron Lloyd

                +1; Sparklines are certainly the "viz-du-jour" nowadays, and would require being able to show a range of data (not just a single mark value) as a line with special formatting for perhaps the start and end points. I don't think this is currently possible, but would love to see such a feature!

                • 5. Re: Micro Charts
                  James Baker

                  Hum, we currently believe that Tableau is doing just fine on sparklines - they're just tiny charts with no axes, really.  Oh, we did demo coming improvements to labeling (the "start and end" option) at the latest customer conference.

                   

                  Please feel free to explain the desired features if I'm missing the point.

                  • 6. Re: Micro Charts
                    Eron Lloyd

                    Perhaps post a sparkline example worksheet?

                    • 7. Re: Micro Charts
                      . JeffGallino

                      Bump. would really like to see an example of how to show a spark line or microchart next to a table of data. would very useful

                      • 8. Re: Micro Charts
                        James Baker

                        Hum, attached is the 10-minute version of what's easy to do.  The next version of Tableau will bring many of the sparkline/bullet items that keyurs mentioned.  The one problem is that you can't make vizes in a dashboard scroll together, isn't it?

                        • 9. Re: Micro Charts
                          Joe Mako

                          Here is my first try at a sparkline, working from James' workbook as "Dashboard 2".

                          • 10. Re: Micro Charts
                            Sam Gechter

                            James - I think you're right about the scrolling issue. I've also had issues when putting charts side by side like that, that as screen resolution changes, and column headers or axis labels get scrunched, lines between vizes on dashboards don't always line up anymore.

                             

                            joemako - great job showing what I think people would like to be able to do.

                             

                            It seems to me that one of the limitations in Tableau driving this issue is that as far as I can tell, you can't have two mark or chart types in the same viz, e.g. you can't do a bar chart and line chart in the same viz, or you can't put a bar in a crosstab next to text data, or a bar and KPI next to each other (check mark, x mark, etc.). In some of the dashboard examples in keyurs's post, there are some neat examples of tables with text data, then a micro chart, more text data, and more micro charts all in the same viz. Being able to have line or bar charts _in-line_ with text data would be how I define a microchart/sparkline capability. Putting a line chart next to a table is a cool hack, but it doesn't let us choose which column we want to put the sparkline in.

                            • 11. Re: Micro Charts
                              . keyurs

                              thanks for the follow up samples, joemako and James.

                               

                              sam pinned it perfectly in his comments:

                               

                              "In some of the dashboard examples in keyurs's post, there are some neat examples of tables with text data, then a micro chart, more text data, and more micro charts all in the same viz. Being able to have line or bar charts _in-line_ with text data would be how I define a microchart/sparkline capability."

                               

                              this is exactly what i was originally going for in terms of microcharts.

                              • 12. Re: Micro Charts
                                . Crespelp

                                Hi:

                                 

                                I couldn't convert into dimensions. It is disabled (rather not listed) and the field has a =# next to the name. Any ideas?

                                • 13. Re: Micro Charts
                                  guest contributor

                                  I am using 5.1 and am having this same problem of, after creating a calculated field (a measure), am not given the option of converting to a dimension, on my right-click context popup menu.  Is this a bug in 5.1?