3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2013 7:12 PM by Joshua Milligan

    How to do time series

    SAdra Alavi



      I'm a master student and I'm dealing with Remote sensing data for my master thesis. I'm totally a new user and actually found Tableau while I was searching for Time Series analysis. I spend few hours to understand the software in order to running the time series but its not as easy as it looks in the tutorial!

      So in general I have a 10 years of dataset (2002-2012), and for each year I have values for June, July and August, In other words I have 30 columns. However each column might have different records  (For example: June 2004: 500 records, August 2008: 700 records and etc.).

      I would like to plot a time series from 2002 till 2012 that with a scatters that shows the fluctuation of my data so later I can check the pattern and the trend during the 10 years.

      I have attached part of my data set here as an excel file (test.xls). Any help for yours is appreciated, so I can proceed with my master thesis.


      Many thanks in advance for your help.

      Kindly regards,


        • 1. Re: How to do time series
          Joshua Milligan



          I think Tableau would be a great tool for your analysis.  I took a look at your data, but I didn't really understand what I was looking at (for example, why are there 4 columns for each date?)


          I think you would find Tableau very easy if the data was structured just a little differently.  I re-shaped your data using the Tableau Data Reshaping Tool (you can read about it and download it here: http://kb.tableausoftware.com/articles/knowledgebase/addin-reshaping-data-excel).  And I took some liberties with it to demonstrate an example of what could be done (for example, I just made up some dates since I didn't understand why there were multiple columns per date in your data). 


          I've attached the Excel file so you can see what it looks like now.  Basically, data will be much easier if you can get a single record for each value of a measure and then provide some description of that measure (e.g. date, type, experiment group / control group, etc...).  The more description you can provide the more interesting your analysis might be.


          Feel free to ask additional questions!  I or others here would love to help!



          • 2. Re: How to do time series
            SAdra Alavi

            Hey Joshua


            Thanks for providing me me an answer and further information. Now I understand it better. I've tried it on my own. there is just one tiny problem and that would be that me Time is as text. Something like this:

            first week of July 2002, Second week of July 2002, ....., First week of July 2010 and so on.
            When I try to plot it, all the First ones come together and second ones together and so on. So the timing on the X-axes is ruined. Is there anyway I can sort my data as it is in the excel sheet? Becasue in the excel sheet the order is correct.


            Tanx in advance,



            • 3. Re: How to do time series
              Joshua Milligan



              Would you mind saving the workbook and attaching it to a post.  I think what you're asking is possible, but I'm not sure of how you have things setup at this point.  Thanks!