2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2016 11:22 AM by Laura Glass

    Can you make a bubble chart using custom shapes?

    Laura Glass

      Hey everyone!


      I am working on a dashboard about webpage performance and am using a Google Analytics data source. One of the dimensions I've chosen to use is Browser. I am interested in using a bubble chart to display the most popular browsers (sized by # of pageviews). Ideally, I'd like to use the browser logos (which I have saved into My Tableau Repository in the Shapes folder) rather than the default circles. However, whenever I have my data in the bubble chart and try to change the mark to shapes, it changes into a straight line rather than maintaining the bubble chart.


      Originally, I was going to use the default bubble chart on my dashboard and manually pull in floating images to my dashboard and just size them to match the bubbles, but I would like this dashboard to be interactive to allow the user to change date ranges. Because of this, I know I can't just pull in floating images, because when the bubble chart changes with changing dates, the images will just remain unchanged.


      Does anyone know how to either make the shapes the bubbles, or at least how to organize an array so I could have something like a 4x5 grid of the custom shapes in a heatmap sort of layout or something?


      I am using the beta version of Tableau 10 Desktop.


      Thank you in advance for any and all advice!



        • 1. Re: Can you make a bubble chart using custom shapes?
          Patrick A Van Der Hyde



          I'm trying to reproduce the issue with bubbles and my own GA data.  I assume Sum(Pageviews) or sum(unique pageviews) is on Rows but what's on Colums?  Date??  If you have two measures with one on Rows and one on Columns and Browser on the level of detail, then you should be able to use shapes with no problem.


          Oh playing with this - maybe you are trying to get a packed bubble chart???  if so, that is sort of a special one.  Would a scatter plot type view work?


          Love to know what you came up with if you found your own solution.   This is one of those rare occasions where I'd probably use a pie chart.




          • 2. Re: Can you make a bubble chart using custom shapes?
            Laura Glass



            Thanks for your response and suggestions!


            I was trying a packed bubble chart and wanted to have the entire bubble be the symbol for that browser. Had I not wanted to have it automated and updated daily or weekly, I would have made the packed bubble chart and then brought images into the dashboard to put on top of each bubble. Unfortunately, I wanted it to change with each update, and adjust accordingly.


            I didn't like the look of it in a scatterplot. I ended up using a dual axis with the same data to create the visual. I made one version of the browser variable the bars and the duplicate browser variable was a shape. I then put the browser icons in My Tableau Repository, and I was able to use them. It ended up looking like this:


            Screen Shot 2016-09-20 at 2.22.23 PM.png


            I wish we could use the shapes in the packed bubble chart, but for now, it doesn't seem like there is a way to do what I was trying to do. What I ended up with worked for what I needed to do, though.