10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 28, 2018 3:01 PM by Shinichiro Murakami

# Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Is it possible to create a bubble chart using two "series" like the image below? Attached is the twbx file.

• ###### 1. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Hi Enrique,

I am not sure what is your intent of this viz.

Similar story can be understood thru, for example. these view?

Thanks,

Shin

• ###### 2. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

The problem here is that bubble charts don't have an axis, so doing a dual axis isn't possible and packed bubbles will figure out the position of the bubbles automatically. One option would be to find the x and y coordinates where you want to place each bubble, then do a dual axis (see Beyond “Show Me” Part 1: It’s All About the X & Y - Ken Flerlage: Analytics Architecture, Strategy, & Visualization  for more on this), but that's a very manual process. So another idea is to dispense with the idea of having a typical bubble chart and instead just create the bubbles across the screen. You could use a dual axis for this in order to get the desired result.

But, in this case, the bubbles are really small and hard to read. So, we could do small multiple bubbles. We'll use a couple of calculated fields to define the Row and Column as follows (Note: Bubbles Per Row is a parameter I created to allow you to configure the number of bubbles on each row).

Column

// Figure out what column to put the bubble on.

// Table calculation will compute using State.

(INDEX()-1)%[Bubbles Per Row]+1

Row

// Figure out what row to put the bubble on.

// Table calculation will compute using State.

INT((INDEX()-1)/[Bubbles Per Row])+1

You can then use these to build a view like this:

It's not exactly what you asked for, but it might be a viable alternative. I've attached a packaged workbook.

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• ###### 3. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Ken Flerlage : great use of modulo (%), one of my favorite little tricks!

• ###### 4. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Yeah, it's a great, isn't it?

• ###### 5. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Enrique-- it looks like you have some great suggestions here. Without knowing your full intent, I'd ask that you take into account that as volumetric measuring tool, the human eye isn't a very good

It's difficult to distinguish what values each of your "eyeballs" have just by eyeballing it (sorry for the pun).

You might better serve the user by looking at alternative viz types. I think I've heard this referred to as a "bikini graph", but it's fairly efficient at showing two populations:

• ###### 6. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Hello Shinichiro,

Thanks for replying, but it is not exactly what I was looking for. Sorry if I wasn't clear enough.

• ###### 7. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

No worry.

Shin

• ###### 8. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Hello Ken,

It looks like a good alternative, but I'm not sure if the final user will accept it.

The way that the bubbles spread out automatically through the sheet causes more positive impact and positioning the bubbles manually is not viable.

As it looks like not possible to be done, your answer is acceptable.

Thanks!

• ###### 9. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Thanks for the suggestion, Michael! I'll take a look at this viz.

But I think that using labels for the "eyeballs" and using a small population (something like 4 or 5 "eyeballs") would be clear enough and also would have a nice look.

• ###### 10. Re: Overlapping Packed Bubbles Chart

Actually, that's really based on where you want to put the circle, so mine can be this way as well.

Thanks,

Shin