3/25/2014

A Graph Recreation in Tableau - Part 2: How To Build

I received a number of pings about yesterday's post showing the sankey-style slopegraph in Tableau (here). Here are the basics of the recreation using calculations in Tableau to simplify the process even further.

Original graph is here.

To create this visualization I use the Sigmoid Function: S(

(

In Tableau I use the function EXP(1) for

State, 2012 Ranking, 2013 Ranking,

To get the shape of the line I am going to plot 49 points for each state (49 was simply used to get enough points to plot the shape of the curves and is the same number of values in

The data file is available here so you can load and follow along in Tableau. There are 3 extra fields in the Excel file to show the calculations, but they are not needed in Tableau.

Step 1: Open Tableau and Import Data

Step 2: Create some calculated fields

Calculated Field Name:

Formula:

Calculated Field Name:

Formula:

[2012 Ranking] + (([2013 Ranking]-[2012 Ranking])*[Sigmoid Function])

Calculated Field Name:

Formula:

IF [Curve] <10.5 then 1

ELSEIF [Curve] <20.5 then 2

ELSEIF [Curve] <30.5 then 3

ELSEIF [Curve] <40.5 then 4

ELSE 5 END

Calculated Field Name:

Formula:

Step 3: Build the Viz

Move t to Columns

Move Curve to Rows

Move State to Details

Move t to Details and Convert to Dimension

Set Marks to Line

Edit X-Axis to Fixed with Start = -6.5 and End = 6.5 (the extra .5 allows room for the labels)

Edit Y-Axis and Reverse Scale

Move Size to Size

Move Color to Color

Edit Color using Stepped Color with 5 Steps

Uncheck "Show Header" on Y-Axis and X-Axis

Move State to Label

Select Left most points (at X = -6) and Select "Always Show" under Marks Label

Repeat for Right most points (at X = 6)

Format Curve to Number Format with 0 decimals

Move Curve to Label

Format Label to "<SUM(Curve)>. <State>"

Format Sheet Lines to remove Gridlines and Zero Line (set to "None")

Format Sheet Borders to remove border (Row Divider and Column Divider Pane to "None")

Format Font Style/Color and Viz Spacing as needed

Click Color on the sheet and set "Markers" to "None". This will remove the dots at the end points.

You should now have a visualization that looks like the example. Use ColorPic (free color tool) to get the colors just right and import into the Tableau Preference file using type="ordered-sequential" for this categorical color scheme.

I hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jeff@DataPlusScience.com

Also, check out the visualizations in the Elite 8 of the Tableau Sports Viz Competition and vote for my Viz here!

Jeffrey A. Shaffer

Follow on Twitter @HighVizAbility