For me, it is important to try new things with Tableau and to push my creativity and skills. As such, here is a nice and simple tutorial on Drawing Tally Charts in Tableau; this is both simple and fun and should take around 10 minutes to complete. Do enjoy and let me know if you have any questions.

Note: This is an alternative type of data visualisation, and sometimes pushed for by clients. Please always look at best practices for data visualisations before deploying this into production.

Data

Load the following data into Tableau Desktop / Tableau Public.

Country,Value
United States,16
United Kingdom,12
Canada,8
France,10
Germany,5
India,4
Hong Kong,12
Singapore,15
Mexico,6
Australia,3

Once your data is copied into Tableau, right-click on the data source and click on Edit Data Source… with the Data Source Editor open, paste the following:

Path,Position
0,1
100,1
0,-1
100,-1

Note: I have hardcoded a maximum of 100 lines. You can always change this value as you see fit.

You should get an error as there is no joining column, however, click on Add new join clause, go to Create Join Calculation, type 1 and click OK. Do this for the right-hand side as well. Ensure that you have Inner join selected and you should see the following:

Note: we need two records for each Country as we are going to be drawing lines and using densification to get more points on our canvas. For more information, check out our article on Data Densification.

Calculated Fields

With our data set loaded into Tableau, we are going to create the following Calculated Fields and Bins:

Create Path (bin)

  • Right-click on Path, go to Create and select Bins…
  • In the Edit Bins dialogue window:
    • Set New field name to Path (bin).
    • Set Size of bins to 1.
    • Click Ok.

TC_Value

WINDOW_MAX(MAX([Value]))

Index

IF INDEX() <= [TC_Value] THEN
    INDEX()
ELSE
    NULL
END

TC_Position

WINDOW_MAX(MAX([Position]))

X

IF [Index]%5 = 0 AND [TC_Position] = -1 THEN
    [Index]-4.30
ELSEIF [Index]%5 = 0 AND [TC_Position] = 1 THEN
    [Index]-0.70
ELSE
    [Index]
END

With this done, let us start creating our data visualisation.

Worksheet

We will now build our first worksheet:

  • Change the Mark Type to Line.
  • Drag Path (bin) onto Columns.
    • Right-click on this object and ensure that Show Missing Values is checked.
    • Drag this object onto the Path Mark.
  • Drag Country onto Rows.
  • Drag Position onto Rows.
    • Right-click and convert this object to a Continuous Dimension.
  • Drag Position onto the Path Mark.
    • Right-click and convert this object to a Continuous Dimension.
  • Drag X onto Columns.
    • Right-click on this object, go to Compute Using and select Path (bin).

If all goes well, you should now see the following:

We will now update the cosmetics of this data visualisation:

  • Hide the Position Axis-Header.
  • Hide the X Axis-Header.
  • Hide the Grid Lines.
  • Hide the Column Dividers.
  • Hide the Row Dividers.
  • Edit the Colour to Black and set Opacity to 80%.
  • Filter out the Null Values by clicking on the >2k nulls and selecting Filter Data.
  • Drag TC_Value onto Row
    • Right-click and convert to Discrete.
    • Right-click on this object, go to Compute Using and select Path (bin).
  • Format the text.
  • Hide Row Field Labels for Rows.

If all goes well, you should now have the following:

and boom, we are done, you can find my data visualisation on Tableau Public at https://public.tableau.com/profile/toan.hoang#!/vizhome/TallyCharts/TallyCharts

Summary

I hope you all enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it and as always do share the love. Do let me know if you experienced any issues recreating this Visualisation, and as always, please leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter @Tableau_Magic.

If you want to learn more about Creating Bespoke Data Visualisations in Tableau, do check out our course on Udemy at https://www.udemy.com/course/creating-bespoke-data-visualisations-in-tableau

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