Sometimes you read something and you just want to have fun, so therefore, I decided to write a short blog to introduce the RANDOM() function in Tableau and to use this to create a Jitter Plots.

Note: The RANDOM() function is undocumented, and therefore, should be avoided for production use and only used for fun. The function returns a floating point number between 0 and 1.

Data

Load the Tableau Sample Data Set, Superstore, into Tableau. If you do not have Tabelau Desktop and no access to this sample, you can download it here:
http://www.tableau.com/sites/default/files/training/global_superstore.zip

Calculations

Columns

RANDOM()

Rows

RANDOM()*1

Note: This is the joys of a function being undocumented. If the Calculated Field has the same RANDOM() formula, it returns the same random number. Therefore, in Rows, I have multiplied by 1 to ensure that Tableau generates a different random number.

Worksheet

To start building our dashboard:

  • Change the Mark Type to Circle.
  • Drag Category onto Columns.
  • Drag the Columns Calculated Field onto Columns.
    • Right-click on the object and select Dimension.
  • Drag Region to Rows.
  • Drag the Rows Calculated Field onto Rows.
    • Right-click on the object and select Dimension.
  • Drag Category onto Color Mark.
  • Drag Product Name onto the Details Mark.
  • Drag Sales onto Size.
    • You can choose any metric you fancy.

If all goes well, you should see the following:

Now that we have the visualisation, we will adjust the cosmetics:

  • Hide theAxis headers.
  • Set the Grid Lines to None.
  • Set the Zero Lines to None.
  • Hide Field Labels for Rows.
  • Hide Field Labels for Columns.
  • Rotate the Region label text.
  • Format the Header fonts.
  • Edit sizes.

You will hopefully have the following.

and boom, we are done with this short and quick example. You can find my work on Tableau Public at
https://public.tableau.com/profile/toan.hoang#!/vizhome/JitterPlots/JitterPlots

I am going to explore putting Jitter Plots into shapes and other data visualisations like my Sunburst or Radial Bar Charts, just for fun of course.

Summary

I hope you all enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. 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.

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