This is a Quick Tip on how to build Dumbbell charts in Tableau, so less reading and more jumping in. We are going to spend 5 minutes or less building our dumbbell chart.

Data

Load the following data into Tableau Desktop / Public.

 Country Year GDP The United States of America 2002 10.98 China 2002 1.45 Japan 2002 3.98 Germany 2002 2.01 France 2002 1.45 United Kingdom 2002 1.62 Brazil 2002 0.50 Russian Federation 2002 0.35 Italy 2002 1.23 India 2002 0.52 The United States of America 2012 16.24 China 2012 8.23 Japan 2012 5.94 Germany 2012 3.43 France 2012 2.61 United Kingdom 2012 2.46 Brazil 2012 2.25 Russian Federation 2012 2.02 Italy 2012 2.01 India 2012 1.86

Let us create a dumbbell chart to show the growth of GDP from 2002 to 2012.

Note: This data has been taken from the Tableau World Indicators data source.

Worksheet

• Drag GDP onto Columns, twice.
• Drag Country onto Rows.
• Right-click on the second SUM(GDP) pill on Columns and select Dual Axis.
• Right-click on the axis and select Synchronise Axis
• In Marks, you will have:
• All.
• SUM(GDP).
• SUM(GDP)(2).
• In the SUM(GDP) Marks:
• Change the Mark Type to Line.
• Drag Country onto Detail.
• Drag Year onto Detail.
• Ensure that Country is on top of Year.
• Drag GDP onto Path.
• Change the Colour to a light grey colour.
• In the SUM(GDP)(2) Mark:
• Change the Mark Type to Circle.
• Drag Country to Detail.
• Drag Year to Color.

Now we need to adjust the visualisation by:

• Editing the colours.
• Remove gridlines.

And you should then end up with something like the following:

This is a very nice way of representing growth in GDP and with a quick glance, we can see that the United States of America had a greater GDP in 2002 than the other countries on the list. We can also see that China has experienced tremendous growth in the decade between 2002 and 2012. With sorts and tooltips, this becomes really cool.

Note: instead of circles you can also have squares, but I find circles cuter. We all have our quirks.

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.

A prolific blogger, contributor and freelancer in the Tableau community. A technology enthusiast with a passion for business intelligence, data visualizations and data management. Also, I love debating and talking tech to the early hours, so get in touch.

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