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Tableau charts: Divergent bar chart.

Updated: Sep 3, 2020


The series, Tableau chart has always focused on one thing, helping Tableau users learn how to create different charts and graphs hence equipping them with different techniques of telling each data story.

Inspired by the mission of this series, this article will guide you on a step by step procedure for creating a divergent bar chart in Tableau.

What is a divergent bar chart?

Divergent bar chart is a bar chart that has the marks for some dimension members pointing up or right, and the marks for other dimension members pointing in the opposite direction (down or left, respectively).

This chart is useful when you need to do comparison between two data points.

Data set

In this article, we’ll be using Superstores data set to visualize the East and Central region sales for different product Sub-categories using a divergent bar chart.

You can download the sample data set here to follow along.

Step by step guide

The first thing you need is to find the sales for East and Central regions by creating the calculated fields shown below;

Procedure 1

  • Drag dimension field Sub Category to the Rows shelf.

  • Drag both the measure fields Central (Sales) and East (Sales) to the Columns shelf.

  • Right click on the axis of the first measure field and select Edit axis >> Choose Reversed Scale.

Procedure 2

This technique is the same as the first one, only that we are going to apply use of ad-hoc calculation to perform the same procedure above.

  • Drag the Sub-Category field, Central (Sales) and East (Sales) to the respective shelf's as in the first example.

  • Double click on the first measure field and add (-) sign on the left side >> press okay.

  • Sort the Sub Category's.

Note, the second procedure introduces negative values on left chart. This can be rectified by hiding the axis and dragging the measure field with negative values to the label. See below.

I hope this article was helpful to you.

Thanks for reading.