• Bernard

Tableau charts: Packed bubble chart

The series, Tableau charts 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, we'll learn how to build a bubble chart using Superstores data set pre-packaged with Tableau app, Our goal will be to view Sales and Profits performance for different product Sub-Category's.


If you check details in the Show Me tab of your Tableau screen.You will find that for you to a create a bubble chart you'll need 1 or 2 dimensions against 1 or 2 measures.

In this article, we'll use one dimension 'Sub-Category' against two measures 'Sales' and 'Profits' to build our chart.

Build the Chart.

  • Drag dimension field 'Sub-category' to the Rows shelf.

  • Drag measure field 'Sales' and 'Profit' to the Columns shelf.

  • Under the Show Me tab, select Packed bubble , as shown below.

Executing above results to.

Note; Our resulting chart has three negative values. Reason being, our Profit field is in the Size tab and we can't represent negative values using Size, to correct this i will change SUM(Profit) level of detail from Size to color and SUM(Sales) level of detail from color to Size. This can be achieved by clicking on the highlighted icons above. Swapping the fields we have.

Note; In our final chart. Sales have been presented using Size (Therefore, the bigger the bubble, the larger the amount of Sales generated) and Profits have been presented using Color (Therefore, dark blue color signifies huge profits while brown color represents losses). From this bubble chart, users can point out that Tables and Bookcases have made a significant amount in Sales but were not profitable unlike Paper which despite having few Sales has remained profitable.

This could prompt the analytics team to conduct further analysis on to what could be the root cause of losses. Could it be the discount are very high, or the shipping is extremely high. i don't know. But conduction further analysis will be the answer to this question.

Thanks for reading.