Area chart is based on a line chart. Only that the space between the axis and line is emphasized with color or texture. This chart is useful when visualizing changes overtime (trends).
Area chart best practices
Always label the axis and fields clearly.
Avoid using dimensions with more categories in an area chart as it can lead to clutter.
Use color appropriately with the right balance.
Provide additional details on the tooltip.
Example of an area chart
Area chart is one of the simplest charts to build in Tableau. In this post the goal is to present Product Segment by Sales for different Months of the Year using a simple area chart.
Lets build our chart.
Drag dimension Order Date to the Columns shelf. (Choose Month as the level of detail).
Drag measure Sales to the Rows shelf. (Note Sales is aggregated by SUM())
Change the chart type to Area under marks card.
See the resulting chart.
Lets add Product Segment to the view, by dragging it to the color shelf under marks cards.
Note; Above is our final Area chart. This presents product Segment stacked on top of each other (stacked area chart). This is not the sole way of presenting area charts, sometimes you might be interested in presenting product Segment as single entities on the scale instead of stacking them.
To do this,..
Go to the Analysis menu >> Stack Marks >> select off.
See the results.
Lets do some formatting. (actions taken).
Make the chart dual.
Change the second chart to Line chart, retain the first chart as an Area chart.
Do some color adjustments.
Formatting text colors and fonts.
Change the background color.
From our final results, one can tell at a glance that the Consumer segment has remained the champion in Sales in most of the months except October when Corporate segment took some lead. While Home Office segment has lagged behind in most of the months, except in the month of March when Sales performance exceeded that of Corporate segment by a smaller margin.
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