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Tableau charts: Dumbbell chart

Updated: May 17


Dumbbell chart in tableau

Definition

Dumbbell chart also known as DNA chart due to their appearance which looks similar to strands of DNA when they are in horizontal orientation are used for illustrating change between two points.

Dumbbell chart best practices

  • Axis should be clearly labelled.

  • Use distinct color code to distinguish the two categories being compared.

  • Provide additional details on the tooltip.

Example of a dumbbell chart

example of dumbbell chart in tableau

Therefore, this article will help you learn how to build a dumbbell chart in Tableau. Using some dummy data on roofing structures by province in Kenya, connect to Tableau app and follow the guide below.

Step 1: Build a simple dual chart

  • Drag dimension field Province to the rows shelf.

  • Drag measure field Percent to columns shelf. (Note, the field is aggregated by SUM() ).

  • Hold down CTRL key and drag SUM(Percent) to the column shelf next to the same aggregated field (duplicate the chart).

See resulting view.

duplicating the bar charts
  • Make the charts dual.

adding a dual axis
  • Note, my chart changes from bar to circles, if your case is different you can rectify this by selecting Circle under marks card.

  • Synchronize the axis.

synchronizing axis in tableau

Step 2: Add color to the chart

  • Under marks card, select both the two charts.

  • Drag dimension field Roof Structure to the color shelf.

Step 3: Introduce Roof Structure to the path

  • Change the marks card of any of the overlapping charts from Circle to a Line.

adding dimension to tableau path
  • Drag dimension field Roof Structure to the Path shelf of the Line chart.

Dumbbell chart in tableau

Doing some formatting we’ve.

Tableau DNA chart

From this chart, insights can be drawn without much struggle. For instance, one can spot that the Central & Rift Valley province have the highest percent use of both the roof structures. Use of Asbestos sheets tops in all the provinces except in Central province where use of Corrugated iron sheets surpasses that of Asbestos sheets.

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