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Tableau charts: Tree map

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Tree map chart in Tableau

In the series Tableau charts, our goal one. To help Tableau users learn how to build different charts and graphs, hence equipping them with different techniques of telling each data story. Tableau like many other tools offers one of the simplest interface to query data (drag and drop interface), with a large resource of graphs and charts which users can leverage to present data, and a very active community which helps users learn. So, why should one learn different techniques of presenting data? We are living in the digital disruption age, and one the modern asset being generated by most of businesses is data. With now these huge sources of data, institutions focus is not much on how to collect and store data, but rather how to make sense of these data assets. And therefore, with this demand, the following two reasons should be compelling enough for you to consider learning different techniques of presenting data.

  • Data comes in different shapes and variety, and different data sets require different techniques of data preparation and transformation. Having a rich resource of techniques lets you have a smooth time when dealing with such data.

  • Most data consumers are not data savvy, their preferences vary across the spectrum and their demands change every day. To satisfy such varying consumer needs, developers need to learn different techniques of presenting data.

Therefore, in the spirit of the Tableau chart series, we’ll explore on how to build a simple Tree map in Tableau using the Superstores data set.

Related: How to build Tableau charts.

Note: Our goal is to visualize the amount of Sales and Profit generated by different product Sub-Category’s within the Superstores portfolio.

Step 1: Prepare our structure

This can be done in the following way;

  • Drag measure field Sales to the Size tab.

  • Drag the measure field Profit to the color tab.

  • Select Square under marks cards.

Note; this gives us a single square below.

Step 2: Extend our Square to all other product Sub-Category to create a tree map

This can be done by dragging dimension Sub-Category to the details tab.

Note, we can label our tree map by dragging the fields Sub-Category, Sales and Profit to the label tab.

Step 3: Add another layer of analysis

(This could be in the case where users would like to view the analysis across other category's).

This can easily be done by dragging any dimension you would like to analyze to the rows shelf. And therefore, in this case, I would like to add dimension Region in my analysis.

To effect this;

  • Drag dimension Region to the rows shelf.

The resulting visualization (Tree map), can provide the following insights.

  • The West and East regions are the leading regions in Sales generated. (Interpret by the size of tree maps for each region).

  • The Sub-Category Chairs and Phones generated most of Sales for West, East and Central regions. (interpreted by the Size of square for each Sub-Category in the tree map).

  • Only two Sub-Category’s in the West region were unprofitable, with Central region recording seven unprofitable Sub-Category’s. (interpreted using color).

Note, these are some of insights which can be drawn from this visualization. More approaches like use of filters and parameters can be applied to deliver same information to users in different ways.

Option II - to create a Tree map

  • Drag dimension Sub-Category to the Rows shelf.

  • Drag measure field Sales and Profit to the columns shelf.

  • Under the 'Show Me' tab select 'Tree maps'.

I hope this visualization adds to your list of best techniques of presenting data.

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Thank you for reading.