• Bernard

Dual Chart - Multiple Metric Comparison

Coming up with the right data story sometimes can be challenging. Balancing users’ needs and minimizing unnecessary data noise while strictly sticking with your story can even be difficulty. Good news is, having a rich resource of ideas and ways to handle different data sets and data demands can always prove helpful in such situation. Therefore, in this article we seek to help you learn a second way to visualize several data metrics in your data assignments.

In one of the previous articles, we demonstrated a simple technique to help your data consumers compare several data metrics. This trick involved use of a dynamic scatter plot to compare several metrics using – a parameter with x-axis and y-axis.

Learn: How to create a dynamic scatter plot.

In todays’ article, we device a better way to compare four metrics at ago, this doesn’t involve use of parameters, rather it involves a simple dual chart – bar & circle – and color cue to come up with the view below.


Allow users to compare – Sales, Profit, Quantity & Discount – for different product Sub-Category in different Regions of the Superstores.

So, what’s the procedure of building this view?

Using Superstores data set, lets recreate the view above.

Create a simple Bar chart using Sub-Category & one measure field - Sales.

Drag dimension field Sub-Category to the rows shelf.

Drag measure field Sales to the columns shelf.

Select Bar under marks card.

Sort Sub-Category descending by Sales.

Create a holding field using this calculation.

This calculation will help us add a dual chart inform of a circle. Basically, this calculation defines the point where our circles will be plotted – slightly below zero.

To achieve this;

WINDOWS_AVG(SUM([Sales])) – This formula aligns metrics for all Sub-Category's at the windows average.

Multiplying above by *-.1; Converts the windows average value to a number below zero – a negative number. ( Reason being, we need to plot our circles right before the bars).

Note: Your multiplying factor doesn’t necessarily need to be -.1, it can be any other value that positions your points appropriately at the right position - i.e a negative number close to zero e.g. -.001, -.05 ,-.01.

Add calculated field – Holding field - to the view.

Drag now calculated field – Holding field – to the columns shelf next to the field SUM([Sales]).

Make the charts dual and synchronize the axis.

Change the second chart – Holding field - to a circle.

Create calculated field – Rank Discount.

This field will help us rank Sub-Category’s in order of discounts awarded.

Now, let’s build our viz.

While on the Circle chart – 2nd chart;

Drag the measure field – Quantity – to the color shelf.

Next, drag measure field – Rank Discount – to the label shelf & align labels to the center.

Switch to the first chart – Bar;

Drag measure field – Profit – to the color shelf.

Format your view appropriately and align all labels.

Interpreting the view.

Size of bar Sales made.

Color of the barProfitability.

Label within the circle – Amount in discount (rank).

Color of circleQuantity.

For instance; The Binders Sub-Category, is fifth in Sales generation, offered the highest discounts, its products were sold in high quantities and was more profitable than Table Sub-Category which made more Sales.

Another take, the bottom five product Sub-Category’s by Sales offered low discounts when compared to the top five Sub-Category’s by Sales.

I hope this article was helpful in your journey to Tableau mastery.

Thanks for reading.