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Creating a Skyline Chart (Variable Width Column Chart)


Published: 23 Mar 2017
Last Modified Date: 14 Sep 2017

Question

How to create a skyline chart.

In this article, we will assume that a company has large sales and high profit rate. In order to replicate this we will want to show a large area in the chart by using the following information: 
  • ​A Skyline chart has measures in both X-axis (Sales) & Y-axis (Profit rate).
  • Evaluate by the size of area divided  by X-axis and Y-axis.

 

Environment

  • Tableau Desktop 10.2.0
  • Windows 10
  • Excel

Answer

Step 1: Create calculated fields

  1. Create a new worksheet called "@CrossTable"
  2. Select the Analysis tab and select Create Calculated Field...
  3. Name the calculated field "@SalesWidth", enter the following formula and click OK:
    {EXCLUDE: SUM([Sales])}
  4. Select the Analysis tab and select Create Calculated Field...
  5. Name the calculated field "@SalesRightStartPoint", enter the following formula and click OK:
    IF FIRST()==0 THEN 
        MIN([@SalesWidth])
    ELSEIF MIN([Sub-Category]) != LOOKUP(MIN([Sub-Category]),-1) THEN
        PREVIOUS_VALUE(0) + MIN([@SalesWidth]) 
    END

Step 2: Create a crosstab 

  1. Build the view as a crosstab
  2. Drag Measure Names to the Columns shelf
  3. Drag Measure Values to the Text Mark
  4. Keep the following measure values:
    • SUM(Sales)
    • SUM(@SalesWidth)
    • @SalesRightStartPoint
      • For this measure, ensure the Calculation computes using "Sub-Category"
    • AGG(Profit Ratio)

Step 3: Build the Skyline Chart

  1. Duplicate @CrossTable and create worksheet called "@SkylineChart"
  2. Drag Measure value from Text to Detail
  3. Delete Measure name from column (ABC text will be displayed)
  4. Drag Sub-Category from Rows to Detail (Squares will be displayed in line)
  5. Drag Profit Ratio to Rows (Stacked bar chart will be displayed)
  6. Drag "@SalesRightStartPoint" to Columns (Scatter plot will be displayed)
  7. Change graph type to Bar Chart
  8. Drag "@SalesWidth" to Size
  9. Click the size icon mark and Select Fixed > Align Right
  10. Delete Measure Value from Detail
  11. Drag Sub-Category to Color
  12. Right click Sub-Category and sort by Profit Ratio descending.
  13. Right click "@SalesRightStartPoint" on Columns and ensure the Calculation computes using "Sub-Category"
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