Creating Sparklines

Product(s): Tableau Desktop
Version(s): 8.1, 8.0, 7.0
Last Modified Date: 19 Jun 2014

Article Note: This article is no longer actively maintained by Tableau. We continue to make it available because the information is still valuable, but some steps may vary due to product changes.

A sparkline chart is characterized by its small size and data density. Typically displayed without axes or coordinates, sparklines present trends and variations associated with some measurement, in a simple and condensed way. Whereas the typical chart is designed to show as much data as possible, sparklines are intended to be succinct.

Create a sparkline view

The example uses the Superstore sample to create a sparkline that shows profit for various product categories over a 12-month period.

Step 1

Open a new workbook and connect to the Superstore sample.

Step 2

Add the following fields to the view:

  1. From the Dimensions pane, drag Order Date to the Columns shelf, and then drag Category to the Rows shelf.
  2. From the Measures pane, drag Profit to the Rows shelf.

Step 3

On the Columns shelf, right-click Order Date and select the first instance of Month.

Alternatively, if you want to view the profits over four years on a continuous axis, select the second instance of Month.

Step 4

Complete these steps to hide the row and column headers:

  • On the Columns shelf, right-click Month and cancel the selection for Show Header.
  • On the Rows shelf, do the same for Profit.

Step 5

Adjust the width of the view by selecting Format > Cell Size > Narrower. You can repeat this step as necessary.

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