Creating a Skyline Chart (Variable Width Column Chart)

Published: 23 Mar 2017
Last Modified Date: 17 Sep 2019


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.



Tableau Desktop


Build the View

  1. Drag Sub-Category to Columns
  2. Drag Profit Ratio to Rows
  3. Sort the Sub-Category Dimension by Profit Ratio
    1. Right-click the dimension in Columns and select Sort...
    2. In the Sort By menu, select Field
    3. Sort Order: Descending
    4. Field Name: Profit Ratio
    5. Aggregation: Custom
  4. Drag Sales to Size in the Marks Cards 

Set-up the Skyline View

  1. Move Sub-Category from Columns to Color
  2. Ensure the Marks type is set as Bars (and not Automatic)
  3. Drag another instance of Sales on Rows
  4. Use the Size icon drop down menu to choose "Fixed" and right-aligned
  5. Right-click on Sales and select Running Total as a quick table calculation
    1. In the Calculation Type, choose: Running Total
    2. Compute Using: Specific Dimension and then tick Sub-Category

To view the steps showed in the below video, please expand the above section.
Note: the video has no sound.
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