Thursday, June 8, 2023

Area Chart (Continuous) in Tableau

continuous Area Chart

An area chart in Tableau is a visual representation of data where the area below the line is filled, emphasizing the magnitude and trend of values over a continuous dimension, such as time or a numeric scale.
It is useful for showing the cumulative effect of multiple measures or comparing the distribution of values across a continuous dimension. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create a continuous area chart in Tableau with an example.

Step 1: Prepare your data

Ensure that your data is structured appropriately. It should include a continuous dimension field (e.g., date, time) and one or more measure fields (e.g., sales, profit) to represent the values to be visualized.

Step 2: Connect to your data source

Launch Tableau and connect to the data source containing your dataset. This can be an Excel file, a database, or any other supported data source.

Step 3: Create a new worksheet

In Tableau, navigate to the worksheet tab and create a new worksheet. This will serve as the canvas for building your continuous area chart.

Step 4: Drag and drop the necessary fields

From the data pane, drag the continuous dimension field (e.g., date, time) to the Columns or Rows shelf. Then, drag the measure field(s) (e.g., sales, profit) to the Rows or Columns shelf. Tableau will automatically aggregate the measures based on the default aggregation type (e.g., sum).

Step 5: Change the chart type

By default, Tableau may display the data as a bar chart or another chart type. To create a continuous area chart, click on the "Show Me" panel on the top-right corner of the Tableau window. In the "Show Me" panel, select the continuous area chart type.

Step 6: Customize the area chart

Tableau will generate the area chart based on your selected fields. However, you can further customize it to enhance readability and provide more insights:

6.1. Adjust the axis: Right-click on each axis and select "Edit Axis" to modify the range, tick marks, and other formatting options.

6.2. Format the area: Click on the "Color" or "Size" options in the Marks card to modify the appearance of the area. You can choose different colors, gradients, or transparency levels.

6.3. Add additional elements: Consider enhancing the area chart with additional elements such as reference lines, annotations, or other relevant data.

Step 7: Save and share

Once you are satisfied with the continuous area chart, save the workbook and share it with others. You can export the chart as an image or publish it to Tableau Server or Tableau Public for wider distribution.

For example, let's say you have a dataset with hourly website traffic data over a period of 24 hours. The number of website visitors for each hour is as follows:

12 AM: 100 visitors

1 AM: 150 visitors

2 AM: 120 visitors


11 PM: 250 visitors

By following the steps mentioned above, you can create a continuous area chart in Tableau that visually represents the hourly website traffic trend. The x-axis will represent the time of the day, and the y-axis will represent the number of website visitors. The area below the line connecting the data points will be filled to emphasize the cumulative website traffic. You can adjust the axis formatting, customize the area appearance, and add annotations to provide more context.

The resulting continuous area chart will allow you to analyze the traffic patterns throughout the day, identify peak hours, and compare the distribution of website visitors across different times.

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