One of the key assumptions behind Tableau graph options is to be as simple and informative as possible. However, looking at the competition like Domo, PowerBi or Klipfolio, it’s clear that graph choice could be expanded to improve user experience. Thankfully, using proper formatting tricks, you can create real eye-candy. Let’s focus on very popular template lately: Stock Graph line chart and Spark Lines.

 Stock Graph

Stock Graph provides quick update about the situation without going into much details. It’s a great tool to illustrate KPI trend with additional indicator showing current status. Design behind Stock Graph is pretty simple. It’s just 2 measures on a Dual Axis – one displayed as a line and second as area:

Rest of the magic is done by proper formatting. Note that opacity is different so it gives nice dimmed look:

What about the KPI Indicator? Actually it’s a separate Sheet placed as a floating object over the Stock Graph:

In my case it’s a very simple sheet with YoY change:

sum(IF year([Order Date])=2016 then [Sales] end) -
sum(IF year([Order Date])=2015 then [Sales] end)
sum(IF year([Order Date])=2015 then [Sales] end)


Spark Lines

Spark lines are also a great way to show trends in an appealing way. I also added little twist to make it even better – the min and max indicator:

Spark Lines and Stock Graph in Tableau

As in the previous example, design is based on line charts

I’ve added Category field as a row generator. It’s not necessary, but provide additional information. Note that there’s also a high/low field placed as a dual axis. It’s responsible for those red dots indicating Minimum and Maximum values displayed on each chart. Table calculation is set to Table (across).

Calculated field includes Window_max and Window_min to ensure that only visible part of the data is being take into account while coloring the dots:

if WINDOW_max(sum([Sales]))==SUM([Sales]) or window_min(sum([Sales]))==SUM([Sales]) then 
sum([Sales]) else null end


Feel free to comment below!


Whole showcase dashboard is available here: [Show Case] Dashboard – Cheatsheet

All posts in the Showcase series can be accessed by clicking here: All [Show Case] Posts