Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – The Text Table

Data

Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – The Text Table

Not everyone is a Tableau guru, at least not yet. To help Tableau rookies, we’re starting from square one with the Tableau Essentials blog series. The series is intended to be an easy-to-read reference on the basics of using Tableau Software, particularly Tableau Desktop. Since there are so many cool features to cover in Tableau, the series will include several different posts.

The text table (also known as a crosstab) is essentially the same view you would see from an Excel data source or by clicking the View Data button in the Sidebar. The mark type is text, and the data is organized simply into rows and columns.

Figure 1: Text table

Figure 1: Text table.

While text tables are applicable to most data sets, they do not tell a very compelling story or highlight important pieces of data without additional formatting on your part. Text tables are not normally recommended as the primary visualizations in your dashboard or presentation. Consider using them as an appendix inclusion for those report consumers that want more detail in a traditional format instead.

With that being said, you can add more information and context to your text table. Just because it’s a text mark type doesn’t mean your table has to be completely boring.

Spice Up Your Text Tables

I’ve taken the same table below and added a title at the top, a caption on the right and color formatting. The sales figures are now color-coded in green for a positive average profit margin and red for a negative average profit margin.

With this additional information about our fictional company, you can see that the East region is woefully underperforming with multiple customer segments. It’s losing money year after year. That simple addition of color-formatting on a second measure opened up a whole new aspect to this visualization and completely changed the story.

Figure 2: Extra features and formatting.

Figure 2: Extra features and formatting.

The goal with each of your worksheets should be finding the story in your data and building your visualization to best convey that story to your report consumer. Believe it or not, this is even possible with a simple text table.

Other Chart Types

Here is the complete list of chart types from the Show Me menu. Be sure to check back often as we continue to release new articles in each chart type in this sub-series.

Introduction

  1. Text Table (Crosstab)
  2. Heat Map
  3. Highlight Table
  4. Symbol Map
  5. Filled Map
  6. Pie Chart
  7. Horizontal Bar Chart
  8. Stacked Bar Chart
  9. Side-by-Side Bars
  10. Treemap
  11. Circle Views
  12. Side-by-Side Circle Views
  13. Lines (continuous & discrete)
  14. Dual Lines
  15. Area Charts (continuous & discrete)
  16. Line Chart Extra
  17. Dual Combination
  18. Scatter Plot
  19. Histogram
  20. Box-and-Whisker Plot
  21. Gantt
  22. Bullet Graphs
  23. Packed Bubbles

More Tableau Essentials

Want to learn more about Tableau? We have several posts outlining all of Tableau’s fantastic features. Check out the full list on our Tableau Essentials blog channel.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or comments about this post or Tableau in general. If you’re looking for personalized training or help with something bigger, contact us directly!

Contact Us

Want More Tableau Essentials

  1. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Introduction
  2. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – The Text Table
  3. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Heat Map
  4. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Highlight Table
  5. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Symbol Map
  6. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Filled Map
  7. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Pie Chart
  8. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Horizontal Bar Chart
  9. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Stacked Bar Chart
  10. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Side-by-Side Bar Chart
  11. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Treemap
  12. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Circle View
  13. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Side-by-Side Circle View
  14. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Line Charts (Continuous & Discrete)
  15. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Dual-Line Chart (Non-Synchronized)
  16. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Area Charts (Continuous & Discrete)
  17. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Scatter Plot
  18. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Histogram
  19. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Box-and-Whisker Plot
  20. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Gantt Chart
  21. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Bullet Graph
  22. Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Packed Bubbles
  23. Tableau Essentials: Formatting Tips – Introduction
  24. Tableau Essentials: Formatting Tips – Custom Shapes
  25. Tableau Essentials: Formatting Tips – Labels
  26. Tableau Essentials: Formatting Tips – Color
  27. Tableau Essentials: Formatting Tips – Tooltips
  28. Tableau Essentials: Formatting Tips – Maps
  29. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – Introduction
  30. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – Logical Functions
  31. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – Number Functions
  32. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – Date Functions
  33. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – String Functions
  34. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – Type Conversion
  35. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – Aggregate Functions
  36. Tableau Essentials: Calculated Fields – User Functions

More About the Author

Carly Capitula

Principal / Enablement Practice Lead
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