Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Circle View

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Tableau Essentials: Chart Types – Circle View

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 circle view is another powerful visualization for comparative analysis. The example below in Figure 1 has quite a bit of information packed into a single visualization. First, you can see that we are examining the sales figures for each product category. 

Take a look at the key on the top of the chart. The circles are colored by SubRegion and are sized by SUM(Profit). The larger the circle, the more profit that subregion generates for that product category. 

Circle View  

Figure 1: Circle view.

With a quick scan, you can see that Chairs & Chairmats, Office Machines, and Telephones & Communication are all big sales generators. The smaller circles from Office Machines indicate that there is a much smaller amount of total profit than the other two more profitable categories.

Ask yourself a question: Is profit a useful measure to include on this visualization? Not really. It is safe to assume that categories that have more sales on the y-axis are naturally going to produce more profit and create larger circles. The circle chart in Figure 1 confirms that suspicion. Not very helpful. The relationship between sales dollars and profit dollars isn’t very clear in the subtle differences in circle size. What would happen if we substituted profit margin for profit?

Take a look how our circle view changes from Figure 1:

Changing profit for profit margin 

Figure 2: Changing profit for profit margin.

We can now see that some product categories with high volumes in sales are actually less profitable. For instance, Copies & Fax is extremely profitable (large circles) while Envelopes & Paper is not (small circles). That’s a more compelling “story” because it adds to the information available to the viewer.

Additionally, almost everything in this visualization can be customized, including the circles themselves. If you want to change each plot so that a different color and a different shape represents your sales region, just drag the appropriate dimension onto the Shape button in the Marks card.

Shape options 

Figure 3: Shape options.

Above is a sample of the different types of shapes you can use in your circle view.

The circle view is a powerful tool with the ability to include several different fields into a meaningful visualization. I hope that you consider using this chart type in your dashboards and reports.

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 Bar Chart
  10. Treemap
  11. Circle View
  12. Side-by-Side Circle View
  13. Line Charts (Continuous & Discrete)
  14. Dual-Line Chart (Non-Synchronized)
  15. Area Charts (Continuous & Discrete)
  16. Scatter Plot
  17. Histogram
  18. Box-and-Whisker Plot
  19. Gantt Chart
  20. Bullet Graph
  21. 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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