Chapter 3Creating Data Visualizations

A picture is worth a thousand words.

But what exactly do you want to say with the chart you create? Keep this question in mind when you start your journey into the world of data visualization with Tableau. Useful charts are charts that have a clear purpose: they convey a message, answer questions, or provoke new questions and discussions.

There are many different ways to visually present your data in Tableau. And these graphical representations of your data can be further customized in many ways. This means, if you desire, you can create data visualizations that go beyond the standard charts you are familiar with from using other business tools. A little more diversity can also help you gain the attention of your audience and spark interest in your data, alongside the story you want to tell with it.

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Choose between simple chart types, including bar charts, scatter plots, and line charts.
  • Answer comprehensive questions with more‐complex chart types, including bullet graphs and waterfall charts.
  • Add legends, filters, and hierarchies to your analysis.
  • Follow the logic of how Tableau charts are assembled.


Independent of what type of data you want to analyze with Tableau, you should always ask yourself what chart type might work best to answer the question at hand.

The Show Me menu in Tableau, which can be found in the top‐right corner of the screen, offers a variety of chart templates ...

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