How To Create A Bump Chart - Tableau

Author: Ajay CB

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a business intelligence (BI) tool used to make visualizations with data and to make visually intelligent dashboards and solutions to make better business decisions.


What is a bump chart?

A bump chart is a type of visualization chart in BI tools that actually looks like bumps on road. In many situations, we are in need to find alternatives for time series analytics over rank for charts like a line chart. To make the dashboard more visually appealing and easier to understand that's where we can use a bump chart instead

There are many custom charts we can make in Tableau that are not available by default, one of which is the bump chart. This is very simple to make and can be done in just a few clicks. Let's see how this is done.

Step 1: Open tableau, for this example I am going to use the sample superstore data set. We will view the rank of sales in every region and how it changes over months in a specific year (2013 for example). Drag and drop order date(month) on columns and sum of sales on rows. And put the region on color in the marks card.

Step 2: For this example, we are going to filter out just a single year so we can focus on that one you can filter directly or use a show filter button and do it dynamically. In my case, I am going to filter the year 2013 directly.

Step 3: Click on show me, and click on the lines (discrete) as pointed out in the image below.

Step 4: You will get something like this as mentioned below. Remove year (order date ) and quarter (order date) after u get this.

Step 5: Since we want to focus on the rank for every region. Perform the following steps below

1) Click on the drop-down on the sum of sales -> quick table calculation then click rank

2) Then click the drop-down on the sum of sales again and click compute using ->Region

You will get something like this as mentioned in the image below.

Step 6: If you can notice, the ranks are reversed in the axis, the number one rank must be on top for a better visualization so we are going to reverse the axis.

Right-click on the Rank of sales axis on the left side of the visualization and click the Edit axis and click on the reversed button.

Step 7: Now click left control and click on the sum of sales and drag on the right side to copy one more of that near that so you don't need to redo the calculations performed.

Step 8: Click on the drop-down in the second sum of sales on the right side and click on the dual axis. And reverse the second axis as you did for the previous one and you will get something like this below.

Step 9: Right-click on the rank of sales axis on the right side and uncheck the show header button to remove the axis.

Step 10: You will get something like this as mentioned below.

Step 11: Click on the sum of sales (2) on the marks card and click on the drop-down on the top and click circle to get the circle that appears as a bump and reduce or increase the size as per your requirement and voila you are done!

It was easy, isn't it? Just a few steps and we are done creating a bump chart


A bump chart can be used as an alternative to a line chart when comparing rank over time and it's more visually appealing. Better the visuals better the impact on the business stakeholders.


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