How to Create a Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau

How to Create a Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau

A stacked bar chart is a versatile data visualization technique, capable of representing several data series over time or categories. In this guide, we'll explore how to create a stacked bar chart using Tableau, a popular data visualization tool.

Understanding Stacked Bar Charts

Before we delve into the step-by-step process, it's important to understand what a stacked bar chart is and why it's useful. A stacked bar chart, also known as a stacked bar graph, displays categorical data with rectangular bars. The length of each bar corresponds to the quantity of the category it represents. These bars are color-coded to represent different data categories.

Stacked bar charts are particularly useful when you want to compare the total of categories and also see how each category contributes to the total. They're ideal for representing data that accumulates to a total.

For more details on bar charts and how they work, you can visit Tableau's official documentation

Step 1: Load Your Data into Tableau

The first step is to load your data into Tableau. To do this, open Tableau and click on 'Connect to Data'. From there, you can select the file or database you want to import. Your data should now be visible in Tableau's data source tab.

Step 2: Create a New Worksheet

Once your data is loaded, click on 'Worksheet' at the top of the screen to create a new worksheet. This is where you'll build your stacked bar chart.

Step 3: Build the Stacked Bar Chart

Now, let's start building the chart.

  1. Drag the category field to the Columns shelf. This will create the horizontal axis of your chart.

  2. Drag the numeric field to the Rows shelf. This will create the vertical axis of your chart.

  3. Click on the 'Show Me' button at the top right of the screen and select the stacked bar chart option.

Tableau will automatically create a stacked bar chart for you.

Step 4: Customize Your Chart

After creating the chart, you'll likely want to customize it to better suit your needs. Tableau provides several customization options including color, size, labels, and tooltips.

  1. To change the color scheme, click on the 'Color' button on the Marks card.

  2. To add labels, click on the 'Label' button on the Marks card.

  3. To adjust the size of the bars, click on the 'Size' button on the Marks card.

Step 5: Save and Share Your Chart

Once you're satisfied with your chart, you can save it by clicking on 'File' and then 'Save'. If you want to share your chart with others, you can publish it to Tableau Public or Tableau Server.

Creating a stacked bar chart in Tableau is a straightforward process once you understand the steps involved. With this guide, you should be able to create your own stacked bar chart and customize it to meet your specific needs.