10 Types of Tableau Charts You Should be Using ONLC Training Centers

One of the best ways to present results after gathering large sets of data is with charts and graphs. Charts and graphs give us the ability to visually summarize different variables or measurements of an occurrence and then compare them to other pieces of data to look for emerging trends.

Once you’ve gathered your data, the next step is to create a graph with Tableau. Tableau is the leading source for creating and displaying visual representations of data sets in an easy to absorb manner. With a multitude of simple to use, drag and drop features as well as intricate data set visualizations, it’s easy to see why Tableau is used by individuals and businesses across the globe. Let’s discuss some of the types of charts and graphs that you can create with Tableau.

Interested in diving even deeper into Tableau? Check out our Tableau Certification Classes with ONLC.


This type of chart is used to show hierarchical data using size and color. One good example of when to use a treemap would be the relationship of revenue versus profit by geographical region.

Word Cloud

10 Types of Tableau Charts You Should be Using Word cloud ONLC

The words in the cloud are sized according to some measurement of their occurrence frequency. Larger and bolder words occur more often. If the viewer wants to know see the actual numbers, they can drill down to find the underlying data.

Gantt Charts

Invented by Henry Gantt in the early 1900’s, Gantt Charts show the overlap of tasks over a progression of time. Gantt charts are especially useful in project management to make sure projects are delivered on time by showing the different elements of a project, how long they will take as well as when they will be completed. These elements are then compared to other tasks within the project to show overlapping elements and a complete visual timeline of the project as a whole.

Thanks to Tableau, you can oversee all aspects of your Gantt chart including importing customized data, managing how the data is viewed, managing who can view the data, as well as comparing different elements of the data within the same chart.

Box Plots

These charts are used by Statisticians to compare different sets of data and their variations. Box plots are very useful in statistical analysis to quickly identify trends.

With Tableau you have multiple options for making your box plot as intricate or as basic as you need it. You can add multiple sets of data, change up the color scheme based on specific elements, and make your box plot as small or as large as you need.


This chart type looks like a regular bar chart at first glance. However, the way it’s used is much different. Histograms are used by statisticians to track the occurrence of a specific variable in a very large data set. One example might be to see how many participants of a certain age fit certain characteristics.

Bubble Chart

10 Types of Tableau Charts You Should be Using Bubble Chart ONLC

A bubble chart shows data in a cluster of circles. The first dimension of the chart is the different categories of the data that you want to display, and they are usually color coded. The second dimension is a measurement of the criteria occurrence in the data set and is represented by the size of the bubbles. This lets you quickly determine which categories occur most often by looking at the size of the bubble.

Bump Chart

Two dimensions are usually compared against each other in a bump chart using one measurement value in one of the dimensions. These charts are useful when comparing the change of measurement of a variable over time or location.

Motion Chart

This chart uses an x and y-axis and a line that shows the movement of data over a progression of time and may employ changing line colors to denote specific points of interest. When creating this type of chart in Tableau, you are able to look at the entire data set and not just a snapshot.

Waterfall Chart

The waterfall chart shows positive and negative values and their cumulative effect. You see how the data starts and ends and how it arrived there incrementally. One dimension and one measurement are needed to create this chart.

This type of Tableau chart is especially helpful when looking at data as part of a break-even analysis. It can show you how much you need to sell or produce in order to incur a profit on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

Scatter Plot

10 Types of Tableau Charts You Should be Using Scatter Plot ONLC

Statisticians most often use these types of charts. As the name suggests, different data points are scattered over an x and y-axis in the Cartesian Plane. This chart is usually built using one measurement of the variable on the x-axis and one measurement of the variable on the y-axis.

These charts can all be created in Tableau to convey many different pieces of information to many different types of people with many different interests. They can be used in spreadsheets, presentations, and documents where large data sets have been gathered to provide a summary of whatever was intended to be learned from gathering the data. Some types of charts are better suited to certain types of data and are more impactful for specific audiences. Thankfully, Tableau has a chart for almost any data and audience that you would ever need to present to.

To learn more about these charts and the many others that are available for creation through Tableau, join a Tableau course and become a Tableau Desktop Qualified Associate at one of our 300 ONLC Training Center locations. Contact us today for more information and get started presenting better, more visually appealing data.

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