Data Analytics using Tableau – Trends & Trend Lines

In my previous blog, I had posted a bar chart showing declining trend in sales of a company over the years. If you notice, it had a trend line to aid visual analytics.


Another example given below shows profit trends by increase in sales for each category.


Trend lines are great visual tools for quick analysis. In the above diagram, its very easy to judge that the increase in sales for Supplies and Tables does not help increasing profit. The same judgement could not have been derived that easy from the clustered circles if the trend lines were not present. The steps to add Trend Lines are explained below.

I have created a scatter plot for Sales vs Profit using the Global Superstore database. Notice the “analytics” tab highlighted below.


Drag ‘Trend Line’ from the options to the visualization area and choose the line type. In this example, I have selected Linear model.



Additional options are available at (Right click -> Trend Lines-> Edit Trend Lines). For example, you can choose to show only one line (uncheck show trend line per color) and view for each category interactively for focused view/analysis as shown below



Data Analytics using Tableau

Though we discussed extensively about SAP Business Objects w.r.t business intelligence tools, I could not get a chance to write about Tableau visualizations till now. Not a great thing considering that my experiments with Tableau started way back in 2012 with Tableau version 7.0 (it wasn’t as popular as today, but it was clearly emerging as a leader). Tableau is one of the best visualizations tool that I have experienced and you can’t stop admiring its performance (thanks to in-memory processing of data), interactivity and analytics options (trends and forecasts).

Starting with a few visualizations from my PC. We will explore specific features and steps in later blogs.

Lets analyze data of a company (data source: Local SQL Server database). As you see the sales and profits are declining. I have added a trend line for its sales. This shows a consistent fall and its time for the company to do something serious to revive the business, isn’t it?


Sometimes a different visualization is what the need of the hour to convey the same data. How about a packed bubble visualization with the sizes corresponding to Yearly sales. Note that the data is categorized further by Divisions (company locations)


And my favorite Geo Maps


We will dig into its analytic features and Tableau Online in the upcoming posts.