Sparkline Charts

by Dominic Emm

Sparkline Charts are very useful charts that can look sleek while giving lots of information in a small space. They focus more on comparing trends within groups rather than the specific values of each point.

How to set up a Sparkline Chart

First, start by making a basic line chart like so:

Now we have the starting block we want to split this up into different categories so we can compare the trends within the data. To do this, add another dimension to the rows shelf which should make multiple panes which will make your chart look something like this:

We now have something resembling a sparkline chart but we're not quite done yet! As you can see on the example above the South and West lines are quite flat. This is because Tableau sets the axis of all the panes to the same values meaning the trends within these regions are somewhat diluted by other regions with a higher range of values e.g Central. To solve this, right click on your measure axis and select edit axis.

Once you have done this you will want to change the axis settings from "automatic" to "independent axis ranges for each row or column". This means that your axis will now be scaled for each of the different regions.

Now it's just tidying up the chart to make it more presentable! So we can hide the headers, as we're not interested in specific values but rather just comparing trends and we can also get rid of the gridlines as well! Now it's just a matter of adjusting it to the required size and now we have something that looks like this:

And that is how we make a simple sparkline chart!

Mon 13 Sep 2021

Tue 14 Sep 2021