Tableau Bullet Graph

Tableau Bullet Graph is similar to a bar chart, which is useful to compare One Measure over others and visualize the result. For instance, comparing the Sales this year with last year, etc. The Desktop allows us to create a Bullet Graph in multiple ways.

In this article, we will show you how to Create a Bullet Graph in Tableau. For this demo, we use the SQL adventure works dw.

Create Tableau Bullet Chart

This method of creating a bullet graph in Tableau is very easy and straightforward. Please press and hold the control key and then select the Dimension (s), Measure(s) from the respective region, and select the option from the Show Me window.

For this Bullet Graph example, We are selecting Product name Dimension, Sales Amount, Total Product Cost Measures, and select the shown option.

Show Me window

Once you complete it, the desktop will create it for you. Let us do some formatting to Tableau filter the underperforming products.

Tableau Bullet Graph 2

We applied a filter on the Product Name Dimension with the following condition. It means Tableau Bullet Graph will display the products whose Sales Amount is Greater Than or Equal to 500,000

Add Filters to Tableau Bullet Chart 4

Click OK to close the Filters window and see our newly created one.

Filter options 5

Create Bullet Chart without show me

This approach of creating a Tableau bullet chart or graph is not the direct way. However, you can control the reference lines and distributions. It is beneficial to analyze data in real-time.

First, Drag and Drop the English Product Name from Dimension Region to Rows Shelf and Sales Amount from the Measures region to Columns Shelf. By default, the desktop generates the Bar plot.

NOTE: We also applied the filter mentioned above on the Product name

Add product Name to Filters 6

Next, Drag and Drop the Total Product Cost from the Measures region to the Level of Details marks present in Marks Shelf

Tableau Bullet Graph 7

To convert this Bar chart into a Bullet Graph in Tableau, we have to add Reference Lines and Distributions. To do this, Please Right-click on the Sales Amount Axis and select the Reference Line option.

Add reference Lines to Tableau Bullet graph chart

Once you choose the option, a new window called Add Reference Line, band, or Box will open for the bullet graph.

Reference Line for Sum of Sales

By default, Scope will be Per Pane, so please change it to per cell and change the value from Sales amount to Total Product Cost

Fill Area Below the reference Lines

The following are the changes we made to this reference Line options to build a bullet graph in Tableau.

  1. Scope: Please change the default Per Pane option to per cell. If you want to add a straight or static reference line, you can use the default Per Pane option.
  2. Value: By default, the Measure value inside the Row or Column shelf will select, but you can change it as per your requirement. Here we replace the Sum of Sales Amount with the Sum of Total Product Cost. Aggregate Value: Please sleet the aggregate function from the drop-down list.
  3. Label: If you want to display the label, then select the label value otherwise, select None.
  4. Line: Please Specify the Line Width, Style, and color.
Reference Lines per cell option

As you can see, we are closer to the Tableau bullet graph. Let us add one more reference line to show the Distributions. Because we need two reference lines to show the comparison point.

To add a second reference line, Please Right click on the Sales Amount Axis and select the below shown first Reference Line option.

Add Reference Line to Tableau Bullet Chart 12

Go to the bullet graph Distributions tab to edit the reference line and see the default configuration settings.

Add Reference Distributions 13

By default, Scope will be Per Pane for bullet graph. So, please change it to per cell and shift the Computation value from Sales amount to Total Product Cost. If you want to change the aggregated value, Please select the aggregate function from the drop-down list

Reference Distribution Per Cell 14

The changes we made to this Tableau bullet graph reference Distributions

  1. Scope: Please change the default Per Pane option to per cell.
  2. Value: Here, we replace the Sum of Sales Amount with the Sum of Total Product Cost. Aggregate Value: Please sleet the aggregate function from the drop-down list
  3. Label: If you want to display the label, select the label value; otherwise, select None
  4. Line: Please Specify the Line Width, Style, and color. Here we are choosing the None option.
  5. Fill: Specify the pattern and color for the distributions.
  6. Please specify whether you want to fill the distributions above and below the Bar Chart by selecting the fields
Edit Reference Lines 16

Click OK to finish configuring the Distributions. We got our final Tableau Bullet chart

Final Tableau Bullet Chart 17

To see the Distributions clearly, Let us reduce the Bar Chart Size using the Size field present in the Marks Shelf

Increase the Size of a graph to See the distribution 18

We successfully created a Bullet Graph.

Tableau Bullet Graph 19