How to Create Doughnut Chart in Tableau? 5 Step Easy Guide


Doughnut Chart in Tableau

Visualizing data allows users to have a perfect combination of aesthetic features like dimensions, colors, and labels to create visual masterpieces that reveal surprising business insights. It’s an inevitable aspect of Business Analytics since data is being collected and analyzed from various sources to make informed decisions.

Data visualization software like Tableau allows Data Analysts and Business Professionals to help their businesses understand data for business growth. Tableau is one of the most popular BI and Data Visualization Tools for visualizations/data discovery where you can create a bar chart, line graph, or doughnut chart in Tableau. It’s swift to deploy, easy to learn, and very intuitive to use and collaborate. 

In this article, you’ll learn about the Tableau Business Intelligence Application and the steps to create a doughnut chart in Tableau. The doughnut chart in Tableau is an improved version of a pie chart where it is easy to visualize and compare individual dimensions. 

Table of Contents

Prerequisites for Setting Up Doughnut Charts in Tableau

To set up and create your own doughnut chart in Tableau, it’s helpful to have a solid understanding of the different types of charts and their working.

If you would like to know more about the various charts and visualizations available in Tableau, you can visit the following link- How to Create and Use Tableau Dual Axis Charts Effectively?

In case you are new to Tableau, we have some useful links to get started:

What is Tableau?

Tableau Logo

Tableau is a Business Intelligence and Data Visualization Application that makes understanding, organizing, managing, and visualizing data easy for its users. Data is complex and requires proper tools to extract meaning from it. Tools such as Tableau enable users to dig deep into the data to get meaningful insights and discover patterns. 

It was founded in 2003 to make data more accessible to people through visualization. Tableau helps in Real-time Analysis, Data Collaboration, and Data Blending. You don’t need programming or technical skills to use the Tableau software, and it can be leveraged by researchers and businesses alike. 

The Tableau suits consist of Tableau Desktop, Reader, Server, Public, and Online Products. The Data Analytics in the Tableau tool can be classified into developer tools and sharing tools.

Tableau Desktop and Tableau Public fall into the developer category and are used for development activities such as report generation, visualization, dashboards creation, and chart generation. Sharing tools are Tableau Online, Server, and Reader, and they are used for sharing reports, dashboards, and visualizations created with the developer tools. 

Tableau Desktop

Tableau Desktop has a rich feature set and allows you to create and customize reports. From creating the charts and reports to blending them to form a dashboard, you can create all necessary elements in Tableau Desktop.

For Live Data Analysis, you get connectivity to Data Warehouse and other types of data sources. You can locally or publicly share the workbooks and the dashboards. 

Tableau Desktop is classified into Personal and Professional based on the connectivity to the data sources and publishing option:

  • Tableau Desktop Personal: Has the development features like Tableau Desktop, but this version keeps your workbook private and offers limited access. You can’t publish the workbooks online. 
  • Tableau Desktop Professional: Pretty much similar to Tableau Desktop, but the difference is that your work can be published on Tableau Server or Online. You also get full access to all types of the datatype in the Professional version. This version is suitable for users who want to publish their work.

Tableau Public

This version is specially built for cost-effective users. In the Public product, workbooks created cannot be saved locally; you should save them to Tableau’s public cloud. However, the public cloud is accessible to everyone, and there is no privacy to the files saved. Tableau Public version is suitable for individuals who want to learn Tableau.

Tableau Server

You can use it to share visualizations and workbooks created in Tableau Desktop. You will have to first publish your work on Tableau Desktop to share it on Tableau Server, and then it will only be accessible to licensed users. 

Tableau Online

It’s an online sharing tool with similar functionalities to the Tableau Server. However, the data is hosted in the cloud servers maintained by the Tableau group. 

Tableau Reader

This free tool allows users to view workbooks and visualizations. With Tableau Reader, you can filter the data but not edit or modify it.

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Key Features & Benefits of Tableau

Collaboration and Sharing

Tableau provides convenient collaboration options to instantly share data in the form of sheets, visualizations, dashboards, etc. Collaboration is possible in real-time, allowing teams to work on the data effectively. Users can also securely share data from various on-cloud, on-premise, and hybrid storage.


Another critical feature of Tableau is the map. This BI tool has a lot of pre-installed information on maps such as postal codes, cities, administrative boundaries, etc., allowing users to create very detailed and informative maps.

Users can also add additional layers of geology on the map as per their requirements and create informative maps with their data. The various kinds of maps available in Tableau are Flow Map, Choropleth Maps, Heat Map, Point Distribution Map, etc.

Robust Security

Tableau has a foolproof security system based on permission systems and authentication for user access and data connections. Users also can integrate Tableau with other security protocols to enhance the security around the data. 

Data Sources

With Tableau, users can connect various data sources to fetch data such as relational databases, spreadsheets, non-relational databases, big data, data warehouses, on-premise files, and on-cloud solutions. You can quickly establish a secure connection with the data source and fetch data to create data visualizations. 

Ask Data

The Ask data feature of Tableau makes playing with data just a matter of simple searches on Google. All that users have to do is type a query about your data in natural language, and Tableau will respond with the most relevant answers in text and visuals.

For instance, if your question is about data in a bar graph, the Ask data option will open the bar graph for you instantly. This option makes it easy for users to dig deep into data to find new insights and patterns.

What is a Doughnut Chart in Tableau?

Doughnut Chart Sample in Tableau: Doughnut Chart in Tableau
Image Credit: NIKKI YU

As the name makes you think, the doughnut chart in Tableau has a doughnut-shaped figure. They are the same as pie charts with a hole in the middle. They are also called donut charts and are often viewed as modified pie charts that eliminate the need to compare the area or size of the slice. The doughnut chart in Tableau shifts the focus from area to the length of the arc, which is easy to measure.

Doughnut charts are like piled bar charts, curled around themselves so that both ends meet and form a circle. People prefer the donut chart over the pie chart because of space efficiency and data intensity ratio. You can use the hole in the middle of this chart to convey additional information, like labels of the arc and the total number of data.

Benefits of Using Doughnut Chart in Tableau

  • The doughnut chart in Tableau is a reader-friendly chart that can be easily understood even by non-professionals. 
  • The readings are easy to understand with text boxes and label insertion. 
  • Users can display multiple data sets with a doughnut chart. 
  • Users can place additional information about the total value or data labels in the hole of the doughnut chart. 
  • The percentage values are automatically calculated when the doughnut chart in Tableau is drawn. 
  • Unlike pie charts, you can use doughnut charts to compare data sets where you can highlight data points by manipulating the pieces of the chart.

Drawbacks of Using Doughnut Chart in Tableau

  • The doughnut chart in Tableau is difficult to understand when there are too many slices or data categories. 
  • Tableau will not identify the negative data unless it’s marked. It is advised to avoid using a doughnut chart when you have negative values in your data. 
  • It’s great for data comparison but not for data analysis since it’s hard to grasp all data points from one doughnut. 
  • You cannot determine the exact value by looking at the doughnut chart. 

Doughnut Chart vs Pie Chart: What’s the Difference?

When deciding between a donut chart or pie chart for your presentation, ensure the data you’re using is for comparison analysis since both charts are usually limited to comparing the differences between categories. 

Although doughnut charts have originated from pie charts, they still share some differences:

  • Types: There are six main types of pie charts and only two doughnut charts, simple and exploded. 
  • Usage: Doughnut chart compares each value contribution to the total. The pie chart does the same except for the hole in the center. 
  • Comparison: A doughnut chart allows you to compare two series, but you need two different pie charts for comparing series. 
  • White Space: Pie charts do not have white space in the middle that can be used to show totals, lifting comparisons and trend arrows. 

How to Create a Doughnut Chart in Tableau? 

To create a doughnut chart in Tableau, you can use the “superstore data set” that is automatically downloaded when installing Tableau Desktop and Public. It’s available under the ‘My documents’ folder in the Tableau repository. The doughnut chart you create with this dataset will show category-wise sales for a superstore. 

To create your doughnut in Tableau, follow these steps:

Step 1: Set the Base

Enter the following in rows field.

AVG(0) AVG(0)

You will get the following results: 

Image Credits: AnalyticsVidhya

Step 2: Put your First Feature

Under the Marks card in Tableau, select the pie chart in the drop-down menu. Drag and drop Category dimension to the colors card and Sales dimension to the angle card. When you increase the size of the marks card, you will see the following:

Image Credits: AnalyticsVidhya

Step 3: Improve visualization

  • Drag and drop both Category and Sales to Label cards.
  • Under the Labels option, right-click on Sales > Quick Table Calculation > Percent of Total. With this step, you can see the total share of each category compared to the total sales value. 
Image Credits: AnalyticsVidhya

Step 4: Set the Aggregate

Now, click on the second AGG(avg(0)) under the Marks card in Tableau. 

  • From the dropdown menu, select the Circle Chart
  • Go to Color Card > select White. This will help us to create a hole in a doughnut chart. 

Step 5:  Combine the Two Measures

To put everything together, select the Dual Axis chart feature in Tableau. Increase the size of the pie chart from the Marks Card section, and your doughnut chart in Tableau is ready. 

Image Credits: AnalyticsVidhya


Tableau is a data visualization software that focuses on BI tools to make the most of your data. The doughnut chart in Tableau is an excellent feature for data visualization.

The hole in doughnut charts is helpful to include values pertaining to individual categories of the pie chart or add informative data. In this article, you learned about Tableau, its products, and features, along with the step-by-step process to design a doughnut chart in Tableau. 

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Osheen Jain
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Osheen has extensive experience in freelance writing within the data industry and is passionate about simplifying the complexities of data integration and data analysis through informative content for those delving deeper into these subjects.

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