Stacked Bar Charts In Tableau Simplified: The Ultimate Guide 101


stacked bar charts in tableau: FI

Tableau Charts assist professionals in the field of Business Intelligence and analytics on a massive scale. A wide range of readily available and user-readable charts can be used to directly represent real-time data. Tableau can create interactive visualizations that are tailored to the audience’s needs.

Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau are charts that use bars to show comparisons between categories of data while also allowing you to break down and compare parts of a larger picture. Each bar in the graph represents a whole, with segments representing various parts or categories of that whole.

This article talks about the Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau and how they are created in Tableau. In addition to that, it also gives a brief overview of different types of charts in Tableau.

Table Of Contents

What is Tableau?

Tableau is a well-known Business Intelligence and Data Analytics tool that was developed to assist in visualizing, analyzing, and understanding complex business data to make data-driven decisions. It is a smart platform that allows businesses to move more quickly and in a way that clients and consumers can understand.

The most important feature of this tool is that it makes it extremely simple for users to organize, manage, visualize, and understand data. It has tools that help in organizing and managing data like Tableau Filters, Tableau Charts, etc.

Tableau can assist anyone in seeing and comprehending their data. You can connect to any database, create visualizations by dragging and dropping, and share them with a single click. The main objective of Tableau is to help people visualize and understand their data. 

Tableau’s self-service analytics platform enables anyone to work with data, regardless of their skill level. It was aimed to help users create visuals and graphics without requiring the assistance of a programmer or any prior programming knowledge. It is a highly scalable and easily deployable platform.

Key Features of Tableau

  • Data Sources: Tableau has plenty of data source options from which you can connect and fetch data. Tableau supports a wide range of data sources, including On-premise files, spreadsheets, relational databases, non-relational databases, Data Warehouses, Big Data, and On-cloud data.

    Tableau can connect to any of the data sources securely. You can also merge data from multiple sources to create a visual combinatorial view of data. Tableau also works with a variety of data connectors, including Presto, MemSQL, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and others.
  • Advanced Visualizations: Tableau has a wide range of visualizations, including basic visualizations like a bar chart and a pie chart, as well as advanced visualizations like a histogram, a Gantt chart, a bullet chart, a motion chart, a treemap, and a boxplot. Any kind of visualization can be selected easily under the visualization type from the Show Me tab.
  • Robust Security: Tableau takes all precautions to protect data and offers robust user security. For data connections and user access, its security system relies on authentication and permission systems.

    It employs row-level filtering, which aids in the security of the data. It also allows you to connect to other security protocols like Active Directory, Kerberos, and so on.
  • Mobile View: Tableau also provides the mobile version of the software. You can create dashboards and reports that are compatible with your mobile.

    It also allows you to create customized mobile dashboard layouts that are specific to your mobile device. This feature provides users with a great deal of flexibility and convenience when it comes to managing their data.
  • Cross-Database Join: Tableau 10 introduced Cross-Database Join, a new feature that allows you to cross data between different sources much more quickly and without requiring any additional technical knowledge.

    A Cross-Database Join combines data from two different databases as if they were one. Data sources that join data from multiple databases are created and published so that other Tableau users can create reports.
  • Live and In-Memory Data: Tableau ensures that both live data sources and data extraction from external data sources are connected as in-memory data. This allows the user to use data from multiple types of data sources without restriction.

    You can use data directly from the data source by setting up live data connections or keeping that data in memory. Several types of Tableau filters can extract data from a data source as per their requirement.

The Charts in Tableau

Tableau is a powerful tool for creating various chart types. A visual query language is used to automate the process. Depending on your data and the conclusions you want to convey, you can use a variety of charts.

Charts are simple to use and create, and they provide viewers with quick information about the data. In Tableau, there are 24 different types of charts to choose from. Charts are made up of the measurements and dimensions that you choose. 

Some of the prominent Tableau Chart Types are listed below:

  • Bar Chart: A Bar Chart depicts data as rectangular bars, the length of which is proportional to the variable’s value. Some bar chart types are Segmented Bar Chart, Stacked Bar Chart, Side by Side Bar Chart, etc.
  • Bullet Chart: Bullet graphs are a type of bar graph that was created to replace dashboard gauges and meters. When comparing the performance of a primary measure to one or more other measures, a bullet graph is useful.
  • Pie Chart: A Pie Chart is useful for organizing and displaying data as a percentage of the total. This type of graph allows the user to compare the relationship between various dimensions in a given context.
  • Bubble Chart: A cluster of circles represents data in a Bubble Chart. The dimension field contains values that represent circles, while the measured field contains values that represent the size of those circles.
  • Line Chart: Individual data points in a view are linked by Line Charts. They’re useful for seeing trends over time or forecasting future values because they’re a simple way to visualize a sequence of values.
  • Area Chart: A line chart with the area between the line and the axis shaded with color is called an Area Chart. These graphs are the most common way to display stacked lines and are typically used to represent accumulated totals over time.
stacked bar charts in tableau: diff types of charts in Tableau
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What are Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau?

Simple Bar Charts with segmented bars are called a Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau. In a Stacked Bar Chart, the bars on one axis represent different values of a field. Each of these bars is also divided into sections or segments on the inside, which provides more information about the field values.

You can compare the main values as a whole and get a better understanding of the distribution of smaller segments of a bar in this way. Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau help give a better understanding of data. In Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau, you can have up to two measure fields, or numerical axes, and a maximum of one dimension field or category axis.

When you want to visualize and compare data from different categories in one visualization, Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau are extremely useful. It allows you to fit a large number of values and details into a single graph.

Why are Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau better than other Charts?

  • Easy to view Data: When comparing data points, Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau are easier to see than a combined chart. When data points are stacked on top of each other, it’s easier to see the percentage of each data point compared to the total value.
  • Time-Saving: Stacked bar charts in Tableau can also help you save time by allowing you to quickly interpret data. A Stacked Bar Chart, for example, could easily display the results of a survey. Rather than manually sorting through thousands of responses, simply look at the data sets in the chart to see how many people agreed or disagreed with the question.
  • Outliers stand out: Outliers stand out more in a Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau when looking at historical data. For example, if you want to see what your best-selling products were over the last decade, you can quickly see which groups are the most numerous without even reading the text. You may have noticed that your lamp sales have increased in recent years, while your chair sales have decreased. If you want to discuss increasing sales, this type of report can provide you with visual evidence to back you up.
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Types of Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau

There are several types of Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau. The one you choose is determined by how you want to present your data. 

  • Simple Stacked Bar Chart: The full value of the bar is displayed along with the combined segment values is displayed in Simple Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau. When comparing total amounts across each segmented bar or group, this type of chart may be useful. Multiple bars are frequently available in a variety of lengths.
  • 100% Stack Bar Graphs: The percentages of each group about the total amount are displayed in this graph. In this type of graph, the differences in values stand out more. Each bar will be the same length, as opposed to the data in a Simple Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau.

How to Create Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau

Below is a step-by-step guide to learning how to make Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau. To make Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau with your dataset, open Tableau on your computer and follow the steps below. You’re going to use a sample data set of sales from an electronic store.

  • Step 1: Make a Vertical Bar Chart
    • Choose a dimension to work with. Place Date in the Columns section after ordering it in the Dimensions section. Note that you have chosen YEAR as the Order Date field value.
    • From the Measures section, you choose Sales and move it to the Rows section. The aggregation type is set to SUM in this case.
  • From the right-hand visualization pane, choose the Stacked Bar Chart option. This creates a simple vertical bar chart with the x-axis representing years and the y-axis representing sales.
  • Step 2: In the Columns section, you add one more detail to your chart, the Region dimension. This creates four sections or columns, one for each of the four regions. Each year is now represented by a set of four bars in each column.
  • Step 3: To make the Bar Charts into a Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau, you must complete this step. In the Marks section’s Color card, you add the dimension Sub-Category.

     Each bar is divided into small colored sections that correspond to different brands. You now have a Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau with each bar representing a year and the height of each bar proportional to the total sales for that year.

In addition, each bar is divided into small colored sections that represent total sales for each brand of electronic items for that year. When you hover your cursor over a colored section, it will display information such as the region, sub-category, or brand name, year, and total sales value for that brand in that year.

  • Step 4: The Color card in the Marks section can also be used to change the color scheme of the Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau. You can choose a color scheme for your Bar Chart by going to the Edit Color option and browsing through the many available color palettes, then clicking Assign Palette. To finish this step, click OK.

This will allow you to finish the process of creating Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau with your preferred color scheme.

  • Step 5: By adding data labels to your bar chart, you can make it more informative. Click the Show Mark Labels button in the Toolbar to add data labels to Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau. 
  • Step 6: Alternatively, you can drag and drop the data Label value from the Dimensions or Measures Pane to the Label shelf in Marks Card. You want to display the Sales as Data Labels in this example. As a result, drag the Sales from the Measures region to the Labels shelf. 
  • Step 7: If you select or highlight a specific block, the information for that block will be displayed in the Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau.

How to Add Features to a Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau

In this section, you will learn how to add any feature such as adding Totals to a Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau. Here, you will go through the steps to add a feature such as Totals to a Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau. The following steps are listed below:

  • Go to the Analytics pane and drag a Reference Line into a view and drop it on Cell.
  • Now set the aggregation for SUM() to Sum, set Labels to Value, and set Line under Formatting section to None in the Edit Line, Band, or Box dialog box.
  • After setting up all the configurations, click on the Ok button.
  • Now your view will have Totals on the top of each bar.

Similarly, you can add other features to your Stacked Bar Chart in Tableau.


This blog talks about Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau and different types of Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau and how to create Stacked Bar Charts in Tableau. It also gives you a brief introduction to different types of charts in Tableau.

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Harshitha Balasankula
Marketing Content Analyst, Hevo Data

Harshitha is a dedicated data analysis fanatic with a strong passion for data, software architecture, and technical writing. Her commitment to advancing the field motivates her to produce comprehensive articles on a wide range of topics within the data industry.

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