How to Create Tableau Bins: 6 Easy Steps

Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

Tableau Bins

Data Visualization tools are becoming more popular in the market day by day and their effectiveness to gain customer insights is always being put to test. These tools help organizations understand their customers’ needs and help them survive in a competitive market.

One such collaborative BI (Business Intelligence) software that allows you to visualize your data and become more data-driven is Tableau. Tableau offers users an incredible ability to create Bins and Histograms in real-time.

Upon a complete walkthrough of this article, you will gain a decent understanding of Tableau along with the features that it offers. You will also learn about the steps required to create Tableau Bins in a seamless manner. Read along to learn more about Tableau Bins!

Table of Contents

What is Tableau?

Tableau is one of the most popular Data Visualisation and Business Intelligence tools used for reporting and analyzing vast volumes of data. Since its inception in 2003, Tableau has assisted leading industries in reducing analysis time and making their businesses more data-driven while maintaining flexibility, security, and reliability.

It offers intuitive graphics/visualizations that you can leverage to visually present your data. It offers a variety of features ranging from Data Extraction and Processing to the Generation of Reports and Dashboards.

For a better understanding, Data Analytics in Tableau tool can be divided into the following two categories:

  • Developer Tools: These are the Tableau tools used for development, such as the creation of Dashboards, Charts, Report Generation, and Visualisation. Tableau products that fall in this category include Tableau Desktop and Tableau Public.
  • Sharing Tools: As the name implies, the purpose of these Tableau products is to share Visualisations, Reports, and Dashboards created with developer tools. Tableau Online, Server, and Reader are examples of some products in this category.

Key Features of Tableau

Some of the key features of Tableau are as follows:

  • Multipurpose Dashboard: Tableau software goes beyond the standard features offered by other Data Visualisation tools. By using Tableau users can deploy interactive models, use a variety of formats, and analysts who work on multiple projects at the same time, they can effectively transfer all the elements used in one workbook to another with an informative, advanced but simple-to-use Dashboard.
  • Data Extraction: Tableau provides a plethora of data source functionalities for connecting to and importing data from a variety of external sources. Most data sources, including Big Data, Relational Databases, Cloud Data, and Excel Spreadsheets, can be easily deployed by copying the file from the source and pasting it into your Tableau worksheet.
  • Wildcard Union and Cross-Data Join: Tableau allows the users to perform Cross-Data Join and Union operations. This aids in the removal of barriers and time-consuming workarounds that were required due to the extensive use of multiple data sources.
  • Powerful Collaboration: Tableau provides its users with the tools they need to work with and understand data, from web editing and authoring to Data Source recommendations. You can quickly publish your Dashboard to Tableau Server or Tableau Online, allowing everyone in your organization to see your insights, ask questions, and form collective decisions.

What are Tableau Bins?

Tableau Bins are equal-sized containers that store data values that correspond to or fit within the Bin Size. Tableau Bins divide a set of data into groups of equal intervals or sizes, resulting in a systematic distribution of data.

Data from any discrete field can be used to create Tableau Bins. Generally, Tableau users leverage Measure Fields to create numeric bins. Bins are very useful in data analysis as they provide a systematic data range that allows users to organize information and discover patterns in an efficient manner.

Tableau Bins cannot be used in calculations and can only be created from relational databases. Also, when we create bins from Measure Fields, Tableau saves it as a new field because the bin contains data values that are not in the same format as the original measure field.

For example, suppose you want to plot a graph depicting sales against a range of ages ranging from 20 to 60. For doing that, you can create bins for age groups and analyze sales for each age group by using the bin functionality.

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How to Create Tableau Bins?

Creating Tableau Bins is a fairly easy process. Follow the steps given below to create Tableau Bins:

  • Step 1: Navigate to the Data pane and right-click on the desired field or dimension from which you want to retrieve the data.
  • Step 2: Select the Create option and then click on Bins. As you can see in the image below, we have used the Sales field for this tutorial.
Creating Tableau Bins
Image Source: Tableau Help
  • Step 3: Once you click on the Bins option, you will see a dialog box on your screen. You can either select the proposed field name or specify a different name for the new field.
  • Step 4: Now, enter a value in the Size of Bins field. You can also click on the Suggest Bin Size button to get a Bin Size recommendation from Tableau for the data set you’ve chosen. The formula used by Tableau to calculate an optimal Bin size is:
Number of Bins = 3 + log2(n) * log(n)

where n denotes the number of distinct rows in the table and the difference between the smallest and largest values is divided by the number of bins to determine the size of each bin.

The four read-only fields in the lower section of the Create Bins dialog box display the data used by Tableau to recommend a bin size.

If you want to manually calculate the bin size, you can also take these parameters into account. They are as follows:

  • Min: It represents the minimum value for the field.
  • Max: It represents the maximum value for the field.
  • Diff: It represents the difference between the Min and Max fields.
  • CntD: It represents the total number of distinct values in the data.
Create Bin Dialog Box
Image Source: Tableau Help

Note: If you are using Tableau on the web, you will see the dialog box named Edit Bins.

  • Step 5: Once you have successfully entered all the required parameters to create a bin, click on the OK button to finish the setup.
  • Step 6: Now, head back to the Data Pane and you’ll see the Tableau Bins named Sales Bin under the list of fields.
Tableau Data Dimensions
Image Source: Tableau Help

Once you have followed all the above steps in the correct sequence, you will be able to create Tableau Bins in no time!

Creating Histogram Using Tableau Bins

Tableau Bins can also be leveraged to visualize the available datasets. You can simply drag and drop the desired bin to the rows and columns section to create a histogram. Let us use the Sales Bin that you have created in the previous section to create a histogram:

  • Navigate to the Data Pane and right-click on the Sales Bin dimension from the list of available fields and select the Convert to Continuous option.
  • Drag the Sales (Bin) dimension and drop it into the Columns section.
  • Drag the original Sales field from the Data Pane’s Measure Area and drop it on the Rows section.
  • Change the aggregation from Sum to Count by clicking SUM(Sales) on Rows. The result will be a histogram.

If you want to learn more about creating histograms in tableau, you can check out our blog here.

Tableau Bin Histogram
Image Source: Tableau Help

How to Edit Tableau Bins?

In this example of Tableau Bins, we discuss the process of editing an existing Tableau Bin. To edit, right-click on a bin and select the Edit option. This will open up a new dialog box as follows:

Tableau Edit Bins
Image Source: Rigor Data Solutions

As is shown in this case, you can change any bin parameter as per your needs. You can specify the size of bins or range of values from this dialog box for your selected field.

How to Delete Tableau Bins?

Just as easy as it is to create a Tableau Bin, you can effortlessly delete your existing Tableau Bins.

To delete a Tableau Bin, navigate to its name and right-click on that to open the context menu. You’ll see an option called Delete. Simply click on that to delete your Tableau Bin.

Delete Tableau Bins
Image Source: Stack Overflow

Conclusion

This article introduced you to Tableau and the salient features that it offers. Furthermore, it discussed the steps required to create Tableau Bins. As you collect and manage your data across several applications and databases in your business, it is important to consolidate it for a complete performance analysis of your business.

To achieve this you need to assign a portion of your engineering bandwidth to Integrate data from all sources, Clean & Transform it, and finally, Load it to a Cloud Data Warehouse, BI Tool like Tableau, or a destination of your choice for further Business Analytics. All of these challenges can be comfortably solved by a Cloud-based ETL tool such as Hevo Data.  

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Share your experience of learning about Tableau Bins in the comments below!

mm
Former Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Rakesh is a Cloud Engineer with a passion for data, software architecture, and writing technical content. He has experience writing articles on various topics related to data integration and infrastructure.

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