How to Build a Tableau Gantt Chart: The Guide

on BI Tool, Tableau • March 14th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Tableau Gantt Chart

Tableau Gantt Charts have long been used to visualize project timelines. They’re good at showing task durations and dependencies in the context of a larger business operation. The fact that ‘Gantt Bar’ is a mark type option unlocks some flexibility that allows you to use this Chart type in many other ways, as it does with several other visualizations that Tableau can create.

It’s widely used in project management and other types of long-term variation analysis. As a result, the time dimension is an important field in a Tableau Gantt Chart. In addition to the time dimension, the Tableau Gantt Chart requires at least a dimension and a measure.

This article talks about Tableau Gantt Charts and provides a step-by-step guide to creating Tableau Gantt Charts.

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.

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. 

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What is Tableau Gantt Chart?

The progress of a task’s or resource’s value over time is depicted using a Tableau Gantt Chart. It’s commonly used in project management and other long-term variation analysis. As a result, in a Tableau Gantt Chart, the time dimension is a crucial field. The Tableau Gantt Chart requires at least a dimension and a measure, in addition to the time dimension.

A Tableau Gantt Chart is a diagram that depicts all of a project’s sub-tasks and how they relate to one another over time. A Tableau Gantt Chart depicts all of the tasks that must be completed, as well as the estimated time each task will take, the time frames in which individual tasks must be completed, and the relationships between them.

This ensures that everything is completed on time, and you never waste time waiting for a task that should have been completed earlier.

A Tableau Gantt Chart is a horizontal bar chart that depicts the length of time an event will last for multiple values. Using a Tableau Gantt Chart, you can visualize your data values in a detailed yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily manner.

You can also assign different colors to each year or month to make tracking the data trend for value over time easier. Tableau Gantt Charts are very useful because they can show a lot of information in a small amount of space.

How to Build a Tableau Gantt Chart: Step by Step

Tableau Gantt Charts are very easy and simple to build. The basic components of a Tableau Gantt Chart are 

Mark type:Automatic or Gantt Bar
Columns shelf:Date or Time field (continuous measure)
Rows shelf:Dimension(s)
Size:Continuous measure

Follow these steps to make a Tableau Gantt Chart that displays the average number of days between order and ship dates:

  • Step 1: Create a connection to the data source Sample – Superstore.
  • Step 2: Drag the Order Date dimension to the Columns section of the screen. Tableau group the dates by year and creates year-specific column headers and labels.
  • Step 3: Select Week Number from the drop-down arrow under Year (Order Date) on the Columns shelf.

The headers of the columns shift around. Because there are 208 weeks in four years, tick marks are used to indicate individual weeks.

  • Step 4: Drag the Dimensions of Sub-Category and Ship Mode to the Rows shelf. Sub-Category should be moved to the right of Ship Mode. Along the left axis, this creates a two-level nested hierarchy of dimensions.

The marks will then be sized based on the length of time between the order date and the ship date. To do so, make a Calculated Field to record the interval.

  • Step 6: Label your calculated field OrderUntilShip in the Calculation dialog box.
  • Step 7: Remove any content in the Formula box that is there by default.
  • Step 8: Enter the following formula in the Formula box and then click OK:
DATEDIFF('day',[Order Date],[Ship Date])

The formula generates a custom measure to represent the difference in days between the Order Date and Ship Date values.

  • Step 9: On the Marks card, move the OrderUntilShip measure to Size. OrderUntilShip’s default aggregation is Sum, but in this case, averaging the values makes more sense.
  • Step 10: Measure (Sum) > Average by right-clicking the SUM(OrderUntilShip) field on the Marks card and selecting Measure (Sum) > Average.

The view is improving. However, the view is crowded with too many marks.

Filtering down to a smaller time window can help you make your data more readable.

  • Step 11: Drag the Week(Order Date) field from the Columns shelf to the Filter shelf while holding the Ctrl key down.

Holding down the Ctrl (or Option) key instructs Tableau to copy the field to the new location, along with any customizations you’ve made, without removing it from the old one.

  • Step 12: Select Range of Dates and then click Next in the Filter Field dialog box.
  • Step 13: Set the range to a three-month time interval, such as January 1, 2013, to March 31, 2013, and then click OK. It’s easier to just enter the numbers you want directly into the date boxes or use the calendar to select the dates than it is to use the sliders to get the exact date.
  • Step 14: On the Marks card, drag the Ship Mode dimension to Color. Your view now displays a wealth of information about the time lag between order and shipment.

You can see which ship modes are more prone to longer lag times for example, if lag times vary by category, and if lag times are consistent over time.

Conclusion

This blog talks about Building Tableau Gantt Charts and it also gives a brief introduction to Gantt Charts.

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