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Dots or Stars? - Simple Table Tips

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Here is a fun way to accentuate if your team made their sales goals in a simple table in Tableau. In my blog two weeks ago, I mentioned a way to create a simple table view using the min(0) calc.

This article and last week's was inspired by Luke Stanke's "26 Ways to Enhance your Tables" here. I just modified the calculations slightly for both articles.

How to Add Stars

What if your client wanted to display a three point star system based on the following Sales criteria;

If Sales for the last month were greater than 10,000 then three stars should appear next to the metric. If Sales were from 7000 - 9999 then two stars should appear next to the metric. If the Sales were greater than 4000 then one star and all others with no stars.

This view is available in my public dashboard here.

Here is the calculated field to represent this criteria. I used the star icon from the Windows Character map. (Google it if you can't find it.)

Sales Stars

If Sum([Sales Current Month]) > 10000

THEN "★★★"

ELSEIF Sum([Sales Current Month]) > 7000

then "★★"

ELSEIF Sum([Sales Current Month]) > 4000

then "★"



There are a couple of other calculations I used to create the most recent month of data;

Current Month

[Order Date] >= DATEADD("month",-1,DATETRUNC("month",{MAX([Order Date])}))


[Order Date] < DATETRUNC("month",{MAX([Order Date])})

*Sales Current Month

If [Current Month]

THEN [Sales]


*I created this calculation for all of the metrics, Quantity, Profit Ratio, Profit.

I set up my Tableau workbook using the Min(0) calculation for each of the metrics as advised in my last blog here.

The only change is that I made a dual axis calculation for the Sales and fifth min calculation. I also placed the Sales Stars calculation on this Marks card.

I also changed the Chart Type to Gantt for all of the metrics. I changed the blue line to white to hide it. This allows for the Stars to be right next to the metric with a little gap in the dashboard.

I also adjusted the alignment of the text for the Sales Current Month metric to Middle Left and Middle Right for the stars.

How to Add Circles

What if you wanted to show three circles. Some that are empty and some that are filled? This is in my public dashboard here.

I used the following calculations for this;


If Sum([Sales CM]) > 10000

THEN "●●●"

ELSEIF Sum([Sales CM]) > 7000

then "●●"

ELSEIF Sum([Sales CM]) > 4000

then "●"



Circles Empty

If Sum([Sales CM]) > 10000


ELSEIF Sum([Sales CM]) > 7000

then "○"

ELSEIF Sum([Sales CM]) > 4000

then "○○"

ELSE "○○○"


The reason there are two different calculations here is if you want your clear circles to be a different color than your filled circles.

I placed both of these calculations on the newly created fifth Min(0) pill. I placed them side by side.

They should make the Sales column appear as below;

You can also change the color of the stars or the circles with the Color Marks card.

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