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How to Create a Gradient Bar Chart

If you are new to Tableau I strongly recommend that you favorite or bookmark the Bar Chart menu dashboard by Robert Rouse here. It displays the many ways you can take a boring bar chart and take it to the next level.

Another great dashboard is Andy Kriebel's Visual Vocabulary here. If you aren't sure what chart you should use for what analysis, refer to this dashboard! A lot of us like to show case our knowledge by recreating something similar to Andy's dashboard. I created my own spin on this with my World of Charts dashboard here. I keep adding to it as I learn new things.

Tableau Public is a marvelous way to showcase your knowledge and talent with the Tableau application. It is also a good location to go to for ideas.

I recently added a Gradient Bar chart to World of Charts dashboard and I would like to share the steps on how to create this chart.


I used the Sample Superstore data set. You can find this in Kaggle here.

First I placed Region on the Rows shelf.

Then I placed Measure Values on the Columns shelf.

I know this adds all of your Measures to a Measure Values Marks card. We will remove most of these in another step.

I then right-clicked on a blank spot on this Measure Values Marks card and selected New Calculation.

This is called creating an inline calculation and will create a blank pill for you to type in a calculation. I typed min(0.0)

I then removed all of the other Measure Values except for this min(0.0) calculation and Sales. You can hold the shift key to select a bunch at once and remove them off of this card.

I changed the Marks Type to Line.

I moved the Measure Names pill from Detail to Path.

Then I clicked on the Measure Names pill, held my control key down to duplicate this pill and placed it on the Color Marks card. (You can also grab it from the Data pane if this doesn't work for you. )

This last action changed the view to a gradient bar chart.

I changed the size slider so that the bars are a little bigger. You can change colors using the Color Marks card.

One of the downsides to this chart is if you want to add any average lines. It takes in the Min(0.0) calculation and will drop the average.

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