Something nice and simple. In this Tableau quick tip, we are going to walk through the creation of a Step Line Chart within Tableau in 5 minutes or less.


We will start by loading the following data into Tableau Desktop / Tableau public.

Note: If you have Tableau Desktop, you can use the Sample data source, but if you are using Tableau Public, download and load the following data source.

Calculated Fields

We only need a single Calculated Field for our Data Visualisation.


IF SUM([Sales]) > LOOKUP(SUM([Sales]),-1) THEN
ELSEIF SUM([Sales]) < LOOKUP(SUM([Sales]),-1) THEN
    "No Movement"

With this done, let us start creating our data visualisation.


We will now build our worksheet:

  • Change the Mark Type to Line
  • Drag Order Date onto the Filter Shelf and select 2018
  • Drag Order Date onto the Column Shelf
    • Right-click on this pill and convert this to a Discrete Month
  • Drag Sales onto the Rows Shelf
  • Click on the Path Mark and change the Line Type to Step

If all goes well, you should now see the following:

We will now add our indicators.

  • Drag Sales onto the Rows Shelf
  • In the Sum(Sales) 2 Marks Panel (second Sales Mark)
    • Change the Mark Type to Shape, click on the Shape Mark and select the Filled Diamond
  • Drag Color onto the Color Mark
    • Click on the Color Mark and set the following colors:
      • Up to Green
      • Down to Red
      • No Moment to Grey
  • Right-click on the Second SUM(Sales) pill and select Dual Axis
  • Right-click on the Sales Axis and select Synchronize Axis

You should now see the following:

We will now adjust the cosmetics:

  • Set the Date Format to abbreviation and rotate the date header
  • Edit the Tooltips
  • Format the Sales values

You will want to have something like the following:

and boom, we are done… I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and as always, you can find this data visualization on Tableau Public at!/vizhome/StepLineChartwithIndicators/StepLineChartwithIndicators

Note: try out animations, it is super cool.


I hope you all enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it and as always do share the love. Do let me know if you experienced any issues recreating this Visualization, and as always, please leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter @Tableau_Magic. Do also remember to tag me in your work if you use this tutorial.

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