This is a Quick Tip on how to build a Thermometer Chart in Tableau, so less reading and more jumping in. We are going to spend 5 minutes or less building our Thermometer Chart in Tableau.

Note: As always never choose a data visualisation type and try to fit your data into it, instead, understand your data and choose the best visualization for your data consumers.


Load the following data into Tableau Desktop / Public.

United States,1,0.9
United States,101,0.9
United Kingdom,1,0.7
United Kingdom,101,0.7

Note: we require path and duplicate lines for densification. See our tutorial on Data Densification for more information. Click here


We will start by creating the following calculated fields.

Path (bin)

  • Right-click on Path.
    • Go to Create, and select Bins…
    • In the Edit Bins window:
      • Set New field name to Path (bin).
      • Set Size of bins to 1.
      • Click OK.








IF [TC_Thermometer] = 0 THEN

TC_Size (Background)

IF [TC_Thermometer] = 0 THEN


IF [Index]/100 < [TC_Value] THEN

Calculated Fields

Now that we have created our Calculated Fields, we will build our Worksheet.

  • Change the Mark Type to Line.
  • Drag Country onto Columns.
  • Drag Path (bin) onto Rows.
    • Right-click on this object and ensure that Show Missing Values is selected.
    • Drag this object onto the Path Mark.
  • Drag TC_Thermometer onto Rows.
    • Right-click on this object and select Edit Table Calculation.
    • Under Nested Calculation select Index.
      • Under Compute Using select Specific Dimensions.
      • Check Country and Path (bin) and ensure that Country is on top.
      • Set At the level to Deepest.
      • Set Restarting every to Country.
    • Under Nested Calculation select TC_Value.
      • Under Compute Using select Specific Dimensions.
      • Check Path (bin) only.
  • Drag TC_Size onto the Size Mark.
    • Right-click on this object, go to Compute Using and select Path (bin).

If all goes well, you should see the following:

Now, we will add a background shape

  • Drag Index onto Rows to the left of TC_Thermometer.
  • In the Index Mark Panel, replace the TC_Size with TC_Size (Background).
  • Right-click on the TC_Thermometer in Rows and select Dual Axis.
  • Right-click on the TC_Thermometer Axis Header and select Synchronize Axis.

You should now have the following:

Now we will adjust the cosmetics:

  • Hide the headers.
  • Set Row Divider to None.
  • Set Column Divider to None.
  • Set Zero Line to None.
  • Set Grid Lines to None.
  • Adjust the Size of TC_Size.
  • Adjust the Size of TC_Size (Background).
  • Adjust the Color.
  • Add a Tooltip.
  • Add a Label.

You would like to end up with the following data visualisation.

and boom, we are done, nice, simple and quick. You find my Waterfall Chart Dashboard on Tableau Public at!/vizhome/ThermometerCharts/ThermometerCharts


I hope you all enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Do let me know if you experienced any issues recreating this Visualisation, and as always, please leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter @Tableau_Magic.

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  1. TC_Size or TC_Size (Background),If I change to the following formula, I can resize.
    IF [TC_Thermometer] = 0 THEN

  2. How do we incorporate the logic in our data set.
    You have used a predefined data.
    Please can you tell us how to add this data to our data set.
    What all is required.
    Also how do we see the percentages below the thermometers

      • Thanks for the reply. You couldn’t imagine how happy I am seeing your reply 🙂

        I added the reference line (Per Pane) but it is over entire space and intersect with the Thermometer chart. is there anyway to just show a line like (-2%) like it shows in actual thermometer or like a Gantt line chart acting as ?

  3. I followed your steps, and when I try to edit the table calculation for the TC_Thermometer, I am getting the following error message:
    COUNT is being called with (numerical bin), did you mean (table)?

    Not sure how to fix it

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