How to create line graphs in Tableau

In Summary, this is how to create a line graph in tableau

  • Drag the 2 columns you want to graph into the view. Could be a dimension and a measure values, or a measure and a measure values
  • Change your dimension value from discrete data to continuous data (if applicable)
  • Select the level of detail you want (if applicable)

Here is a work-through explanation of the above steps.

You have to realize that a line graph shows continuous data over time.

So, to create a line graph, we will be graphing sales over the ship date

In tableau, when you first bring date into the view, it defaults to discrete data type that is why you have dates in different panes.

Line graph in tableau using discrete data instead of continuous data

To make the graph look like continuous date, we need to change the date data type from discrete to continuous.

To learn more about the different between discrete and continuous data, check out my online course on the how to analyze data WITHOUT Coding using Tableau

To change our date data to continuous data type,

  • Click on the drop down icon on date column (or just right click date) >
  • choose either year, or quarter, or month from the SECOND set of dates.
  • The FIRST set of dates = discrete dates, the second set of dates = Continuous dates.
Changing from discrete date type to continuous date type in tableau

To learn the different between continuous and discrete dates and how to use each, check out my online course on how to analyze data WITHOUT coding using Tableau.

When you choose a continuous date value, this is what the result looks like.

Line graph in tableau with continuous dimension data instead of discrete data

That, is how to create a line graph in tableau. If you want to learn more about tableau, I teach people how to analyze data WITHOUT Coding using Tableau. I also help companies analyze their data using tableau. Be sure to contact me if you need somebody to analyze your company data for you using Tableau.

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