#ReViz – Circles in Circles

My latest purchase ‘Infographica’ by Martin and Simon Toseland inspired this #ReViz project, a penny for your thoughts.

I saw it and immediately wanted to replicate it. It’s beautiful, the use of colours are excellent, and most important it tells the story extremely well (and quickly). There was also the challenge that this was something I have yet to make in Tableau.


In this blog i’m going to teach you how I made these ‘circles in circles’ charts.

With this #ReViz project I decided to use my own dataset, and just focus on recreating the viz type used in the piece rather than replicating it entirely.

The data set has salary data for the UK by region. For each region we have two measures, we have the average (median) salary for that region, and we also have the median UK salary; a similar structure to that outlined in the visualisation above.

So once I had imported this into Tableau I simply did the following…

  1. Drag my dimension, [Region], onto columns (or rows, which ever you choose)
  2. Create a calculated field, simply with the value 0, and drag this calculated field onto the rows shelf.
  3. Drag one of my measures, [Median gross annual earnings (£) by region], onto size
  4. Drag the calculated field [0] onto rows for a second time (creating a second pane).
  5. Place our second measure  [Median gross annual earnings (£) UK-Wide] onto the detail shelf for the second axis.
  6. Change the mark type to ‘Shape’, and if it hasn’t already, change the ‘Shape’ to the circle outline.
  7. In order to ensure your visualisation is true we must adjust the size scale for each axis so that they are identical.
  8. Dual axis the chart, and synchronize your axis

You may note in my published viz that the regions are actually not in a single line. I did this by replacing the 0 values with plotted X and Y points and creating my axis from these instead. My ‘Shape mapping in Tableau’ blog may provide you with an idea on how I did this.





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