#WOW2024 | Week 1 | Can you compare salaries to the median?


Happy New Year to you all! This is the start of #WorkoutWednesday’s 7th year – how amazing is that! Thank you to everybody for your continued support and engagement – it really helps keep this initiative going!

For the first challenge of 2024, I’ve updated a visualisation I first built several years ago based on HR salary data. I’ve always felt this is a great example of really being able to ‘see’ your data, and at the time, made the HR team incredibly excited about the possibilities of Tableau.

In most organisations, employees have a grade or a pay level; something which gives an indicator of the ‘salary band’ they’re in based on their role. For example, employees in the lowest grade/pay level may be paid up to £20,000, the next level from £20,000 to £30,000 etc.

This visualisation compares an employee’s actual salary against the median salary of all employees with the same pay level (cohort). Along with this, a salary scale determines how close that employee is to the median, and then provides an effective way of being able to see how employees in the same cohort compare – are there some departments that typically pay more than others; are there employees who may need a pay increase as they’re quite adrift?

Note – I have used the median salary in this case, but this could easily be adapted to compare to other salary data such as industry salary benchmarks, providing there was a link between that and your own source data of course.


  • Dashboard 1200px x 800px
  • Display a row per employee. On each row
    • the circle represents the employee’s actual salary (#64cdcc)
    • the dashed vertical line represents the median salary for the employee’s pay level (#ba9582)
    • the coloured bandings represent the proportion of the median
      • 80-90% of median (#efebe8)
      • 90-110% of median (#f5f1f0)
      • 110- 120% of median (#efebe8)
  •  Allow the user to filter the visualisation by Department, Pay Level and Salary Scale where Salary Scale is a number from 1-6 based on
    • 1 : Salary is less than 80% of Median
    • 2 : Salary is between 80-90% of Median
    • 3 : Salary is between 90-100% of Median
    • 4 : Salary is between 100-110% of Median
    • 5 : Salary is between 110-120% of Median
    • 6 : Salary is more than 120% of Median
  • Add a legend
  • Match formatting & tooltips


This challenge uses a custom fabricated data set extended from the HR data available from the Real World Fake Data initiative (#RWFD), and is available from here.


When you publish your solution on Tableau Public make sure to take the time and include a link to the original inspiration.  Also include the hashtag #WOW2024 in your description to make it searchable!


After you finish your workout, share on Twitter and/or LinkedIn using the hashtag #WOW2024 #Tableau and tag @WorkoutWednsday



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