Week 32: Can you create step area charts?

This week’s workout comes from a special guest, former Iron Viz champion Klaus Schulte! Klaus has come up with a great challenge for all of you; he and I (Curtis) will be your coaches this week. Thank you Klaus! Step line charts have been introduced with Tableau’s 2018.1 release and it’s really hard to remember that there was a time before, where it needed a little hack to create such a step line. For the area mark we haven’t got the same options to create step area charts yet. During my talk at TCE in Berlin some weeks ago I demoed how to create them using one extra copy of the data. After my presentation in Berlin I talked to Ann about my step area chart and she was wondering (I assume she was already knowing) if there was a way to create such a chart without doubling the data and using table calculations instead. Well Ann – you were (of course) right! So, my #WorkoutWednesday challenge is about creating a step area chart!


Click to view on Tableau Public


  • Dashboard size: 1200 x 600, you only need one sheet 
  • Create step area charts on category sales 2018
    • Data densification is not allowed, please use Superstore as-is
    • Label the first and the last month
    • Match formatting (and padding) as close as possible
    • Colors are up to you!

Bonus Requirements

  • Highlight the months with the biggest (absolute) increase and decrease of sales compared to the previous month
  • Label the highlighted months – the maximum decrease at the bottom and the maximum increase at the top

Bonus Requirements

Any Superstore data will do!


After you finish your workout, share on Twitter using the hashtag #WorkoutWednesday2019 and tag @profdrkschulte@AnnUJackson, @LukeStanke, @lorna_eden, and @curtisharris_!

Track your progress

Also, don’t forget to track your progress using this Workout Wednesday form.


When you publish your solution on Tableau Public make sure to take the time and include a link to the original inspiration.

2 thoughts on “Week 32: Can you create step area charts?”

  1. I wasn’t really able to replicate the area chart; when I tried to use area in the mark card, the envelope line was connected by linear type rather than step type. After cheating by checking the report file, realized this has been implemented by two measures (prev sales + sales calc).

    But one thing I don’t understand is how to decide the order in which the dots were connected. Didn’t see how the step type path was specified anywhere. Do you mind giving me some help here?

    Thanks a lot.

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