Planes, Trains, and Automobiles! Part Three: Automobiles

Loyal fans of the Tableauza! blog, today we will put a bow on another multi-part series.  It's car day!

For our automobiles question, we are going to take a look at the top-selling automobiles in 2016 with a cool viz!  After all, I am supposed to write about how to do things in Tableau.  Probably should do that every now and then...

The first step is to compile the data in Excel.  Pretty easy, below is the data set.

Once we have our data set, we import it into Tableau.  A few short clicks later, and we have the following:


Meh.  Not very exciting, right?  We can color code the chart by the makers, but that doesn't do a ton either.  But what if we incorporate pictures of the car into the viz?  I can hear your gasps of excitement through the computer screen (and in the future), so I will continue.

First things first, we need to go online to get pictures of the cars.  Once we have the pictures we will want to get them into Tableau as shapes.  To do this, we add them to the Tableau shapes repository, which can be found in the Documents folder (see below).

Now that the pictures can be accessed in Tableau, we can begin the process of utilizing the pictures as points on a plot.

  • Change the mark type in your view to Shapes
  • Drag the Make and Model (combine into one field) onto the Shapes card (see below)
  • Click on the Shapes Card and change the mark types to the folder just added (see below)


  • Adjust the Size Card to make the images larger (see below)

Whoops, we have an issue.  The pictures did not come in the right order!  To correct this, rename the pictures in the file with the order they should appear (see below). 

Add in a label and we're all done!

Back next week with a new exploration!

Author: Chris Bick