Since starting my new position, I’ve been talking about my work and department with my wife. I set out to create an organizational chart to give her more context when I speak about certain things. There are plenty of tools that facilitate org charts. Microsoft alone has Visio and Powerpoint. Heck, you could even use Excel or Word. But hey, I’m a Tableau user, so let make this more interesting.
Org charts in Tableau are not native. I searched the web and came across this thread on Tableau’s Ideas section. It would be interesting if Tableau added this as a Show Me feature. Perhaps they will someday. So I used this thread as a starting point on how to accomplish my goal.
The key to an org chart is connecting points. Let’s also not forget that the data structure is important when it comes to Tableau. Each data point needs two rows of data. You’re drawing a line to connect dots, so you need to have one row for the starting location (direct report) and one row for the end location (manager). Here’s how I set up my data:
I have three individuals in this sample. Name1 is the top of the chart, so note the blank X, Y coordinates in the repeated row. This is because Name1 does not have a line to connect to its manager. I assigned each person an ID and mapped their manager ID. Only records in Order 1 have a Display Name and Display Title. This is used in the Label shelf so the records aren’t displayed twice. The hardest part of this is the X and Y coordinates. Depending on the size and branches of your org chart, you have to play around with their values. On a simple chart, you could probably automate the generation of these with Excel formulas.
The entire data file is stored here.
On to building the chart. Place the X values on the column shelf and the Y values on the row shelf. Go to Analysis and deselect Aggregate Measures. You should have something like this.
Add the Y values to the rows again and enable dual axis with synchronized axis. On the Marks card, I set the first Y values to Line and the second to Square. Now you have something like this. It’s close but obviously needs a little more work.
Each pair of records needs an unique ID. This ID will connect the hierarchy in the proper manner, instead of the mess above. We have this unique value as the ID column. Place the ID column in the Details shelf. From here you’re pretty much done. All that is left is formatting and labeling the values.
Here’s my finished product. I placed this single sheet into a dashboard and set it to legal landscape. Click the image to navigate to the Tableau Public version if you wish to download the workbook.
Thanks for tuning in. Hopefully one day, I’ll be the at the top of this chart :).