5 Quick Tips for next level BAN in Tableau

Everyone loves a BAN (Big Aggregate Number). They are your all important key numbers in your dataset and should be jumping off the screen and and ingraining themselves in the back of your retinas!

But the standard way of creating them in Tableau can be a bit dull and monochrome.

Below I’ll step through the usual way of creating a set of BAN, followed by 5 quick tips to take them up a level in a recent dashboard I created as part of a Maven challenge

Standard BAN Creation

Normally, you will have a relatively small set of categories that you wish to show an aggregate value for (example being “Age Group” below.

We traditionally create this by dragging the category (Age Group) into the columns, then pulling the calculation into Text marks area.


Voila! We have a BAN. Not very pretty, but a BAN all the same.

You can adjust the header and value for font type, size and colour. Normally, that is about as far as most people go.

What’s the alternative?

But hey – what if you want your BAN in a single horizontal or vertical line, or you want to colour code based on the category or value?

What can we do to customise our BAN and make it that little more memorable?

5 Simple Tips to go from “Boring BAN” to “Badass BAN”

1. Orientation

It is easy to change from a single horizontal to a vertical line, by simply dragging the category from column to rows. This allows you to maximise your data real estate depending on how how you are structuring your overall visuals.

2. Headers

We can drop a duplicate category “Age Group” onto the Text marks card. Then right click on the category header and select remove. This will result in the second image below – still not too pretty, but we are on our way.

You can keep the category above or below the BAN by shifting it up or down on the marks card.

However, my preference is to keep it below, as it keeps the focus on your Big Number!

3. Font

Many people may have different views, but my preference is to keep a single font on a dashboard. Having multiple fonts can become an unwanted distraction and give a clunky look.

4. Size

For the numbers, bigger is better!! Make the size of the numbers much larger than any adjacent text to emphasize the contrast.

To do this, select the Text icon in the marks card, and click on the three little dots on the side.


This will bring up the “edit label” input box. Here you can adjust the size and font attributes (bold, underline, italic).
In my example, I chose 36 for the Aggregate Number and 16 for the underlying category.

5. Colour

Adding some colour can help place emphasis on numbers or categories, and help improve the aesthetics and feel of your visual.

Ctrl dropping the category onto the colour mark would allow you to assign distinct colours based on each category, whereas Ctrl dropping the calculations “CNT(Consumers)” onto the colour mark will allow you to assign colour.

You can also maybe apply a quick table calculation. Here I opted to show a % of total, rather than the straight numbers. This gives a good overall perspective. As shown in the below picture, you can right click on the aggregate number and select the quick table calculation.


Lastly, in my example, I opted for adjusting the colour based on the BAN value itself. As I wanted to draw the eye to the highest value, I used a diverging scale from a green (#00aa00) to a white, which was offset at -20%. This enabled my lowest value to still be almost visible, while keeping the focus squarely on the largest number.

Overall

I was pretty happy with the outcome, and was able to apply the same effect to two sets of BAN. This helped maintain the overall important consistency and look when they were brought into the main dashboard.

What do you think?

As always, if there are any questions or comments, please reach out. I am happy to help where I can, and always open to feedback on alternative methods and learning new tricks from the data fam.

Happy Analysing – DG

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