Donut Charts in Tableau

2This article explains how to create a donut chart in Tableau.


Donut chart is a variation of a pie. Like a pie chart, a donut chart shows the relationship of parts to a whole, but a donut chart can contain more than one data series. Each data series that is being plotted in a donut chart, adds a ring to the chart. The first data series is displayed in the centre of the chart.

When do we use a donut chart?

Consider using a donut chart when:

  1. You have one or more data series to plot
  2. None of the values to be plotted is negative or zero
  3. Not more than 7 categories are present per data series
  4. Categories represent parts of a whole in each ring

Steps to create a donut chart in Tableau:

The following steps demonstrate how a donut chart can be created from the Sample – Superstore database, which comes along with Tableau.

Step 1:

Place ‘Order Date’ on the Rows shelf and ‘Sales’ on the text, in the Marks shelf


Step 2:

Ctrl+click on the YEAR(Order Date) pill, drag and drop on to the rows shelf, to create a duplicate of the Order Date. Right click on both the pills and change the data type from ‘Discrete’ to ‘Continuous’


Step 3:

Right click on the rightmost pill and select ‘Dual Axis’. Then, right click on the axis on the right side and select ‘Synchronize Axis’


Step 4:

In the Marks shelf, click on ‘All’ and change the mark type from ‘Automatic’ to ‘Pie


Step 5:

Add a filter for the Order Date, so that only one donut chart is visible, and move the Order Date pills from the rows to the columns shelf. Also, right click on the top axis and uncheck ‘Show Header’ to hide that axis


Step 6:

Drag and drop ‘Region’ on to the color shelf in the ‘YEAR (Order Date)’ tab


Step 7:

In the ‘YEAR(Order Date) (2)’ tab, reduce the size and change the color to white


Step 8:

Go to the ‘All’ shelf, right click on ‘SUM(Sales)’ and select ‘Add Table Calculation’. In the dialog box that opens, select ‘Calculation Type’ as ‘Percent of Total’. In the ‘Summarize the values from:’ drop-down, select advanced and move ‘Year of Order Date’ and ‘Region’ to ‘Addressing’, in that order, and then click ‘OK’. The donut chart is ready. Do utilize the Angle Marks by adding your measure (Sum(sales)) on your view


2tips Quick Tips :

If you want to create a double Donut Chart i.e Chart within a Chart, then we need to create a two separate Sheets.

For Example: Sheets 1 Contains Yearly % of Sales and sheet 2 Contains Yearly % of Profit. Drag these two sheets into the Dashboard and combine them in such a way that it should look like inner and outer circle are part of same Donut chart.

Donut Chart 1

xeyesNote :

2Donut charts are pretty, but for looking at values they are pretty bad, the only half-way decent use is when there are only two segments.Here,chart has 4 segments, and visually it’s nearly impossible to tell that the blue segment is smaller than the orange segment.So avoid using Donut Chart until and unless it is mandatory.

2when anyone selects/clicks any color legend in the donut chart,instead of highlighting the arc part of donut chart it will show a pie chart.This is because donut chart is essentially a pie chart with 2 overlapping axes. So clicking on the colored part of donut chart will always reveal the pie chart.In a different way,we can say it is a pie chart with a disguised donut ‘look’ to it.

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About the Author: Rajeev Pandey

I am a multidisciplinary designer working in data visualization, interaction design and innovation. Expertise in developing Tableau, Web focus based visualization and reporting applications. I have a passion for analyzing, dissecting, and manipulating data sets as well as, building beautiful dashboard. Naturally talented in communicating between technology and business needs. Diverse and experienced in plenty of different domains .I am quick learner who can absorb new ideas and can communicate clearly and effectively.I love creativity and enjoy experimenting with various technologies.

1 Comment+ Add Comment

  • Hi Rajiv,

    It is really simple and good article on how to create Donut chart, could you please give me few more details how to combine two Donut charts into single donut chart as you mentioned above, i have tried it, i am a selflearner of Tableau, could you please help me this?



    MB Reddy

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