Data Visualization : Global Supermarket Profit and Loss

with Tableau

I have used tableau visualization tool to represent profit & loss margin across the globe in supermarkets for furniture, technology and office supplies. Here is the link to public url for this visualization: Global supermarket profit & loss visualization

Three question that I have tried to visualize based on these data are as following:

  1. Major factor in lower profits among all the categories( furniture, technology and office supplies)?
  2. By looking into sales & profit against the sub-category graph we can potentially identify the major factor behind lower profits. To represent the same, I have used bar graph in which green shows positive profit and red shows negative profit for the sub-categories.

    Sales by category

  3. Which category has the highest sales from the year 2011-2014( in months)?
  4. This can shown by breaking down sales of each category on monthly basis starting from 2011 to 2014. using the discrete graph we can see the highest sales(based on category) on any month throughout the year.

    Sales Seasonality
  5. Which state has the maximum profit overall in the United states?
  6. By looking into the state based distribution of profit in united states we can see California has the maximum profit followed by New york.

    statewise profit distribution

Critique to System( Tableau )

Tableau is surely one of the simplest, easy to use software for visualization available. simple data uploading approach allowed me to quickly up and running with my visualization. listing below few of the features which i liked about Tableau.

  • You can look at the visualization and ask and answer own questions easily. The dashboards are quick to create and the data refreshes and is viewable very quickly.
  • One of the nice feature in Tableau is that it gives you a unique url for each and every project of yours at the end of the project and the best part is I don’t have to hustle every time i make changes to my project, it simply synchronizes everything with just one click.

But there are few things which didn’t really worked out for me or I should say Tableau lacks few of these features which i am listing below:

  • Formatting is a pain. If I'm trying to change the font, or change text into dollar format, etc I have to go into each graph and change it manually. I really wish I could apply a global format.Adjusting graphs on a dashboard is kind of confusing, with all the different containers and such.
  • With the Tableau server there is no concept of versioning. Lot of times after making changes and publishing it to server I needed to look into the previous steps and unfortunately i couldn’t because Tableau doesn’t allows you to go back. Once you make changes it is permanent.

Journal of my Visualization project

My goal was to show the profit and loss in the marketplace of technology, furniture and office supplies around the globe. hence I started plotting a graph on map. Initially I have shown profits and loss state wise for all the countries.

journal visualization

Also, I have decide to represent a graph which shows the quantity sold for all market.

journal visualization

Lastly, I built a graph using bar to showcase which product is causing lower profit and in which region.

journal visualization


Due to overlapping of customer ids from all three categories made is difficult to understand the customer breakdown and it became almost impossible to understand anything from the graph, I think this was mistake on my side as i might have chosen a wrong way to display the same.