How to Calculate a Specific Percentage Change Compared to Previous Month?

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Background

Business often need to identify specific data points which are a certain percentage above or below a threshold value. Comparison is often done between different periods. For example, we may want to see which months had Sales more than 20% compared to previous month. We can achieve this in Tableau and show the percentage change for a measure. We can also measure other metrics across various dimensions.

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Tableau Find Percentage Difference between Months
Tableau Find Percentage Difference between Months

Steps to Calculate the Percentage Change Compared to the Previous Month

Table Calculations help in Calculating Percentage Change. Calculated Fields can help identifying specific data points which are a certain level above or below a threshold. Our developers have created the below visual, which shows Sales variation of a positive 20% with red. Months where Sales was not more than 20% compared to the previous month is in orange.

Tableau Percentage Change Compared to Previous Month
Tableau Percentage Change Compared to Previous Month

Among several data points in a visual, colors patterns can help identify valuable insights in the data. Tableau provides ability to create efficient visuals this way. Colors can thus help identify period or segment easily. It is important to note that there is also no performance impact in such a design.

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Why Calculate a Specific Percentage Change Compared to Previous Month

Percentage Changes compared to Previous Months provide impactful insight into a business performance. It enables discussion key points and how to plan future of a business. Good knowledge is useful for business. Hence with accurate growth rates users can know how their business is performing. Instead of Month we can also compare over Years. Or we can also measure for other dimensions like Customer Segments. Another dimension we can use is Product Category for comparison. This way we can find the performance of any dimension or parameter. We can even add multiple fields and create a large dashboard or report. The calculation and design we created here will work perfectly fine in all cases.

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Published by Rahul Bhattacharya

Rahul is a journalist with expertise in researching a variety of topics and writing engaging contents. He is also a data analyst and an expert in visualizing business scenarios using data science. Rahul is skilled in a number of programming languages and data analysis tools. When he is not busy writing, Rahul can be found somewhere in the Appalachian trails or in an ethnic restaurant in Chicago.

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