How to Create a Cumulative Curve Chart?

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Cumulative curve charts, also known as cumulative distribution function (CDF) charts, are a type of chart used to visualize the distribution of data. They show the cumulative proportion of data that falls below a certain value, allowing users to easily analyze the distribution of the data and identify patterns or trends.

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Create a Cumulative Curve Chart in Tableau
Create a Cumulative Curve Chart in Tableau

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In this article, we’ll discuss how to create a cumulative curve chart in Tableau. We’ll also provide some interview questions and technical round questions related to this topic.

To create a cumulative curve chart in Tableau, follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your data source and open a new worksheet.
  2. Drag the variable you want to plot on the x-axis to the Columns shelf.
  3. Create a calculated field for the y-axis that calculates the cumulative proportion of the data that falls below each value. For example, if you’re plotting sales data, the calculated field might be something like: “SUM(Sales)/TOTAL(SUM(Sales))”
  4. Drag the calculated field to the Rows shelf.
  5. Change the mark type to Line.
  6. If desired, add labels to the line to show the actual proportion or percentage of the data.

Your cumulative curve chart is now ready to use. You can use the chart to analyze the distribution of data and identify patterns or trends in the data.

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Cumulative curve charts can be particularly useful for businesses that need to analyze numerical data, such as sales data or financial data. Here are some of the benefits of using cumulative curve charts:

  1. Analyze distribution: Cumulative curve charts provide a detailed view of the distribution of data, allowing businesses to analyze the spread and central tendency of the data. This can be useful for identifying patterns or trends in the data, such as whether the data is skewed or whether there are significant differences in the spread of the data across different categories.
  2. Identify thresholds: Cumulative curve charts make it easy to identify thresholds or cutoff points in the data. For example, if a business is analyzing sales data, a cumulative curve chart can help identify the point at which a certain percentage of sales are achieved.
  3. Compare data across categories: Cumulative curve charts allow businesses to compare the distribution of data across multiple categories at once. This can be useful for identifying areas where one category is significantly different from another, or for comparing the distribution of data across different regions or time periods.

If you’re applying for a data analyst or visualization-related job, you may be asked about your experience creating cumulative curve charts. Here are some potential interview questions:

  1. What is a cumulative curve chart, and how is it used?
  2. What are the benefits of using a cumulative curve chart over other types of charts or tables?
  3. How do you create a cumulative curve chart in Tableau, and what are some of the options for customizing the chart?
  4. Can you give an example of a business problem that would be well-suited to analysis using a cumulative curve chart?
  5. How would you explain a cumulative curve chart to a non-technical stakeholder?

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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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