Multiple Pattern Fill Bar Charts

Building off my previous post on fill pattern bar charts in Tableau here is an example that displays multiple patterns by using the background image filter. This way allows you to use to multiple pattern fill based on a discrete variable (eg Region). Thank you to Rody Zakovich for the idea to use an image filter.

Tertiary Data Encodings

I recently posted about using fill patterns as a tertiary data encoding option in Tableau. By that I mean fill patterns can be used to communicate the third most important message in a chart. In this case the 1st most important message is sales by store. The 2nd most important is region. And the 3rd most important is whether the store is new or not. This is the least important message to communicate in the chart. 

Here are a few other options to show tertiary data encodings on bar charts. UPDATED: Added the label dot option thanks to Steve Wexler's suggestion.

Pattern Fill Bar Chart in Tableau

One Tableau feature I have seen requested in the forums is the ability to fill bar charts with patterns. It is a commonly used feature in Excel. And it is a nice way to communicate a tertiary value in addition to color. Here is a hack. This chart shows Super Store sales by store, colored by region and a fill pattern indicating new stores.

Essentially I'm creating two sets of bars: one non-transparent (old stores) and one transparent (new) where you want the pattern bar. Then I add a custom patterned background image that is visible through the transparent bars. 

To create this take the following steps:

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