Gauge Hate

I am a big fan of Stephen Few. I have probably sold more books for the guy than Amazon. I am also a big fan of the Tableau. So it pains me to see them fighting. It's like watching two friends fight. At first it's kind of cool. Now I am just balled up in the corner crying, begging them to stop. Well that might be exaggerating. But it's sad.

Most recently Few got in an internet feud with George Peck after Peck argued that gauges in Tableau would not be the end of the world. Which is probably true. Peck cited a client who wanted gauges to replace an existing dashboard and was turned off of Tableau because it wasn't possible. 

Now as a person who is often forced to use SAP for my job I hate the gauge. It is a stupid waste of space. But I also thought it is definitely possible to make a gauge chart in Tableau. So I did. Behold the stupidity...

It was actually pretty simple. Download the workbook to see but I created the X and Y variables to plot points on a half-circle using excel. The angles range from 0 to 180 at increments of 5 degrees. I then created a parameter which is the slider with a condition that moves the point around the circumference with a fixed origin point at 1,1. The chart is ultimately a line chart with a path connecting the origin point and the conditional circumference point. There is also a custom background image that is the gauge itself. Finally, I included a totally awesome bullet chart for comparison.

- Adam

P.S. It felt wrong to create this. 

UPDATE: Here is a link to the data file I used to create this.
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