**Tableau bins** are used to divide your data into groups of equal size when displayed in a chart.

You can think of bins as containers that hold a specific range of values from the discrete or continuous variable you use to create the bins.

**Any kind of data grouping** in the Tableau view can be considered as a set of bins.

In the graph below, the `City`

field can be considered as bins that divide the `Total Sales`

sum value:

When you create bins from a variable in your dataset, the bins will divide your variable values into groups. It’s like how the `City`

variable divides the `Total Sales`

values above.

Let’s learn how to create bins for a field in Tableau with this tutorial

You can download the dataset used for this tutorial here:

The dataset contains fictional sales data of an office supplies company. You can load it into Tableau as a **Text File**.

Open the sheet view, then right-click on the `Total Sales`

variable and select **Create > Bins…**
as shown below:

An **Edit Bins** window will pop up, allowing you to set the options for the bins field as follows:

The most important value in the window is the **Size of bins** value. That value will be used to divide your field later.

Tableau can also suggest the optimal bin size for your bins field when you click on the **Suggest Bin Size** button.

Here’s the formula Tableau use to calculate the optimal bin size:

```
Number of Bins = 3 + log2(n) * log(n)
```

The `n`

variable is the number of distinct rows in the field. Tableau determines the size of the bins by dividing the difference (`Diff`

) between the minimum (`Min`

) and the maximum (`Max`

) values BY the `Number of Bins`

.

You can calculate it yourself by looking at the **Range of Values** fields in the lower part of the **Edit Bins** window:

- The
`Diff`

field shows the difference between the`Min`

and`Max`

values - The
`CntD`

field is the number of distinct rows in the field

Using these values, you can perform the calculation as follows:

```
# Number of bins
3 + log2(48) * log(48) = 12.38
# Size of bins (diff / number of bins)
1862 / 12.38 = 150.4
```

The bin size from the calculation above is rounded down to `150`

, so that is the bin size that Tableau recommends.

Once you’re done, click on the **OK** button and you’ll see the `Total Sales(bin)`

variable available as a discrete variable.

Create a new sheet and do the following steps:

- Drag the
`Total Sales(bin)`

into the**Columns**shelf - Drag the
`Total Sales`

measure into the**Rows**shelf - Right-click on the
`SUM(Total Sales)`

variable and change the**Measure**from**Sum**to**Count**

You’ll see the `Total Sales`

value count on the size of the bins as shown below:

Based on the result, you can see that the `Total Sales`

variable has no value between **1350 to 1500** and **1650 to 1800** as they are empty.

A **bins field** can be created whenever you need to group your variable using an arbitrary range relevant to your project.

You can view and download the workbook for this tutorial here:

Now you’ve learned how Tableau bins work. Great job! 👍