Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Alteryx designer Discussions

Find answers, ask questions, and share expertise about Alteryx Designer.

Using Alteryx to drop hex grids into Tableau

ACE Emeritus
ACE Emeritus

Tableau is more flexible than I thought - very cool. 


Hex Overlay in Tableau

Alteryx Certified Partner
Alteryx Certified Partner

Hi Andy


What are you using Alteryx for in this process. I guess you're using them already but Tableau has hexbins in v9....




ACE Emeritus
ACE Emeritus

For a performance boost.  I do all my spatial allocations within Alteryx prior to bringing the grid overlay into Tableau.

ACE Emeritus
ACE Emeritus

And, sorry I forgot to mention this earlier, for consistency.  Whether I'm in Alteryx or Tableau I want the grid cells to be the same.

I thought this sounded a fun challenge...


I took the algorithm within d3 and created an Alteryx macro to create the HexBins. Placed in the public gallery here:!app/HexBins/5614496e3df7da105ce9a367


It is adjusted so the hexagons are the same orientation as Tableau (90 degree rotation from how d3 does it).


I am pretty sure there is a slight bug in the implementation  in a tiny set of cases (47 in my test set of 1500).


At the moment the radius of the hexagons is fixed at 1. Will add an input to the next version of the macro once I have created a patch for the bug.


Agrees with Tableau in all but those edge cases. Hopefully will solve the edge cas es on the train tomorrow morning.


Hope it helps



ACE Emeritus
ACE Emeritus

Chris & James,


Thanks for your comments.  I've read through the links and I've reviewed the algorithm - all were very insightful.  I think that the biggest difference in our approaches is that:


  1. For the marks I am not using shapes, I use polygons.  As a geographer, it simplifies their use and affords some easy cartographic control, such as adding a border.
  2. The hopping movement (a major irritant to me) of the grid cells in Tableau (based on data availability) is removed as the Alteryx approach sets the map extent via the grid cells.
  3. I don't have to load custom shape marks.  However, I admit that the Hex binning approach affords the flexibility of using some cool shapes.
  4. The scaling issue in Tableau is handled better (I thinkl) in Alteryx.
  5. I can clip the grid cells so the grid cells don't extend over water bodies or other unpopulated areas.  Clipping has its owne issues with fragmenting the grid cells.  The preference of data allocation (all cell fragments combined or split the fragments using the Poly-Split command) has to be addressed.  I can make an argument for both.
  6. Lastly, again as a geographer, the grid cells are consistent geographic entities, enabling the analysis of the same areas in both Alteryx and Tableau (or any other spatial program).

Thanks again.  I look forward to hearing more from both of you.


Hex as polyogons.PNGHex Zoom.PNG