Skewed Data and Heat Maps in Tableau

By default Tableau uses a sequential color scheme to display the full range of values (e.g. from white to green) for a measure. But a problem comes up when the data is highly skewed (e.g. when displaying the states that students come from with over 97% being from one state and the next closest value being less than 0.5% of students). The end result of this skew in the data is that the dominate category appears in one color and all the other states show up in the same color. The trick to getting around this is to re-define how the colors are scaled across the distribution. Steps on how to do this and an example of the trick in action is available after the break… (I use a map in the example, but the same principle can be applied to any situation where color shading is used to represent values.)
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