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Column Charts

A Column chart displays data series as sets of vertical bars that are grouped by category.

Column charts are useful for showing data changes over a period of time or for illustrating comparisons among items. The plain Column chart is closely related to the Bar chart, which displays series as sets of horizontal bars, and to the Range Column chart, which displays series as sets of vertical bars with varying beginning and end points.

The following image shows a typical Column chart:

A basic Column chart type

Types

  • Clustered Column Charts—The basic Column chart type for displaying series as sets of vertical bars that are grouped by category.
  • Stacked Column Chart—A Column chart where multiple series are stacked vertically. Stacked Column charts compare contributions of values to a total across categories. If there is only one series in your chart, the Stacked Column chart will display in the same way as a Column chart.
  • 100% Stacked Column Chart—A Column chart where multiple series are stacked vertically to fit 100% of the chart area. 100% Stacked Column Charts are used when you have three or more data series and want to compare distributions within categories, and at the same time display the differences between categories. Each column bar represents 100% of the amounts for that category. If there is only one series in your chart, all the column bars will fit to 100% of the chart area.

Creating Column Charts

In this section, you will create a Column chart.

1. Add the Graph

To add a new Graph report item to the report, refer to the article getting started with the Graph report item.

2. Set the SeriesGroups Hierarchy

Now you can set the SeriesGropus hierarchy of the Column chart:

  1. Open the SeriesGroups collection editor and click Add.
  2. Set the Groupings to =Fields.OrderDate.Year.
  3. Set the Sortings to =Fields.OrderDate.Year.
  4. Set the Name to seriesGroup1.

3. Set the CategoryGroups Hierarchy

Next, you will have to define the CategoryGroups hierarchy of the Column chart:

  1. Open the CategoryGroups collection editor and click Add.
  2. Set the Groupings to =Fields.Category.
  3. Set the Sortings to =Fields.Category.
  4. Set the Name to categoryGroup1.

4. Configure the Coordinate System

Here you will specify the coordinate system details:

  1. Open the CoordinateSystems collection editor and Add a new CartesianCoordinateSystem.
  2. Leave the Name to cartesianCoordinateSystem1.
  3. Set the XAxis to New Axis with Category Scale.
  4. Set the YAxis to New Axis with Numerical Scale.

5. Configure the Series

In this step, you will configure the series of the chart:

  1. Open the Series collection editor and Add new BarSeries.
  2. Set the CategoryGroup to categoryGroup1.
  3. Set the SeriesGroup to seriesGroup1.
  4. Set the CoordinateSystem to cartesianCoordinateSystem1.
  5. Set the ArrangeMode to Clustered.
  6. Set the Y value to =ISNULL(Sum(Fields.LineTotal), 0) / 1000.0.

6. Style the Appearance

To set the color palette, format the labels, define the values of the legend, and elaborate on any other styling options, refer to the section on formatting the Graph.

Design Considerations

  • Column charts are most commonly used to show comparisons between groups. If more than three series are present on the chart, consider using a Stacked Column chart.
  • In a Column chart, you have less space for the category axis labels to display horizontally. If you have longer category labels, consider using a Bar chart or changing the rotation angle of the label through the LabelAngle property of the axis.
  • If there are many data points in your dataset that are relative to the size of your chart, the size of the columns and the spacing between them are reduced. To modify the width of the columns in a chart, consider changing the SpacingSlotCount property of the category axis scale. By default, the value is 1 which indicates equal widths of the column and the free space. The greater the value, the more free space is reserved between the columns.

See Also

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