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Introduction: Lollipop Column Chart

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Declutter your comparisons with a Lollipop Column Chart

Standard column charts are ideal for showing a single measure per category so you can easily compare each of the categories with the rest. However, if you have larger number of categories (>10) in a column chart it is possible the chart itself becomes “heavy” because large part of the surface of the chart will be filled with the bar color(s).
To avoid this clutter one can use the Lollipop Column Chart as an alternative to the standard column chart. It shows a marker (mostly the shape dot) per category at the corresponding measure value for each category. The marker is connected to the measure-axis origin by a subtle line. The marker combined with the line make it a Lollipop Chart.

Key features of the Lollipop Chart are:

  • Format objects: each of the data point objects (shape and line) can be formatted by selecting a color and size. Additional, the line can be switched on/off and for the shape one can switch on/off the fill color;
  • Axis formatting options: in line with the options you know from the Power BI Clustered column chart, so no need to learn a new interface;
  • Selection & Highlighting: like in standard Power BI charts you can make use of the Selection & Highlighting functions within the Lollipop Chart;
  • Context menu: like in standard Power BI charts you have access to the context menu to Include/Exclude data points;
  • Full Tooltip support: besides the default Tooltip behavior (show the value of the element you hover) you can also add additional feeds to the tooltip;
  • Full Bookmark support: like any of the standard visuals the Lollipop Column Chart supports Bookmarks.

How to use: Build visual

Of the three fields you need to specify at least the first two fields, being: Axis and Values. Tooltips is optional.  

  • Axis: here you add the field(s) containing the categories you want to place on the x-axis. If you place multiple fields here (like in the example to the left) you can drill through the different fields as if they were levels of a hierarchy. You can also use any hierarchy you already have in your data set.
  • Values: this is where you specify the measure as it will be displayed on the y-axis. The value of this measure will determine the location of each category marker on the y-axis scale. By default it will SUM all the values per category, but you can also select any of the other aggregation functions (like Average, Minimum, Maximum, Count, etc.).
  • Tooltips: the fields added here will show in the tooltip when the user hovers over a specific data point.

How to use: Format visual

The Visual specific settings contain formatting properties that allow you to change the default behavior of the visual, besides the standard format sections there are a number of additional format sections that allow you to change the default behavior of this visual:

  • License: here you can enter your PREMIUM license information to disable any license reminders.
  • X-Axis: the formatting options for the x-axis (category axis) are similar to the options available within the Clustered column chart (standard Power BI visual). These familiar options allow you to change the visibility and formatting of the y-axis elements (like: formatting of Values and Title, etc.).
  • Y-Axis: the formatting options for the y-axis (value axis) are similar to the options available within the Clustered bar chart (standard Power BI visual). These familiar options allow you to change the visibility and formatting of the y-axis elements (like: Minimum and Maximum Range, formatting of Values and Title etc.).
  • Gridlines: by default the chart has horizontal thin and light background lines in the grid.
    • Horizontal: turn on/off the horizontal gridlines and set the Style (Dashed, Solid, Dotted), the Color and Width.
  • Data point: within this section you can change the format of the lollipop itself (shape and line). First you can change the Marker size and switch the fill of the marker off/on. It also allows you to change the Marker shape. The remaining settings are for the line connecting the shape to the x-axis. Hide the Lines by switching the toggle to off or change the width under Line width. Under the Color card you can change the Data color and Line color.
  • Data labels: within this section you can enable and change the format of the data labels. You can set the Font, Size and emphasized text (Bold, Italic, Underline), change the Color of the labels, Value decimal places and Display units. Enable Overflow text. The Background can be switched on/off and you can set a background Color and Transparency.

The General settings contain options that affect the visual container and are consistent across all visual types. Here you can also customize the general Title and Tooltips.

How to use: Analytics

You can highlight many interesting trends and insights by creating dynamic reference lines with the Analytics pane. To see the analytic lines, select the visual and click the Analytics icon (magnifying glass).

Available Analytics lines:

  • Constant line: displays the value specified, helps to track metrics and desired goals
  • Min line: displays the lowest value points on the axis
  • Max line: displays the highest value points on the axis
  • Average line: displays the data average
  • Median line: displays the middle value
  • Percentile line: displays the value (or score) below which x% of the observations may be found

Rename the line name in the Values card, go to the Shape card to format your line by specifying the Transparency, Line width, style and position. Change the color of the line under Color.

If you want to have a data label, switch Data label on. You get additional formatting options for your data label, such as: Label Color, Text, Horizontal and Vertical position, Display units and Decimal places.

For any questions or remarks about this Visual, please contact us by email at Nova Silva Support.

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