Column chart

This chart displays the values of one or more measures by period or category. The height of a column determines the measure value: the higher the column, the larger the value.
Unlike line charts, this type of chart assumes that different periods are compared directly and an emphasis is made on a measure's individual value rather than its general trend.

bar-chart

Source table
YearSales
20226M
202128M
202018M
20199M
20181M

Types of column charts

With grouping

A chart with grouping lets you compare two or more measures: for example, the number of products delivered and the number picked up. The column height corresponds to the measure value.

bar-chart-groupped

Source table
YearDeliveryPickup
20222M4M
20218M19M
20205M13M
20193M6M
2018331K918K

Stacked

This chart shows the ratio of internal segments by period. Segments are placed one above the other: the base of each subsequent segment is the outermost boundary of the previous one.
Since the sum of all segments is equal to the total length of a column, when column totals are important this type of chart is used.

bar-chart-stacked

Source table
YearDeliveryPickup
20222M4M
20218M19M
20205M13M
20193M6M
2018331K918K

Sections in the wizard

Section
in the wizard
Description
XDimensions. One or two dimensions can be specified. Affects X-axis value grouping. The order of specified dimensions affects the order of value grouping on the X-axis. For the Date and Date and time types, you can set grouping by time: minutes, hours, weeks, and so on.
YMeasure. You can specify multiple measures. If you add more than one measure to a section, the Colors section contains a dimension named Measure Names.
ColorsDimension or the Measure Names field. Affects the color of columns. Measure Names is deleted by clicking the cross icon or removing measures from the Y-axis.
SortingDimension or measure. Affects the sorting of columns. Sorting only applies to dimensions used when building a chart. The sorting direction is marked with an icon next to the field: ascending or descending . To change the sorting direction, click the icon.
SignaturesMeasure. Displays measure values on the chart. When using multiple measures for a signature, add Measure Values.
SplitDimension. Splits a chart horizontally by the selected dimension's values. The maximum number of splits per chart is 25.
FiltersDimension or measure. Used as a filter. A filter can be overridden by a dashboard selector if the selector is based on the same field.

Creating a column chart

To create a bar chart:

  1. On the DataLens homepage, click Create chart.
  2. Under Dataset, select a dataset for visualization.
  3. Select Bar chart as the chart type.
  4. Drag a dimension from the dataset to the X section. The values are displayed in the lower part of the chart on the X-axis.
  5. Drag one or more measures from the dataset to the Y section. The values are displayed as columns on the Y-axis.

By default, a stacked chart is displayed if you have multiple measures.

Creating a grouped column chart

To display an X-axis grouped column chart:

  1. Go to the column chart that you created.

  2. Depending on the number of measures in the Y section, follow these steps:

    1. Check if there is a dimension in the Colors section.
    2. Duplicate this dimension in the X section. The sequence of dimensions affects the grouping order.

    one-measure

    1. Drag the Measure Names dimension to the Colors section.
    2. Drag the Measure Names dimension to the X section. The sequence of dimensions affects the grouping order.

    two-measures

Adding a column color based on a measure

To color columns in a chart based on the value of a measure:

  1. Go to the column chart that you created.

  2. Depending on the number of measures in the Y section, follow the steps below:

    Copy the measure from the Y section to the Colors section.

    Columns in the chart will take on colors as a function of the measure values.

    image

    Drag the Measure Values measure to the Colors section.

    The columns in the chart will take on colors depending on the values of all the measures listed in the Y section.

    image

  3. Configure a color gradient for the measure as well. To do this, in the top right-hand corner of the Colors section, click (the icon is displayed when you mouse over the section).

  4. In the color settings, specify:

    • Gradient type: Select 2 or 3 colors.
    • Gradient color: Select a color palette for the gradient from the list.
    • Gradient direction: Change the gradient direction using the icon.
    • Set threshold values: Set numeric thresholds for each color. Works if the Y section contains a single value.

Configuring the display of nullvalues

If the source data includes a row where the measure value is null, this point won't be shown on the chart at default settings. For example, if the source includes a row with a date (20.07.2022) but the sales amount is missing for it.

You can use settings for chart sections to show null values:

  1. In the section with a measure whose values you want to show, in the upper-right corner, click (the icon appears when you hover over the section).
  2. In Empty values (null), select Display as 0.
  3. Click Apply.

Now, the chart will use 0 instead of null.

If a row is missing in the source data, the chart section settings won't affect the measure display on the chart. For example, if the source data doesn't have a row with a certain date (20.07.2022), nothing will be shown for this date on the chart.

For more information, see Configuring the display of null values.

Recommendations

  • If category values contain a lot of text, try to make it shorter so that chart signatures look neater. You can use string functions or the CASE conditional statement in calculated fields.

  • If each column is a category rather than a time value, consider sorting the columns in ascending or descending order of the measure. This will make your chart look better and more informative. Sorting may also be helpful inside each column's subcategories.

  • We recommend using a column chart to display changes to a measure or measures over time. In this case, be careful when sorting values on the X-axis, because the user usually expects to see changes over time on the X-axis.

  • When visualizing multiple measures, select colors carefully. They should be distinguishable and contrasting. We recommend using no more than 3-5 colors per chart. If you want to emphasize one certain measure above the others, highlight it in some bright color.

  • You can split a chart by dimension into a number of small charts that are convenient to compare to one another. To do this, drag a dimension from the dataset to the Split section.

    Chart example

    bar-chart-split