Line chart

This chart displays a change to one or more measures over a time interval. It indicates trends, seasonality, dynamics, and a ratio of multiple measures in a single point in time. A chart is built using points with (X, Y) coordinates that are then connected by a line.

It can show multiple measures with different lines. For example, the basic sales targets, optimistic sales targets, and actual sales can be represented as a dotted, dashed, and solid line, respectively.

line-chart-plan

Source table
YearSalesBasic targetsOptimistic targets
January 2019209K200K210K
February 2019194K205K220K
March 2019333K250K280K
April 2019359K260K290K
May 2019394K270K300K
June 2019477K300K350K
July 2019557K350K400K
August 2019685K400K450K
September 2019609K500K550K
October 2019665K530K570K
November 2019724K600K670K
December 2019869K700K800K

If measure values differ significantly, you can place them on different Y axes. In this case, the values of each measure will be plotted on their own axis. For example, a chart for sales and customer count.

line-chart-2measures-2y

Source table
YearSalesNumber of customers
January 201929845064
February 201949805284
March 201962920199
April 2019895075147
May 2019998557166
June 20191050330161
July 20191350246244
August 20191452550255
September 20191716182273
October 20191670980300
November 20191743450326
December 20191935377345

This chart lets you compare multiple categories by a single measure. Each category's line has its own color and form. For example, the sales amount for different product categories.

line-chart-groupped

Source table
YearHome appliancesHousehold goodsHousehold cleaners
January 2019128K55K26K
February 201997K79K18K
March 2019187K105K41K
April 2019188K137K34K
May 2019230K121K43K
June 2019256K162K59K
July 2019284K206K67K
August 2019409K204K72K
September 2019314K209K86K
October 2019324K262K79K
November 2019385K238K101K
December 2019451K307K111K

Sections in the wizard

Section
in the wizard
Description
XDimension. You can only specify one field here. This dimension is usually a date. If this is the case, make sure to specify the Date data type for this field in the dataset. This is required for correct sorting and signature display. For better visualization, you can group dates into weeks, months, and years. For more information, see Field settings.
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.
Y2Measure. Use it to add a second Y axis to a chart. 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 lines. To delete Measure Names, click the cross icon or remove measures from the Y axis.
FormsDimension or the Measure Names field. Affects the shape of lines.
SortingDimension. Can only use one dimension from the X axis. Affects the sorting of the X axis. 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. If multiple measures are added to the Y or Y2 section, drag Measure Values to this section.
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.

Creating a line chart

To create a line chart:

  1. On the DataLens home page, click Create chart.
  2. Under Dataset, select a dataset for visualization.
  3. Select Line chart as your 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 a chart on the Y axis.
  6. Drag one or more measures from the dataset to the Y2 section. The values are displayed as a chart on the second Y axis.
  7. Drag a dimension to the Color section. The measure value is divided by color depending on the selected dimension.
  8. Drag a dimension or measure from the dataset to the Filters section. The field can be empty. In this case, no filters are applied.

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

  • The perception of data on a line chart depends on its proportions. An upward or downward trend may intensify if the chart is contracted and be less evident if it's spread.

    Chart examples

    line-chart-proportions

  • If the values of the categories contain a large amount of text, try to reduce it. Then the signatures on the diagram will look more accurate. You can use string functions in the calculated fields or conditional operators CASE.

  • 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.

  • Disable the Sum in tooltips option in the chart settings if the chart lines represent different entities. For example, the sales amount and the number of customers.

  • Sign measure values on the chart. To do this, drag a measure from the dataset to the Signatures section. The chart will display its values.

    Chart example

    line-chart-signatures-1

    If multiple measures are added to the Y or Y2 section, drag Measure Values to this section.

    Chart example

    line-chart-signatures-2

    You can also sign the last value on the chart only. To do this, add a calculated field with the MAX function.

  • 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

    line-chart-split

  • For better visualization, use formatting in the dimension and measure setup window. Check the data type for correct sorting and comparison of values. Specify additional parameters. For example, the format and units for numeric data and the number of decimal places for fractions.

    Sample measure settings

    line-chart-measure-settings