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Enhancing Your Line Chart

Do you have a regular line chart in your dashboard? Here are some methods to take it to the next level!

If you want to watch a video about this instead of reading the steps, I made a YouTube video here!


I created a simple line chart using the Sample Superstore dataset.

I placed Order Date on the Columns shelf and changed it to Continuous Month format.

Then I placed Sales on the Rows shelf.

I went to the Format menu and selected Workbook to remove all of the gridlines, zero lines and axis rulers.

Then I went to the Analytics tab and added an Average Line to the worksheet. This is found in the Summarize section.

I then right-clicked on the Average line and selected Edit.

On the Edit Reference Line, Band, or Box pop-up menu I selected Custom from the Label drop-down. Then in the field that appears I typed AVG and a space. Then I inserted the Value from the > menu. (As shown below)

I then changed the Line to be a dotted line.

I then clicked OK.

The next thing I added was a Distribution Band. I thought it would be interesting to display the Standard Deviation.

Under Custom on the Analytics tab, I dragged Distribution Band to the worksheet on Table.

On the Edit Reference Line, Band or Box pop-up menu I selected Standard Deviation as the option for this band. I left the Factors as -1, 1.

I selected the Value for the Label.

I then selected a light grey for the Fill color.

I also unchecked the option to Show recalculated band for highlighted or selected data points.

I then clicked OK. This made the line chart appear as below;

I thought it would be interesting to make this a dual axis chart.

I then clicked on the SUM(Sales) on the Rows shelf and held my CTRL key down to duplicate this pill. I then placed it next to the other SUM(Sales) on the Rows shelf.

I selected Dual Axis from the drop-down on the second SUM(Sales) pill.

I also right-clicked on the secondary axis to synchronize it.

I then changed the second SUM(Sales) to be a Circle Mark type. I increased the size of the circles a little bit.

On the first Sum(Sales) marks card. I changed the color of the line to a grey.

The chart appeared as below;

But how would I call out the dots above and below the standard deviation? Here is a calculated field to use to place on Color of the second Sum(Sales) Marks card.

STD Color

IF SUM([Sales])<(WINDOW_AVG(SUM([Sales]))-

(WINDOW_STDEV(SUM([Sales])))*1) then 'Bad'

ELSEIF SUM([Sales])> (WINDOW_AVG(SUm([Sales]))+

(WINDOW_STDEV(SUM([Sales])))*1) then 'Good'

ELSE 'Expected'


This calculated field will color any of the ones above the band with a color for the label "Good". I changed this to a blue color.

All of the dots in the Standard Deviation Distribution band will be a separate color labeled "Expected". I changed this to grey.

Then any below the band will be labeled "Bad". I changed this color to red.

Now the only thing left to do it to remove the axis title for the bottom axis and abbreviate the month dates to "mmm yy"!


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