Introduction: Dumbbell Bar Chart

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Unleash the power of comparison with the Dumbbell Bar Chart

Data visualisations play a fundamental role in answering an important data question:”How does result A compare to result B?”. Typical examples of these questions are:

  • How does the sales of this month compare to the sales of last month?
  • What is the difference between the number of documents processed this year compared to 2017?
  • How does the number of planned-visitors compare to the number of unplanned-visitors at our locations?

Key in answering these kind of questions is explicitly visualising the difference between the two results. This is the strength of the Dumbbell Bar Chart: showing the values and the difference between them.

Key features of the Dumbbell Bar Chart are:
Format the objects: Each of the data point objects (dot and line) can be formatted by selecting a color and size. Additional, the line can be switched on/off and for the dot one can switch on/off the fill color;
The Axis formatting options are in line with the options you know from the Power BI Clustered Column & Bar Charts, 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 Dumbbell Bar 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 behaviour (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 Dumbbell Bar Chart supports Bookmarks

How to use: Fields

Of the three fields you need to specify at least the first two fields, being: Axis and Value. The last field (Tooltips) is optional. 

  • Axis: Here you add the field(s) containing the categories you want to place on the y-axis. If you place multiple fields here 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;
  • Value: This is where you specify the measures as they will be displayed on the x-axis. The value of each measure will determine the location of the markers on the x-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 shown in the tooltip when the user hovers a specific data point.

How to use: Format

Besides the standard Format Sections there are a number of additional Format Sections that allow you to change the default behaviour of the visual:

  • Paid Features: here you can switch on the Paid Features and fill your license details. The sections called “Data colors” and “Shapes” are only available when the Paid Features are turned on.
  • 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 x-axis elements (like: title, labels, grid lines, etc.)
  • Y-Axis: the formatting options for the y-axis (value 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: begin and end values, display units, decimal places, grid lines, etc.)
  • Data colors: within this section you can change the color of the marker itself (=Default Color) and the edge of the marker (=Stroke).
  • Data point: Here you influence the properties of the markers and connecting line. First you can switch on/off the Fill of the markers. Size will determine the size of the markers themselves. You can also switch on/off the connecting line with the Lines setting. Or change the width of the line with Line width. Finally you can also set the Line color.

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

Next Tutorial: how to use the Dumbbell Bar Chart
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