Introduction: Lipstick Column Chart

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Compact and precise visual comparison of two measures with a Lipstick Chart

Regularly the standard Clustered Column chart is used to compare two measures within a number of categories. If one of these measures has been added as a reference (secondary measure) to increase the context of the primary measure it would be better to clearly show this priority difference.

This is precisely what the Lipstick Column Chart does: It shows the primary measure per category on the foreground, and places the secondary measure behind it for a precise comparison of both values. Since both values are placed on top of each other it also becomes a more compact alternative to show both measures per category.

Key features of the Lipstick Chart are:

  • Format the objects: Each of the bars (both primary and secondary) can be formatted like the bars in the Power BI Clustered Bar/Column Chart;
  • 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 Lipstick 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.

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 x-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 y-axis. The value of each measure will determine the location of the markers 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 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” 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.). Here you can also find the option to change the width ratio between both bars, called Bar ratio.
  • 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 two bar series.

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

Next Tutorial: how to use the Lipstick Column Chart
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