Introduction: Lollipop Column Chart

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Declutter your comparisons with a Lollipop Column Chart

Standard column charts are ideal for showing a single measure per category so you can easily compare each of the categories with the rest. However, if you have larger number of categories (>10) in a column chart it is possible the chart itself becomes “heavy” because large part of the surface of the chart will be filled with the bar color(s).
To avoid this clutter one can use the Lollipop Column Chart as an alternative to the standard column chart. It shows an marker (mostly a dot) per category at the corresponding measure value for each category. The marker is connected to the measure-axis origin by a subtle line. The marker combined with the line make it a Lollipop Chart.

Key features of the Lollipop 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 Chart, 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 Lollipop 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.

The basic functionality of the Lollipop Column Chart is available for free. The licensed version contains additional features like changing the formatting of the lollipop and theme integration. Interested in trying the licensed features? Just turn on the Paid Features option and they will become visible.

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 (like in the example to the left) 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 measure as it will be displayed on the y-axis. The value of this measure will determine the location of each category marker 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 section called “Data point” is 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 point: within this section you can change the format of the lollipop itself (marker and line). First you can change the marker color (=Data color) and switch the fill of the marker on/off (=Fill). It also allows you to change the size of the marker (=Size). The remaining settings are for the line connecting the marker to the x-axis. The line itself can be hidden by switching the toggle to off (=Lines). Finally, the line width (=Line width) and color (=Line color) can be changed.

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

Next Tutorial: how to use the Lollipop Column Chart
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