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Tutorial: Add a Column Chart to Your Report (Report Builder)

A column chart displays a series as a set of vertical bars that are grouped by category. A column chart can be useful to:

  • Show data changes over a period of time.

  • Compare the relative value of multiple series.

  • Display a moving average to show trends.

The following illustration shows the column chart you will create, with a moving average.

rs_TutorialColChartFinished

In this tutorial you will learn how to do the following:

  1. Create a Chart from the Chart Wizard

  2. Choose the Chart Type

  3. Format and Label the Horizontal Axis

  4. Move the Legend

  5. Title the Chart

  6. Format and Label the Vertical Axis

  7. Add a Moving Average

  8. Add a Report Title

  9. Save the Report

Note Note

In this tutorial, the steps for the wizard are consolidated into one procedure. For step-by-step instructions about how to browse to a report server, choose a data source, and create a dataset, see the first tutorial in this series: Tutorial: Creating a Basic Table Report (Report Builder).

Estimated time to complete this tutorial: 15 minutes.

For information about requirements, see Prerequisites for Tutorials (Report Builder).

From the Getting Started dialog box, use the Chart Wizard to create an embedded dataset, choose a shared data source, and create a column chart.

Note Note

In this tutorial, the query contains the data values, so that it does not need an external data source. This makes the query quite long. In a business environment, a query would not contain the data. This is for learning purposes only.

To create a new chart report

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Report Builder, and then click Report Builder.

    The Getting Started dialog box appears.

    Note Note

    If the Getting Started dialog box does not appear, from the Report Builder button, click New.

  2. In the left pane, verify that New Report is selected.

  3. In the right pane, click Chart Wizard.

  4. On the Choose a dataset page, click Create a dataset, and then click Next.

  5. On the Choose a connection to a data source page, select an existing data source or browse to the report server and select a data source, and then click Next. You may need to enter a user name and password.

    Note Note

    The data source you choose is unimportant, as long as you have adequate permissions. You will not be getting data from the data source. For more information, see Alternative Ways to Get a Data Connection (Report Builder).

  6. On the Design a query page, click Edit as Text.

  7. Paste the following query into the query pane:

    SELECT CAST('2009-01-01' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(54995.21 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-01-05' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(64499.04 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-02-11' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(37821.79 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-03-18' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(53633.08 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-04-23' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(24019.3 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-05-01' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(93245.5 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-06-06' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(55288.0 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-06-16' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(68733.5 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-07-16' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(24750.85 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-08-23' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(43452.3 AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-09-24' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(58656. AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-10-15' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(44583. AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-11-21' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(81568. AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-12-15' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(45973. AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-12-26' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(96357. AS money) AS Sales
    UNION SELECT CAST('2009-12-31' AS date) AS SalesDate, CAST(81946. AS money) AS Sales
    
  8. (Optional) Click the Run button (!) to see the data your chart will be based on.

  9. Click Next.

You can choose from a variety of predefined chart types.

To add a column chart

  1. On the Choose a chart type page, the column chart is the default chart type. Click Next.

  2. On the Arrange chart fields page, drag the SalesDate field to Categories. Categories display on the horizontal axis.

  3. Drag the Sales field to Values. The Values box displays Sum(Sales) because the sum of the sales total value is aggregated for each date. Values display on the vertical axis.

  4. Click Next.

  5. On the Choose a Style page, in the Styles box, select a style.

    A style specifies a font style, a set of colors, and a border style. When you select a style, the Preview pane displays a sample of the chart with that style.

  6. Click Finish.

    The chart is added to the design surface.

  7. Click the chart to display the chart handles. Drag the bottom-right corner of the chart to increase the size of the chart. Note that the report design surface increases in size to accommodate the chart size.

  8. Click Run to preview the report.

By default, the horizontal axis displays values in a general format that is automatically scaled to fit the size of the chart.

To format a date on the horizontal axis

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Right-click the horizontal axis, and then click Horizontal Axis Properties.

  3. Click Number.

  4. In Category, select Date.

  5. In the Type box, select 31 Jan 2000.

  6. Click OK.  

  7. On the Home tab, click Run to preview the report.

The date displays in the date format that you selected. Notice that the chart does not label every category on the horizontal axis. By default, only labels that fit next to the axis are included.

You can customize the label display by rotating the labels and specifying the interval.

To rotate the axis labels and change the display interval along the horizontal axis

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Right-click the horizontal axis title, and then click Show Axis Title to remove the title. Because the horizontal axis displays dates, the title is not needed.

  3. Right-click the horizontal axis and then click Horizontal Axis Properties.

  4. In the Axis Options page under Axis range and interval, type 3 for Interval. The chart will display every third date.

  5. Click Labels.

  6. In Change axis label auto-fit options, select Disable auto-fit.

  7. In Label rotation angle, select -90.

  8. Click OK.

    The sample text for the horizontal axis rotates by 90 degrees.

  9. Click Run to preview the report.

On the chart, the labels are rotated and the label for every third date is shown.

The legend is automatically created from category and series data.

To move the legend below the chart area of a column chart

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Right-click the legend on the chart, and then click Legend Properties.

  3. For Layout and Position, select a different position. For example, set the position to the middle bottom option.

    When the legend is placed at the top or bottom of a chart, the layout of the legend changes from vertical to horizontal. You can select a different layout from the Layout drop-down list.

  4. Click OK.

  5. (Optional) Because there is only one category in this tutorial, the legend is not needed. To remove the legend, right-click the legend and then click Delete Legend.

  6. Click Run to preview the report.

To change the chart title above the chart area

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Select the words Chart Title at the top of the chart, and then type the following text: Store Sales Order Totals.

  3. Click Run to preview the report.

By default, the vertical axis displays values in a general format that is automatically scaled to fit the size of the chart.

To format as currency the numbers on the vertical axis

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Double-click the labels on the vertical axis along the side of the chart to select them.

  3. On the ribbon, on the Home tab, in the Number group, click the Currency button. The axis labels change to show the currency format.

  4. On the ribbon, on the Home tab, in the Number group, click the Decrease Decimal button two times, to show the number rounded to the nearest dollar.

  5. Right-click the vertical axis and click Vertical Axis Properties.

  6. Click Number. Note that Currency is already selected in the Category box, and Decimal places is already 0 (zero).

  7. In the Show Values in box, click Thousands.

  8. Click OK.

  9. Right-click the vertical axis title along the side of the chart and click Axis Title Properties.

  10. Replace the text in the Title text field with the following text: Sales Total (in Thousands). You can also specify a variety of options related to how the title is formatted.

  11. Click OK.

  12. Click Run to preview the report.

To add a moving average

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Double-click the chart to display the Chart Data pane.

  3. Right-click the [Sum(Sales)] field that is in the Values area, and then click Add Calculated Series.

  4. In Formula, verify that Moving average is selected.

  5. In Set Formula Parameters, for Period, select 4.

  6. Click Border.

  7. In Line width, select 3pt.

  8. Click OK.

  9. Click Run to preview the report.

The chart displays a line that shows the moving average for total sales by date, averaged over every four dates.

To add a report title

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. On the design surface, click Click to add title.

  3. Type Sales Chart, press ENTER, and then type January to December 2009, so it looks like this:

    Sales Chart

    January to December 2009

  4. Select Sales Chart, and click the Bold button in the Font section on the Home tab of the ribbon.

  5. Select January to December 2009, and in the Font section on the Home tab, set the font size to 10.

  6. (Optional) You may need to make the Title text box taller to accommodate the two lines of text by pulling down on the double-headed arrows when you click in the middle of the bottom edge.

    This title will appear at the top of the report. When there is no page header defined, items at the top of the report body are the equivalent of a report header.

  7. Click Run to preview the report.

To save the report

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. From the Report Builder button, click Save As.

  3. In Name, type Sales Order Column Chart.

  4. Click Save.

You have successfully completed the Adding a Column Chart to Your Report tutorial. To learn more about charts, see Charts (Report Builder and SSRS) and Sparklines and Data Bars (Report Builder and SSRS).

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