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

 

Applies To: SQL Server 2016

In this tutorial, you use a wizard in Report Builder to create a bar chart in a Reporting Services paginated report. Then you add a filter and enhance the chart.

A bar chart displays category data horizontally. This can help to:

  • Improve readability of long category names.
  • Improve understandability of times plotted as values.
  • Compare the relative value of multiple series.

The following illustration shows the bar chart that you will create, with sales for 2014 and 2015 for the top five salespeople, from most to least 2015 sales.

report-builder-bar-chart

In this tutorial you will learn to:

  1. Create a Chart from the Chart Wizard

  2. Choose the Chart Type

  3. Display all Category Values on the Vertical Axis

  4. Change the Sort Order on the Vertical Axis

  5. Move the Legend

  6. Title the Chart

  7. Format and Label the Horizontal Axis

  8. Add a Filter to Display the Top Five Values

  9. Add a Report Title

  10. Save the Report

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg 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, create a dataset, and choose a data source, see the first tutorial in this series: Tutorial: Creating a Basic Table Report (Report Builder).

Estimated time to complete this tutorial: 15 minutes.

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

In which you create an embedded dataset, choose a shared data source, and create a bar chart by using the Chart Wizard.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg 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.

  1. Start Report Builder from the Reporting Services web portal, from the report server in SharePoint integrated mode, or from your computer.

    The Getting Started dialog box appears.

    Report Builder Get Started

    If you don't see the Getting Started dialog box, click File >New. The New Report or Dataset dialog box has most of the same contents as the Getting Started dialog box.

  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.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg 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 'Luis' as FirstName, 'Alverca' as LastName, CAST(170000.00 AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(150000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Jeffrey' as FirstName, 'Zeng' as LastName, CAST(210000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(190000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Houman' as FirstName, 'Pournasseh' as LastName, CAST(150000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(180000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Robin' as FirstName, 'Wood' as LastName, CAST(75000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(175000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Daniela' as FirstName, 'Guaita' as LastName,  CAST(170000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(175000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'John' as FirstName, 'Yokim' as LastName, CAST(160000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(195000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Delphine' as FirstName, 'Ribaute' as LastName, CAST(180000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(205000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Robert' as FirstName, 'Hernady' as LastName, CAST(140000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(180000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Tanja' as FirstName, 'Plate' as LastName, CAST(150000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(160000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'David' as FirstName, 'Bradley' as LastName, CAST(210000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(180000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Michal' as FirstName, 'Jaworski' as LastName, CAST(175000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(220000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Chris' as FirstName, 'Ashton' as LastName, CAST(195000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(205000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Pongsiri' as FirstName, 'Hirunyanitiwatna' as LastName, CAST(175000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(215000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    UNION SELECT 'Brian' as FirstName, 'Burke' as LastName, CAST(187000. AS money) AS SalesYear2015, CAST(207000. AS money) AS SalesYear2014  
    
    
  8. (Optional) Click the Run button (!) to see the data your chart will be based on.

  9. Click Next.

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

  2. Click Bar, and then click Next.

    On the Arrange chart fields page, there are four fields in the Available fields pane: FirstName, LastName, SalesYear2015, and SalesYear2014.

  3. Drag LastName to the Categories pane.

  4. Drag SalesYear2015 to the Values pane. SalesYear2015 represents the sales amount for each salesperson for the year 2015. The Values pane displays [Sum(SalesYear2015)] because the chart displays the aggregate for each product.

  5. Drag SalesYear2014 to the Values pane under SalesYear2015. SalesYear2014 represents the sales amount for each salesperson for the year 2014.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Click Finish.

    The chart is added to the design surface. Note that the new bar chart just shows representational data. The legend reads Last Name A, Last Name B, etc., rather than the people's names, just to give an idea of what your report will look like.

  8. Click the chart to display the chart handles. Drag the bottom-right corner of the chart to increase the size of the chart. Notice the design surface gets larger as you drag.

  9. Click Run to preview the report.

The bar chart displays sales for each sales person for the years 2014 and 2015. The length of the bar corresponds to the sales total.

By default, only some of the values on the vertical axis appear. You can change the chart to display all categories.

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Right-click the vertical axis, then click Vertical Axis Properties.

  3. Under Axis range and interval, in the Interval box, type 1.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Click Run to preview the report.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note


If you cannot read the salesperson names on the vertical axis, you can make your chart taller or change the formatting options for the axis labels.

Display Last Name and First Name on Vertical Axis

You can change the category expression to include last name followed by first name of each sales person.

  1. Switch to report design view.

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

  3. In the Category Groups area, right-click [LastName], and then click Category Group Properties.

  4. In Label, click the expression (Fx) button.

  5. Type the following expression: =Fields!LastName.Value & ", " & Fields!FirstName.Value

    This expression concatenates the last name, a comma, and the first name.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Click OK.

  8. Click Run to preview the report.

If the first names do not appear when you run the report, you can refresh the data manually. While still in preview mode, on the Run tab in the Navigation group, click Refresh.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note


If you cannot read the salesperson names on the vertical axis, you can make your chart taller or change the formatting options for the axis labels.

When you sort the data on a chart, you are changing the order of values on the category axis.

  1. Switch to report design view.

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

  3. In the Category Groups area, right-click [LastName], and then click Category Group Properties.

  4. Click Sorting. The Change sorting options page displays a list of sort expressions. By default, this list has one sort expression that is the same as the original category group expression.

  5. In Sort by, click [SalesYear2015].

  6. in the Order list, select A to Z so that the names appear in order from largest to smallest 2015 sales.

  7. Click OK.

  8. Click Run to preview the report.

The names on the horizontal axis are sorted from largest to smallest 2015 sales, with Zeng at the top.

To improve the readability of the chart values, you might want to move the chart legend. For example, in a bar chart where bars are shown horizontally, you can change the position of the legend so that it is above or below the chart area. This gives more horizontal space to the bars.

To display the legend below the chart area of a bar chart

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Right-click the legend on the chart.

  3. Select Legend Properties.

  4. For Legend 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.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Click Run to preview the report.

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Select the words Chart Title at the top of the chart, then type: Sales for 2014 and 2015.

  3. In the Properties pane, with the title selected, set Color to Black and FontSize to 12pt.

  4. 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. You can change it to the currency format.

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Click the horizontal axis along the bottom of the chart to select it.

  3. On the Home tab > Number group > Currency. The horizontal axis labels change to currency.

  4. (Optional) Remove the decimal digits. Near the Currency button, click the Decrease Decimal button twice.

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

  6. On the Number tab, select Show values in Thousands.

  7. Click OK.

  8. Right-click the horizontal axis, and select Show Axis Title.

  9. In the Axis Title box, type Sales in thousands and press Enter.

    Note: While you're typing, the Axis Title box appears to be on the vertical axis. But when you press Enter, it goes to the horizontal axis.

  10. Click Run to preview the report.

The report displays the sales amount on the horizontal axis as currency in thousands, with no decimal digits.

You can add a filter to the chart to specify which data from the dataset to include or exclude in the chart.

  1. Switch to report design view.

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

  3. In the Category Groups area, right-click the [LastName] field, and then click Category Group Properties.

  4. Click Filters. The Change filters page can display a list of filter expressions. By default, this list is empty.

  5. Click Add. A new blank filter appears.

  6. In Expression, type [Sum(SalesYear2015)]. This creates the underlying expression =Sum(Fields!SalesYear2015.Value), which you can see if you click the fx button.

  7. Verify that the data type is Text.

  8. In Operator, select Top N from the drop-down list.

  9. In Value, type the following expression: =5

  10. Click OK.

  11. Click Run to preview the report.

If the results are not filtered when you run the report, you can refresh the data manually. On the Run tab in the Navigation group, click Refresh.

The chart shows the top five salesperson names from the 2015 sales data.

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

  2. Type Sales Bar Chart, press ENTER, and then type Top Five Sellers for 2015, so it looks like this:

    Sales Bar Chart

    Top Five Sellers for 2015

  3. Select Sales Bar Chart, and click the Bold button.

  4. Select Top Five Sellers for 2015, and in the Font section on the Home tab, set the font size to 10.

  5. (Optional) You may need to make the Title text box taller, and bring down the top of the bar chart, to accommodate the two lines of text.

    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.

  6. Click Run to preview the report.

  1. Switch to report design view.

  2. Click File > Save As.

  3. In Name, type Sales Bar Chart.

    You can save it either to your computer or to the report server.

  4. Click Save.

You have successfully completed the Adding a Bar Chart to Your Report tutorial. To learn more about charts, see Charts and Bar Charts.

Report Builder Tutorials
Report Builder in SQL Server 2016

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