Charts with multiple stacks and deviations from last year

Document created by raym on Jun 13, 2018Last modified by raym on Jul 11, 2018
Version 4Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

Board's bar charts are limited to displaying one stack per axis or so it seems at a first glance. Using Nexel formulas I'm going to display (up to 4) separate stacks using the same axis including an offset of the values from a previous period. One of the outcomes looks like this:


About the Solution/Project: 

About the solution

The problem I encountered was that Board is not designed to group different bar chart elements together (see also how to create bar charts with several stacks?) I still would like to display, in a single chart, information that fits together and in combination tells a story.

For example I would like to split the costs into raw material, labour costs, transportation, ... and display it side by side with the sales price including rebates, discounts, cash discounts... without having to resort to waterfall diagrams that use lots of space.

I also would like to have the possibility for several cubes that are displayed side by side to show for each of them their deviation from a previous period. In this example I'm displaying a net sales price, material cost and a raw material margin (all per kg) together including the difference to last year.


Solution/Project info


Board allows bars to be grouped in stack and stack100 in both primary and secondary axis. Those stacks (stack and stack100) are different stack but in principle they should use a different axis information. Practically though, when using both, the stack100 heights fall back to what is defined for the stack height.

For more than two stacks to be displayed one needs the second axis. In order for both the primary and the secondary axis to display the same height, they need to display the same maximum numbers and minimum negative numbers. Nexel formulas will compute a common maximum and minimum value and transparent padding will be used to achieve that all of the bars get to that common height.

Using a common height, one can also use that as a 'second x-axis' in order to display more information. The same technique can be used to display however many x-axis as long as one doesn't mind that the numbers on the axis will not start with 0 again. This second x-axis is used in the example for the deviations to last year.

Many of the cubes are superfluous for the legend. I hid them by arranging those cubes in front that I want to show in the legend and then reduced the size of the legend until all but the interesting cube names were hidden. Another technique to hide cube names is to name the ' ' (a single space) and set their color to transparent.


Attachments/Print Screens/Videos

Here are graphically highlighted those parts of the bar-charts that are otherwise transparent in order to explain what goes visually where.


For the chart with the 3 stacks many computations are involved (all of the details are in the zip attachment):


Takeaways/ Hints for other community Members:

Using Nexel formulas more visualisations are possible than what works out of the box.


Still there are quite a few limits;

* it would be useful if board allowed grouping stacks by common stack names and also allow several stacks per y-axis as this would dramatically reduce the complexity of any computations needed.

* advantageous would also be to decide to hide some cubes from the legend (as an on/off attribute). So that the legends and the tooltip really only display the interesting information.


I don't recommend using the second x-axis in combination with logarithmic axis-values.

1 person found this helpful