Creating a New Chart

Creating Chart

Watch How to Create Charts in Zoho Reports Video

Zoho Reports provides an easy to use drag and drop interface to create charts fast & easy. You can create various types of charts including Bar, Line, Pie,Stacked, Scatter, Area, Combination, Funnel, Web and 3D charts by simply dragging and dropping the required columns into the respective shelves in the design area.

You can change the chart type any time without having to recreate it. You can also apply the appropriate aggregate functions on the columns to calculate and summarize data the way you want it.

Creating a Chart

To create a chart, follow the steps given below:

  • Open the reporting database in which you would like to create a chart.
  • Click New button in the top left corner of the database and select New Report.

  • In the New Reports tab that opens, click Chart View.
  • In the Select Base Table dialog box that opens, select the required table in your database on which you want create the chart and then click OK.
  • The Chart Designeropens as shown below.

You can also create new chart by opening the corresponding data table on which you want to create the chart and invoking New > New Chart View option in the toolbar.

Note:

  • You can also create charts over a Query Table following the same instruction given above.

On the left hand side is the Column list pane, listing all the columns available in the table. On the right hand side, you can see the Design Area with shelves to drop the columns and a Preview area below to view chart created.

You must drag and drop the required columns listed in the Column list pane into the respective shelves inorder to create a chart. You can also select the check box adjacent to each column listed to auto place the columns into the appropriate shelves. After dropping the columns click on the option Click here to Generate Graph to create the new chart. 

Given below is a brief description of each of the shelves in the Graph tab.

  • X-Axis: Column dropped in this shelf appears horizontally across X-axis.
  • Y-Axis: Column dropped in this shelf appears vertically across Y-axis. You can drop multiple columns in this shelf to create charts with multiple Y-axes.

    Here is an example to illustrate how to create a simple bar chart. We will create a chart to display the Sales trend across all years using a sample store sales data. Drag and drop the Date and Sales columns to X and Y - Axis and click on the button "Click here to Generate Graph". You will notice that as soon as the button is clicked a bar chart will be created.

  • Color: When a column is dropped in this shelf, the chart will be further categorized showing each data point in this column in different colors (different data series) in the chart.

    Continuing the above example, if you want to create Date-wise Sales by Region chart, drag and drop Region column in to the Color shelf. Now, the chart will be further categorized based onRegion and each region will be assigned a unique color as shown in the below screenshot.

  • Text: Includes the corresponding value of the dropped column as data label in the chart, according to the function applied on the column.
  • Include columns for Tooltip: Includes the corresponding value of the dropped columns in the chart tool-tip, according to the function applied on the column. 


Following screenshot describes how would a final chart would look like (in view mode) when Text and Include columns for Tooltip options are selected.

 

  • In Edit Design mode, you will notice that a menu appears on mouse over the top right corner of the Columns List pane. You can expand, sort and filter the list of columns using the options available in this menu. The available options are: 

    • Expand All and Collapse All: The 'Expand All' allows you to expand the field`s list, the 'Collapse All', collapses the table.
    • Apply Sort: You can sort the column either by name or by type, you may also further sort it in ascending or descending order.
    • Apply Filters: This option is useful when you need to filter the columns based on the data type. 
    • Show Involved columns: Lists the columns involved in creating the report.

Applying Functions on Columns

Zoho Reports allows you to apply aggregate/categorical functions like Sum, Count, Average, Min, Max, etc., on the data columns to group and summarize data in charts. When you apply a function on a column, a single value will be returned which is derived based on the values in the column. The default function for a Numeric (including Currency) data type is Sum and for a Date data type is Year. If the data type of the column is string (Categorical/Dimension column) and not numeric, then the default function applied is Actual Values.

To change the default function applied, after dropping the column, select the required function (aggregate/categorical) from the drop-down list present on the column. Drop-down list displays all the applicable functions based on the data type of the column, as shown in the screenshots below.

String Data Type

Numeric Data Type

Date Data Type

For instance, if you want to plot Average Sales for each Month across each Region, select Averagefunction from the drop-down list for Sales(Y Axis) column, Month & Yearfunction for Date(X Axis) column and select Actual Values function for Region (Color column) and then click on the button 'Click here to Generate Graph'.

The following tables list all the functions along with the description of their functionality.

Numeric and Currency Data Types:

Function Description
SumReturns the sum of all the values in the column. The summation will be done at each category/group level shown in the report.
Maximum [Max]Returns the maximum value in the column.
Minimum [Min]Returns the minimum value in the column.
Average [Avg]Returns the average of all the values in the column.
Standard deviationReturns standard deviation derived based on all values in the column.
VarianceReturns the variance of the column.
CountReturns the count of the number of values in the column.
Distinct CountReturns the count of the number of distinct values in the column.
MeasureTreats the values in the column as a measurable numeric value. Returns each distinct value present as a numeric value to be plotted in the report.
DimensionTreats the values in the column as a textual (categorical/dimensional) value. Returns each distinct value present as a text value to be plotted in the report.
RangeGroups the entire range of numeric values present in the column into multiple ranges.. e.g., if your data range is between 0 to 1000 then it will be grouped as 0 to 100, 101 to 250 ... 901-1000. You can also specify the custom range size to group the data using the Add New Range link. i.e.,if you set the range size as 50, then it will be grouped as 0 to 50, 51 to 100 ....

Date Data Type - Actual Value Functions:

FunctionDescription
YearReturns all distinct year values present in the column. E.g.,2003, 2010
Quarter & YearReturns all distinct quarter & year values present in the column. E.g., Q1 2010
Month & YearReturns all distinct month & year values present in the column. E.g., March 2010
Week & YearReturns all distinct week of the year values present in the column. E.g., W1 2010
Full DateReturns all distinct dates present in the column. E.g., 1/1/2011
Date & TimeReturns all distinct date and time pairs present in the column. E.g. 01/12/2010 00:10:07 hrs

Date Data Type - Seasonal Value Functions:

FunctionDescription
QuarterHelps identifying seasonal trends based on quarters present across all years in the column. E.g., Q1, Q2.
MonthHelps identifying seasonal trends based on months across all years. E.g., January, February.
WeekHelps identifying seasonal trends based on weeks across all years. E.g., Week 1, Week 2.
Week DayHelps to identify seasonal trends based on weekday across all years. E.g., Sunday, Monday.
Day of MonthHelps identifying seasonal trends based on day of month across all dates. E.g., 1 to 31.
Hour of DayHelps identifying trends across hours in a day. E.g., 0 to 23hrs.

Date Data Type - Aggregate Function:

FunctionDescription
CountReturns the number of date values in the column.
Distinct CountReturns the number of distinct date values in the column.

String(Categorical/Dimension) Data Type:

FunctionDescription
Actual ValuesAll the distinct values in the column will be listed.
CountNumber of values in the column will be listed.
Distinct CountNumber of distinct values in the column will be listed.

Advanced Summarizing Options

When creating a chart, Zoho Reports provides advanced summary functions, apart from the basic functions such as Sum, Max, Min or Average. This allows you to summarize data values in that column based on the values in other columns. Using this you will be able to do some powerful calculations on a chart like running total of sales over years or calculate the difference in sales from the previous year etc.,

Following are the advanced summarizing options: 

FunctionDescription
NormalDisplays the calculated value of the aggregate function applied over the column. By default this option will be selected.
% of TotalDisplays the percentage of the grand total of all the data in the chart series.
Running TotalDisplays data in successive data points of the chart as a running total, based on the selected Base Field.
Difference FromDisplays the data in each data point as the difference from the value in the previous data point, based on the selected Base Field.
% of Previous ValueDisplays the data in each data point as a percentage of the value in the previous data point, based on the selected Base Field.
% of Difference FromDisplays the data in each data point as a percentage of differences from the value in the previous data point, based on the selected Base Field.
100% GroupDisplays the percentage of the data point value in total of the group, based on the selected Base Field. This will be useful while creating 100% Stacked Bar and 100% Stacked Area Chart.
When you create a chart for sales across years categorized by region, then using this function you could get the percentage of sales in each region as seen the example at the left.
Moving AverageDisplays the calculated moving value of each data point based on the inputs you provide. The summary function selected will be taken as the base for calculation. You can perform  sum, average, minimum and maximum calculation using this.
This will be useful to visualize the trend of the your data. The example at the left illustrate the impression of your website vs. moving average of the impressions for the last 30 days.

The following screenshot illustrates a sample chart with different advanced summary functions applied.

Choosing Chart Type

After creating a chart, you can easily change it to another chart type by simply clicking on a button with out changing the plotted data. For example, you have created a Bar chart, but then decide that you want the data to be displayed as a Pie chart. You can do this by changing the chart type using the toolbar or you can use Other Charts button on the toolbar.

Toolbar provides you with the options to choose between Pie, Bar, Stacked Bar, Line, Scatter and Table chart types at the top level. If you do not find the chart type that you are looking for, then click on Other Charts button in the toolbar and select the chart type that you want to apply from the Chart Options dialog box that appears. You can view a brief description of each chart type the bottom of the dialog box by clicking on the specific chart type. Notice that chart types that are not applicable/unsupported for the combination of columns that you are using to create the chart will appear disabled.
After selecting the required chart type in the dialog box, click OK.

The below table describes the various Chart types supported by Zoho Reports. For a detail understanding of the chart types and the combination of columns used to create them, refer to this help documentation.  

Chart TypeDescription

Pie

Pie chart is a circular chart divided in to slices. It plots the contribution of each value to the overall total expressed in percentage.
RingRing chart plots the data in a ring. It displays the contribution of each value to the overall total expressed in percentage.
FunnelFunnel chart plots series of data in a funnel shape. Useful to plot values in a process/stage oriented data set.
BarBar (Column) chart plots the data as sets of vertical bars. Displays values as individual bars whose height is determined by the value plotted and grouped by each category
StackedStacked bar chart plots the contribution of each value to the total across categories.
ScatteredScattered chart plots values as a set of points.
LineLine chart displays data as a series of points connected by a line.
Line with PointsIt is a Line chart with markers displayed at each data point.
StepStep chart is similar to the line chart where data points are connected by steps (up or down) instead of straight lines.

Smooth Line

Smooth Line chart connects the data points with a smooth curve.

Smooth Line with Points

This is a Smooth Line Chart with markers displaying the data point.

Combo Bar

Combination chart compares value across categories. Combo Bar is a combination of bar and line chart.
 

Combo Stacked

 Combo Stacked is a combination of stacked bar and line chart.

Smooth Line Bar Combo

Smooth line chart can also be applied in Combination charts using the Use Smooth Line check box. Combo Bar and Smooth Line is a combination of bar and smooth line chart.

Smooth Line Stacked Combo

Combo Stacked and Smooth Line is a combination of stacked bar and smooth line chart.
AreaArea charts is similar to a line chart, but with all the area below the line filled with a color.
Area with Points It is an Area chart with markers displayed at each data value point plotted.

Smooth Line Area

It is an Area chart with a smoorth line.

Smooth Line Area with Points

It is an smooth line Area chart with markers displayed at each data value point plotted.
Stacked AreaStacked Area chart is an Area chart, where the contribution of each data series is stacked over the previous one
Stacked Area with PointsIt is a Stacked Area chart with markers displayed at each data point.

Smooth Line Stacked Area

It is a Stacked Area chart with Smooth Line.

Smooth Line Stacked Area

It is a Smooth Line Stacked Area chart with markers displayed at each data point.
BubbleHighlights the data based on the magnitude in the form of bubbles.
Packed BubblePacked Bubble chart type is used to display data in a cluster of circles or bubbles disregarding the axes
Filled WebFilled Web is a two-dimensional chart of three or more quantitative variables represented on axes starting from the same point.
WebWeb Chart displayed without filling color shade.

Until recently Zoho Reports had both 2D as well as 3D charts. But, having analyzed the usefulness of 3D charts deeper especially from the user experience point of view, we have decided to completely stop the support for 3D charts. Click here to learn more.