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Column chart with relative variance

Power BI dashboard documentation and business intelligence examples

· Power BI visuals

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Featured in Microsoft's October 2018 Power BI desktop update, this Power BI custom visual is designed for easily comparing time series data. It is built for reporting actual, forecast, planned, and previous year data and allows users to quickly identify when a series deviates from its baseline. Because this chart reports relative variance, we apply a lollipop design to show what you’re calculating variance against.

Influenced by IBCS, this Power BI dashboard applied information density principles including the sparing use of colors. Design semantics apply standardized conventions, with the following schema:

  • solid black for current year
  • grey for previous year
  • hollow for budget
  • shaded for forecast
Column Chart with Relative Variance, a Microsoft Power BI dashboard from 3AG Systems

Note that the above design choices for this MS BI tool make it easy and intuitive to overlap different time periods.

It is highly recommended to use these charts only for time series data. For non-time series reporting please consider using bar charts, like the Bar Chart With Absolute Variance.

Full documentation is provided in the business intelligence examples below. You can also download the Power BI desktop file here.

You can get the MS BI visual from Microsoft AppSource here.

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