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Discover how to create, manage, and deliver interactive reports—not just to print, but to dynamically explore enterprise-level data—with Reporting Services in SQL Server. In this course, author Simon Allardice concentrates on using Report Builder to build and format reports from a variety of data sources, but also shows how to perform basic administration tasks such as granting user access and organizing reports in the Report Manager. Plus, learn how to add interactive sorting and filtering functionality to your reports, and create column and pie charts to better express your data.
Note: These tutorials are applicable to both the 2008 and 2012 versions of SQL Server.
While sparklines are visually simple, sometimes you need something that's even simpler. So next, we are going to talk about how to add data bars. These are another mini chart option very similar to sparklines, and they are best for representing a single data point. The best way to explain them is just to show them. I am going continue to use this matrix that I just created, and what I am going to do is add a data bar element that visually represents the total sales per region. What mean by that is having some way of quickly scanning this data, even when it's collapsed, and just easily see which of these numbers compare to which of these other numbers.
Okay, it's not that hard to see right now, but if I had a few dozen more it might be hard to scan them. So, into my Report Designer where I have this report, what I'm going to do is add a new column, but this time to the right-hand side of the existing total sections. So I'll grab the column here and up at the top, in the gray handle, I will insert column to the right. Adding a data bar is very similar to adding a sparkline. Again, you want to be very conscious when you are adding it to a table or matrix where exactly you add it, on what cell that you are clicking in. If I add it to this cell that's at the same level to the existing sparkline, I'll be adding a data bar for each individual salesperson.
I actually want to add it at the territory level, which is this row, so I want add it in this cell here. What I do is come up to the Insert tab, single-click Data Bar, and then take my mouse down, and click on the cell I'm interested in, which is this one. Data bar types are very simple. We are asked, do we want a data bar left to right or column up and down. I am going to select the basic Data Bar option. A data bar is based on the same concepts as a sparkline and a chart, so if we select it and select it again, we should have our chart data appear.
Very commonly might be off to the right-hand side. So there we go. So you have it deselected, you click it once and then click it again. You should be able to get that Chart Data section. All I am going to do is open up my dataset, and I want to drag in the Sum_TotalDue amount that's being added up and drag that into the Values section for that data bar. Again, because there is a matrix in between the Sum_TotalDue on the left-hand side and the chart data on the right, I do you want to be careful where I'm dragging this. I am dragging it over a blank area of the report and into the Values section, and let go.
Now, normally with charts, we are also very focused on grouping things together by category, but I don't actually need to do that here, because this amount that it's totaling will already be grouped into that territory regional total based on the fact that I'm adding it just to this row in the matrix. What it's simply going to do is be a visual representation here of the amount that's actually going be showing up here. So go ahead and run this. Now we have this single data point data bar that very quickly gives us a representation of what these total amounts are showing up for each particular region.
It takes no time at all to instantly jump to this one as the largest one-- indeed it is 18 million, compared to the Australia and Germany regions that are much lower. Like charts and like sparklines data bars themselves can be configured. You select them, you find you've got the different color palettes that you can select from. We can click the individual data point and even start playing around with that. They can be configured to actually be broken down into categories, but it's much more common to use them just to display a single data point like this.
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