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A new Web Part available in SharePoint 2010 is the Chart Web Part. Now, the Chart Web Part isn't limited to the Business Intelligence Center, but that might be the first place that you come across it because it's used on a couple of the sample pages. The Chart Web Part can be fueled with a variety of data, things from Excel Services, from Business Data Connections, or from your own SharePoint lists. And in fact I have a simple custom SharePoint list that I've created here called 2010 Orders, which simply breaks down some different regions, some quarters and the amount.
And this is a perfect example of data that's just quite difficult to look at and really understand any kind of progress, any kind of structure that's happening to it. Yes, we can understand this data if we spent enough time, but having this in a chart so we can see if certain regions are on the upswing or the downswing could be very useful, and it's very easy to do with the Chart Web Part. So I'm going to go back to the homepage of the Business Intelligence site and I'm actually going to add that Web Part to this homepage. So I'll hit my Site Actions and click Edit Page and in the Main top section, I'll click the link to add a Web Part.
The Chart Web Part can be found under your Business Data section. Select that and click Add. The Demonstration Web Part is actually quite unimpressive and that's a little bit deceptive, because the Chart Web Part can get very deep and there are a lot of options to it. Of course, this has no idea where it's meant to be bringing data from. This is just dummy data right now. So I'm going to click the link that says Data and Appearance, which will break down into two options, either customizing the look and feel of the chart or connecting it to data. Well it be nice play around with customizing it, but first we better get some data into it.
So I'll connect Chart to Data. It asks where is the data coming from, another Web Part, a list in the site collection, some Business Data Catalog information which is connecting to an external database or a line of business system, or even to Excel Services? Well, Excel Services can kind of do in their own charts, so I'm going to click Connect to a List. Click Next, select the list that I'm interested in, which in this case actually is the 2010 Orders list, click Next, hI ave a quick preview of the data, and it certainly seems to be the region, the quarter and the amount, quite simple structure there, but certainly useful, and I'll click Next across here.
Here's the really important screen when you're editing this Chart Web Part. You're declaring what is the X-Field, what's the Y-Field and are we grouping by any particular piece of data here. Now, in my case, what I'm wanting to see is the progress happening by a region over a period of time and I'm measuring progress by what's the amount of orders they've taken. So the Y-Field is amount and that's correct. That's the one that I want to be numeric going up and down. The X-Field has picked region, but that's not actually what I want. I want the X-Field to be quarter, so that as we're moving along it from Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4.
Now, if I just select those two and click Finish, we're going to get some data in here but it's not all that helpful, because it's showing the quarterly amount of information without really any rhyme or reason to it. So I'm going to go back into that Data and Appearance section and it will jump me back to that particular window where I'm going to say I want to group by region. Now, you do have other fields that you can play around with. You can label things. You have Data Analysis section, where you can select from a bunch of formulas like standard deviation and Bollinger Bands.
I'm just going to leave all of that. That's not what I'm interested in right now. I'm going to click Finish. This is a bit more like it. It certainly seems to have some kind of grouping going on. We're getting, for example, a red bar in Q1, a red bar in Q2, Q3 and Q4, but it's not obvious which one's which. We need to add a little bit more than, and we can. I'm going to go back into Data and Appearance and now I'm going to go customize this chart's look and feel, where we have an amazing amount of options that we can select from. We've got Bar Charts, we've got Pie Charts, we've got Areas, we've got Lines, we've got Points/Bubble or Financial charts.
I'm actually going to pick from the Line section here. We can go from Line. We can for Spline with markers, all sorts of them, and even selecting from 3-D looks here as well. I am going to start off with a 2-D one here. I'll pick Line and click Next. I've a variety of themes that I can select from here. I'll just accept the default. It's saying right now the Chart Width is 300x300. I'm actually going to make it a little wider so we can have more of a view of how that works and click Next.
And we can even decide to show a chart title. We can call this Orders by Month, or by Quarter rather, and decide to show the legend, which should be able to give us our regions. And we can even choose the position that this information is in. I'm going to accept that default information right now and click Finish. And that's more like it. We're at least seeing some information. We're able to follow the growth, so we can see that for example, the North region seems to be steadily growing, whereas the East region seems to be on a downward slope.
You might want to play around with the lines themselves. We might go in there and experiment with a couple of other looks here, such as jumping into even the 3-D example. Trying for grins, I try Line with Perspective. Click Next and Finish. Not really all that useful here, but certainly worthwhile to check out some of the different options here. I'll go back into the 2-D line, select the different line style, click Next. I am going to play around with the transparency here to make the colors a bit more solid.
Make sure that I'm selecting a chart title and selecting the legend and click Finish. A bit more usable here, again really up to you. It's worthwhile doing a bit of experimentation to find out if this information is a usable or not. But as you can see, with a few bits of tweaking, we can actually make this very, very different. There are a lot of options when you're using the Chart Web Part. Very easy to connect to SharePoint lists. It can also be connected to Excel Web Services and to connections that you may have defined to external systems.
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