Month: October 2012

SSRS Charts with Data Tables (Excel Style)

SSRS Charts with Data Tables (Excel Style)

October 30, 2012

Ok, this post was supposed to come out a lot earlier but I was just too lazy. Complacency is a struggle we all have to fight and I would be lying if I say that I am immune to all these. This post is a direct result of a few forum posts where people said that charts with data tables are not possible in SSRS (unless you add a tablix beneath the chart and spend umpteen hours trying to align both of them!). Working with SSRS is like making love to a woman – you need to know the woman and what makes her click well for a fabulous time. Well, you can still manage without knowing her well enough, just that it won’t be that awesome! Winking smile

1 Charts with Excel style data tables

For people who are familiar with excel charts, adding a data table to a chart is a one-click affair. It is nice to see the data table just beneath the chart and it also serves as a legend. A simple example is shown below:-

2 Excel chart with data table

In SSRS, having a tablix beneath the chart serves as an ok workaround as long as the number of fields in the category is fixed. When the number of fields change change (lets say, when the value of a report parameter changes), the alignment goes for a toss. Here, I will be demonstrating a much more elegant way to add the data tables than trying to align the tablix and chart. 1) Create a simple dataset from the AdventureWorks cube, displaying the Month, Category and Internet Sales Amount. Add a parameter for Calendar year with a default value of CY 2007.

3 Dataset query

2) Drag and drop a matrix to the designer pane and then add the Category field on the row, Month on the column and Internet_Sales_Amount on the data as shown below

4 SSRS Matrix with fields

3) Add two rows outside group above the category row as shown below.

5 Add two rows outside group for matrix

4) Now you can delete the top row (but not the associated group) containing the Category and the Month Header as shown below

6 Delete header rows

5) Once that is done, drag and drop the month field to the textbox above the data value. Here, I just want to display the first three letters of the month (instead of having the month followed by year), so I am using the expression below directly:-


You might also want to do some quick formatting like hiding the textbox borders for the top row.

7 Hiding textbox borders and setting month expression

6) Once this is done, the only part remaining is to make a chart, format it and then place it on the top right textbox. For that, drag and drop a stacked column chart outside of the matrix, and then drag Internet_Sales_amount on the Values, Month on the Category Groups and Category on the Series Groups as shown below.

8 Chart

7) Right click on the vertical axis, select the Vertical Axis Properties and then modify the expression for Maximum from Auto to the expression written below

=1.2 * max(Fields!Internet_Sales_Amount.Value, “DST_Main”)

9 Chart vertical axis max property

8) Delete the axis titles, chart titles and the horizontal axis from the chart

10 Delete Axis titles

9) Hide the labels for the vertical axis.

11 Hide Labels

10) We need to place this chart within the tablix and make it repeat for each of the month. But before that, we need to make sure that there are no white spaces within the chart area, and hence change the following properties for the Chart Area.

12 Custom Inner Plot Position

Also set the BorderStyle property for the Chart as None and disable the MajorTickMarks for the Vertical Axis. This will also help in making the charts look continuous.

11) Now as a last step, we need to ensure that the vertical axis is only displayed for the first chart, Hence, set the LineStyle property for the vertical axis as shown below =iif(Fields!Month.Value=First(Fields!Month.Value, “DST_Main”),”Solid”,”None”)

13 Vertical axis property

12) Drag and drop the chart into the tablix cell

14 Chart in tablix

13) To add a color as a column next to the Category, we can use the Custom Code technique for consistent colors described here. Then ensure that the BackgroundColor property for the column as well as the series color for the chart is the expression below


15 Color of column as well as series

14) Now preview the report and you will get the intended result. Change the parameter value from 2007 to 2008, and you will still see that the alignment is proper (even though the number of bars have changed)

Charts with data tables

You can download the completed rdl file from here. Now you know which post to point to incase someone asks on how to create charts with data tables in SSRS Smile


Update : 10 September /2015

For those looking to replicate this for the line charts, I have written a new post on #SSRS Line Chart with Data Tables (Excel Style) –

SSRS Line Chart with Data Tables (Excel Style)

Posted by SQLJason, 61 comments
Difference from Maximum of Running Totals in PowerPivot

Difference from Maximum of Running Totals in PowerPivot

October 18, 2012
I don’t know how many of you are Formula1 fans here, but this season is pretty good. Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are going neck and neck for the title and there are just 4 races remaining. I try to follow F1 as much as I can, but had missed watching the last couple of races and there were some pivotal moments as Vettel took the lead from Alonso. I really missed knowing how they were doing at the end of each race and how far the other drivers were from the race leader. That is when I decided to relive the experience by mocking up the data in PowerPivot.
PowerPivot Running Total Max
So what I want to do is to get a running total of the points for each driver across the races., so that I can see how each driver was doing throughout the season. Also, it would give me a better idea of their performance if I could get the difference of the points for each driver from the race leader at the end of that race. Interesting huh?
The source for our exercise can be downloaded from here and contains the following data:-
1. RaceFact
This table contains the positions for each driver across all the races in this season. The columns are Driver, Race, Position and a flag whether they crashed or not.
2. RaceOrder
This table contains all the completed races in this season and the order in which they happened. The columns are Race and Order.
3. Points
This table contains the points for each position. The columns are Position and Points.
4. Driver
This table contains the list of all drivers and just has one column – Driver.
Race data model
1. The running total of the points for each driver should be displayed race by race as shown below.
Running Total of Points

2. The difference of each driver from the leader (as of that race) should be displayed. Diff from max of Running Total Implementation 1. Build the PowerPivot model for the RaceData as shown in the diagram above. For simplicity, I have already created the model in the source file available for download here. 2. For creating the running total across the races, we will be following the technique detailed in my previous blog. For that, create 2 calculated columns in the RaceFact table called Points and Order respectively. =calculate(sum(Points[Points])) =calculate(sum(Races[Order])) calc columns Notice that the foreign keys in the fact table (Driver, Race, Position) are hidden as it is a best practice to hide the foreign keys. This way, the users will not get confused whether to use the columns in the master tables or the fact tables. 3. For finding the running total, we can create a new measure with the below formula RT_Points:=calculate(sum(RaceFact[Points]), filter(Allexcept(RaceFact,Driver[Driver]), RaceFact[Order]<=Max(RaceFact[Order]))) When this measure is used against the drivers on rows and races on columns, it will display the running total of the points for each driver across the races. 4. Now for getting the difference of each driver from the leader, we need a measure which will give us the points of the race leader at the end of every race. This measure would be equal to the max of the running total that we just created and that should be the same for all drivers for a particular race. Create the measure with the DAX formula given below MaxRT_Points:=calculate(maxx(values(Driver[Driver]), [RT_Points]), All(Driver[Driver])) The result is shown below MaxRTPoints 5. Now all we have to do to get the final requirement is to subtract the MaxRT_Points measure from the RT_Points measure as shown below DiffFromLeader:=[RT_Points] – [MaxRT_Points] The result is shown below Diff from MaxRTPoints 6. With a bit of formatting and adding a chart for the top 6 drivers, I can now clearly see how the battle for the top place has been going Chart The final version of the PowerPivot file can be downloaded from here. It is interesting to see that Fernando Alonso has been the most consistent driver, as can be seen from the above chart, even though he is in second place. With this information, I am going to bet my money on Alonso winning the Drivers championship (and not because I am a biased Ferrari fan :P). What do you reckon?

Posted by SQLJason, 4 comments
Configurable Running Totals in PowerPivot

Configurable Running Totals in PowerPivot

October 1, 2012

Recently, I have been dealing a lot with business users and solving their problems. Even though I have been closely associated with the business in most of my previous projects, this project has given me a whole new perspective to the work I do. I am more used to the sort of work where I sit with the users, gather the requirements from them and then disappear to do my magic for at least a month. The users get to see the end result (and even the intermediate result in our scrum meetings) but they don’t get to see me working (at least not every minute of the day). In contrast, here I sit with the users from morning till evening and solve their problems along with them. We tackle the problem as a team – the users armed with their business knowledge and me with the technical knowledge. The active involvement of the users can be mainly attributed to the PowerPivot / self-service BI drive, and the company is already reaping a lot of benefits from this. It is in midst of one of these meetings that I encountered an interesting requirement – the capability to change the order of running totals.

Configurable running totals in PowerPivot

Let me give a simplified version of the requirements below. Available Data We already have a PowerPivot file with the following tables:-

1) Product – has one column with Product names

2) CustomGroup – has one column with the CustomGroup names. Actually, this was a custom grouping of weeks like Late, Future, etc but for the purpose of this demo, we are just going to use values like G1, G2, etc. This is the field which is used for calculating the running totals, and the order in which the running totals should be calculated is specified in the Order column.

3) Stock – Will have the stock value for each Product.

4) Forecast – Will have the forecast quantity for a product and custom group.

Source tables

You can download the source file (RT_Source.xlsx) from here. For the purpose of this post, the source data for these tables are sourced from linked tables in the file.


  1. Running totals of the forecast should be calculated across the CustomGroup dimension. The order in which the running totals are calculated should be easily configurable, as the order can be different for different users.
  2. A report should be generated which shows the stock for each product as well as the forecast across the custom groups. However, the forecast should only be displayed if the stock would not be sufficient for it. For eg, consider the image below where the first table shows the actual data. The second table shows how the end result should look like. For P1, the forecast quantity in G1 is not displayed as it can be covered by the stock. However, from G2 onwards, all the quantities are displayed for P1. Similarly for P2, the forecast quantity for G3 is not displayed as it is less than the stock. However, for G4, only 5 is displayed as you have 125 as the forecast for G3 and G4 and you just have 120 as stock .

Actual data and final report







The final PowerPivot report (RT.xlsx) can be downloaded from here. For implementing this from the source file, follow the steps below:-

1) I need to display Stock along with Product in the rows of the report. For that, I am going to use the product column from the Product table instead of the fact so that it filters both the stock and forecast tables. To avoid the cross join of Product[Product] and Stock[stock] columns, I am introducing Stock as a calculated column in the Product table with the formula below:-


Adding stock as a calculated column

2) The running totals need to be done across the CustomGrp values, and hence make sure that the order column specifies the correct order in which they should be performed.

verifying the order column in CustomGrp

The order can be easily changed from the source sheet in excel (from where this linked table is made) in case the running total needs to be configured for other users.

3) In the forecast table, make a calculated column which will get the corresponding order for the CustomGrp for that row using the formula below


Getting the corresponding order column for the row

4) Once we get the Order for that row, the running total can be made as a calculated column using the formula below

=Calculate (
Sum ( Forecast[Qty] ),
CalculateTable (
Filter (
AllExcept ( Forecast, Forecast[Product] ),
Forecast[Order] <= Max ( Forecast[Order] )

calculate running total

This formula gets evaluated for each row, and then filters out all the rows for that particular product where the Orders are less than the Order value in the current row. Then it calculates the sum of forecast quantity for the resultant filtered table, and this gets us our running total.

running total of forecast quantity

The running total can also be made as a measure (I have created a measure called Test in the RT.xlsx for this) but I chose to implement it as a calculated column so that the running totals are stored.

5) Now for just displaying the forecasts which are above the stock, I can create a new measure with the formula below:-

UnderstockQty:=If (
Sum ( Forecast[RT_Qty] ) <= Sum ( Stock[Stock] ),
Blank ( ),
Sum ( Forecast[Qty] )

Notice that I am using the running total of forecast to check against the stock and not just the forecast quantity. But this measure will not give us the final end result which is illustrated in the example below

Understocked quantity

You can see that for P2, we need to display 5 in G4 and not 75. For this, we need an additional check to see when was the first group value (or minimum sort order) when the forecast exceeded the stock.

6) Create a new measure to find the minimum Group value (or minimum order) in which the forecast exceeded the stock.

MinOrder:=Calculate (
Min ( Forecast[Order] ),
CalculateTable (
Filter (
AllExcept ( Forecast, Product[Product] ),
[RT_Qty] > Sum ( Stock[Stock] )

min order

7) Now we can edit the measure to include the additional check. I am just creating a new measure called RemainingUndrStkQty so that we can compare the difference with UnderstockQty measure.

RemainingUndrStkQty:=If (
Sum ( Forecast[RT_Qty] ) <= Sum ( Stock[Stock] ),
Blank ( ),
If (
[MinOrder] = Min ( CustomGrp[Order] ),
Sum ( Forecast[RT_Qty] ) – Sum ( Stock[Stock] ),
Sum ( Forecast[Qty] )

Now you can see that we are able to get the desired results.

end result

If you are the sort of person who observes carefully, then you would have noticed that I used a set for the group values in the columns. This was done so that if the user felt like changing the order for the running totals, then they can edit the set for changing the display order also. However, if you are using the new version of PowerPivot, a better idea might be to use the Sort by Column feature to sort the CustomGroup table by Order. Then you would be able to use the Group attribute directly in the columns and the changes to order would also be reflected immediately.

sort by column

Now, to test whether your running total works if the order is modified, change the order column values in the reverse order for the groups as shown above, and you can see the result as well as the running totals change as shown below

results when order is changed running total when order is changed

Posted by SQLJason, 3 comments