Common Chart Errors

Solutions and suggestions for common errors in charts.

Tips to help with troubleshooting

Use the following steps to simplify your chart and identify the cause of the error:

  • Create a Table alongside the Chart using the exact same model, linked dimensions, and structure as the Chart; verify if the values are refreshed.

  • Explore the measures directly using the Data View; this reduces interference from filters and other specific chart features.

  • Copy the chart to a new canvas page and try to remove as many of the following as you can: measures, dimensions, and active filters.

Error Message: Top N has been automatically applied to the chart because your data selection has too many values.

Applying the Top N filter automatically is meant to help you avoid having too many overlapping data points in your charts while giving you enough data to allow you to adjust the filters or the structure of your charts.

The automatic Top N value is triggered at a different number of records for each chart type, but you can override the value if you manually set a Top N value that is larger than the default value.

For stacked chart types there is a stack or grouping limit that may be different from the automatic limit.

The following table shows the Top N trigger values (number of records) that are valid as of version 2020.02

Chart type Stack Limit Total Records Limit Mobile Total Records Limit Scrollbar
Area 50 500 50 Yes
Bar / Column   500 20 Yes
Box Plot   4000 1000 Yes
Bubble   No Limits Defined    
Bullet   No Limits Defined    
Cluster Bubble   1000 500 No
Combination Column & Line   500 20 Yes
Combination Stacked Column & Line 25 500 20 Yes
Donut Chart   10 10 No
Heat Map   500 50 No
Line   500 50 No
Marimekko 25 500 20 No
Pie Chart   10 10 No
Radar 100 500 20 No
Scatterplot   No Limits Defined    
Stacked Bar/Column 25 2500 20 Yes
Tree Map   500 50 No
Trend Time Series   No Limits Defined    
Waterfall   No Limits Defined    
Instead of the Top N sort, an “Auto Limit” sort may be applied to your chart if the following conditions exist:
  • No rank.

  • A time dimension exists and is bound to the outer-most dimension.

  • The chart supports Sort.

  • The chart has no existing sort or a sort exists on the time dimension.

If the auto limit is triggered, then it will automatically query and sort (ascending) the last-N values sorted by the Time dimension, provided that the Time dimension exists and is the outer-most dimension.

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Error Message: Unable to retrieve data from the datasource

This message is likely due to a problem with the underlying models used in the story:

  • If you have multiple models, test one by one using the Data View option.

  • If you are using Live models, verify that the connection to the data source works as expected.

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Error Message: Unable to render chart. Please contact your Administrator

This message is displayed when the chart encounters an unexpected exception during rendering.

It is likely that you need to open an incident with Product Support.

To speed up troubleshooting, capture the following information using Chrome Developer tools (F12 or Ctrl + Shift + I ):

  1. With Chrome Developer tools open, attempt to refresh the specific chart that fails.

  2. Expand the error being thrown and capture the entire stack trace.

  3. Attach these traces to the Product Support incident along with any data on the structure and formatting settings of the chart.

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Problem: Chart data is different than before

This behavior could be due to many different reasons, but it's possible that a component at a lower level has changed and now returns different data.

Use the following tips to find what might have changed:

  • Start with First steps for troubleshooting.

  • Identify if the artifact that is consumed has changed (Calculation view, CDS view, and so on).

  • Compare the data retrieved using other tools (if possible) such as HANA Design studio, Lumira, and so on.

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Problem: Chart shows an error message until I refresh it

The story was likely saved when the chart was in an error state.

Use the following tips to clear the error message:

  • Refresh the story.

  • Verify that all widgets are no longer in an error state.

  • Re-save the story.

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Problem: Chart does not display all of the expected data labels

When designing a chart, some of the labels may not appear when the chart is displayed.

The default setting for labels in charts is that when they overlap or collide with one another, or can't fit within the allotted space, they should be hidden. This ensures that the chart labels are readable and do not clutter the visualization unnecessarily. To see the value for a data-point, you can hover over it (or touch it on a touch display).

Causes of data label collisions

The following are some of the reasons why data label collision happens:
  • Labels in column charts are too long and span outside of the category, colliding with adjacent labels.

  • For overlapping data-points in a bar/column chart, only the largest absolute value of the overlapping labels will be shown.

    This behavior can be modified by changing the Data Label styling options as explained in the help guide. See Styling Options for Charts.

  • Labels may be hitting or surpassing the bounds of the rendering area in the chart. In charts such as line and combined bar/column+line, the labels will attempt to be rendered in new positions close to the data-point. If that is not possible, then the label is hidden.

How to resolve data label collisions

To stop data labels from overlapping or colliding, try the following options:
  • Increase the size of the chart on the story.

  • Adjust axis label and data label font sizes.

  • Filter your data to allow more space.

  • Adjust the numeric scale and number of decimal places of the measure to higher magnitude that will shorten the label. For example, 15,000,000.00 unformatted could be scaled to 15 in millions with no decimal points.

  • Turn on the Round Data Labels option to allow decimal places in the data label to be rounded and conserve room before the label hides


If labels are overlapping, then the Avoid Data Label Overlap option has probably been unchecked in the Data Label styling options area for that chart. Re-enable that option to prevent labels from overlapping.

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Problem: blank charts in an exported PDF

When you export a story to PDF, some of the charts in the PDF are blank.

When processing the export to PDF, each widget (chart, table, and so on) has a default timeout setting of three minutes. If it takes longer than three minutes to render the widget, the widget will be blank in the PDF.

You can ask your support person to enable a toggle for a longer rendering period (WIDGET_RENDER_COMPLETE_LONG_TIMEOUT), but be aware that longer timeout periods may affect system performance.

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