Adding a Variance to a Chart

Add a variance to your chart to show the difference between versions of a measure or to show the difference between time periods.

Context

You can create a variance for any two measures, even if the measures do not appear in your base chart. You can create variances that don't include the versions for the measures, as well as variances that do include time periods.

You can also create a dynamic variance, a variance that is based on the measures in the chart context. If you change the measures in the chart, the variance automatically updates.

Note

To include time in your variance, you must have the Date dimension in your chart or in an Input Control.

For some chart types (Numeric Point, for example), when the variance uses a Time Range filter, the range must be set to only one interval (year, quarter, or period).

When using models from live data connections, you must include version information with your measures, and your measures must be in your base chart. Using measures without versions applies to local models only.

The classic variance chart is a separate bar chart within the chart tile.

An integrated variance chart overlays your bar or column chart, showing the changes as part of the bar.

For example, in a net revenue chart, you would see the following data for successive months:
  • If the next month has less revenue than the previous month: a red bar appears above the revenue bar, and the negative value is displayed above the red bar.
  • If the next month has more revenue than the previous month: a green bar overlays the revenue bar, and the positive value is displayed below the green bar.
Note

If the chart type does not allow an integrated variance, you cannot select that option.

If you change from a chart that allows integrated variance to one that allows only classic variance, the variance is changed to the classic variance.

If you change from a chart that allows integrated variance to one that does not allow variance, the variance is removed and a warning is displayed.

Procedure

  1. Add a variance in one of the following ways:
    • From a canvas page:
      1. Select your chart, open the Designer, and then select (Builder).

      2. In the Variance area, select Add Variance.

        Tip
        If you cannot see a variance area, find Chart Structure and select Start of the navigation path(Add Chart Components) Next navigation step Add VarianceEnd of the navigation path.
    • From a grid page:
      1. In the table, select some data.

      2. Open the Examine panel, select (more), and then select Start of the navigation pathVariance Next navigation step Add VarianceEnd of the navigation path.

  2. Choose specific measures or All Measures in Use (Dynamic).
  3. Choose the versions or time periods.
  4. From the Display Options area, apply the following options:
    Option Description
    Name Use the default name or provide a different name for the variance.
    Invert Colors Reverse the color scheme from the following default values: a positive variance is shown in green, and a negative variance is shown in red.
    Set No Data as Zero To include a NULL data point in your variance, set it to the value zero.
    Scale with Base Chart Default setting keeps the variance chart scale the same as the chart scale. If you want the variance to have its own scale, clear the check box.
    Show Difference as

    Choose whether you want to display the variance as Numeric, as a Percentage, or both.

    When you choose Percentage you can also choose to use an Absolute Base Value. Absolute values are useful if you are comparing negative values, but have a positive change (For example, (-20) - (-40) = +20. The percentage change (+20/-40) would be -50% if you did not use absolute values.)

    View Variance as
    • Bar – displays a classic variance chart beside the regular chart.

    • Data Label – adds variance information to the data labels.

      Use data labels if there is no room to add a variance chart, or if you want variance information for charts that cannot use a variance chart.

    • Integrated – displays the variance data as an overlay on the bar chart.

  5. When finished, select OK.

Results

A variance chart or variance information is added to your visualization. The variance bars are color-coded based on the account type and whether an increase is desirable or not. For example, an increase in income would be welcome (green), but an increase in expenses would not (red).

Variance Bar Color Based on Account Type

Account Type

Decrease (-)

Increase (+)

INC – Income

Red

Green

EXP – Expense

Green

Red

AST – Assets

Red

Green

LEQ – Liabilities & Equities

Green

Red

Tip
To hide the variance label, select Start of the navigation path(More Actions) Next navigation step  (Show / Hide) Next navigation step Variance LabelEnd of the navigation path.

Next Steps

To change your variance calculation, open the Edit Variance dialog in one of the following ways:
  • From a canvas page:

    1. Open the Designer and select (Builder).

    2. In the Variance area, find the variance calculation and select Edit.

  • From a grid page:

    1. Open the Examine panel, select (more), and then select Start of the navigation pathVariance Next navigation step Edit VarianceEnd of the navigation path.

Once you have added a variance to your chart, you can trigger Smart Insights to see more information about the data in the variance. For more information, see Smart Insights.