Create an analytic chart by using Dashboard Designer

You can use PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer to create dashboards that contain a variety of report types, including analytic charts. An analytic chart is an interactive line chart or a bar chart that uses data stored in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. The pictures below show examples of analytic charts.

Interactive line chart
Interactive bar chart
Example of an analytic line chart Example of an analytic bar chart

The typical reason for including an analytic chart in a dashboard is to provide dashboard consumers with an easy way to view and explore data. For example, suppose that you create dashboards that contain reports for a sales manager and that you create a basic report that shows sales amounts for each sales representative. In the dashboard, the sales manager can see those sales amounts at a glance. The sales manager right-clicks a value in the analytic chart to see which products were the highest selling for each sales representative. And, the sales manager can easily change the report view as needed to display the top selling products for that sales representative.

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Learn more about analytic charts

Analytic charts are dynamic, visual representations of performance data that you can display as interactive line charts or bar charts. (Pie charts are not currently available as an analytic chart display type.) Analytic reports remain connected to the data, which means that their content is always up-to-date.

Analytic charts pull information from data that has been arranged into cubes in Analysis Services. These cubes consist of dimensions, measures, and named sets, which are defined in the following table.

Item Description
Dimension A dimension is a structured, hierarchical way of organizing data. For example, a Products dimension might have a hierarchy such as Products > Product Categories > Product Names, and a Date dimension might have Year > Week > Day.
Measure A measure is a cube member that associates a numeric value with one or more dimension members. For example, some measures include Sales Amounts, Gross Profit, and Gross Profit Margin.
Named Sets

A named set is a collection of one or more dimension members that has been defined in the database. For example, Core Products is a common named set. It contains a subset of all the members that are in the Products dimension.

 Note   By using named sets, you can save time and effort when you create analytic charts.

Depending on how you set up your analytic chart, dashboard consumers can use your analytic chart to do the following:

  • Drill down or up to see lower or higher levels of detail
  • Sort the bars or chart legend items in ascending or descending order
  • Filter out empty items, isolate an item, or remove an item from the report view
  • Pivot the chart, or change the chart type and format
  • Use Additional Actions, which are defined in the Analysis Services cube
  • Show or hide information, such as measures or background information
  • Work with multiple pages of chart data (useful when a query returns a large set of results)

These activities are largely contingent on the way that data cubes are configured in Analysis Services. For example, if no actions are defined in Analysis Services, then the Additional Actions option is not available for your analytic chart. To learn more about Analysis Services, see Analysis Services on Microsoft TechNet.

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Create an analytic chart

Before you begin creating your analytic chart, make sure that the data source that you want to use has been published to PerformancePoint Monitoring Server.

To verify that your data source is available, click the Home tab in Dashboard Designer, and then click Refresh. In the Workspace Browser, click Data Sources. In the center pane of the workspace, review the list of data sources on the Server and Workspace tabs. Confirm that the data source that you want to use is available. If it is not listed, then you may need to create a data source.

When you create an analytic chart, you do so in two stages. In Stage I, you create the basic structure of your report. In Stage II, you configure the report to display data.

Stage I: Create the basic structure of your report

  1. In Dashboard Designer, click the Create tab, and then click Analytic Chart. The Create an Analytic Chart Report wizard opens.
  2. In the Name box, type a name for your report. To specify where you want to store your report in Monitoring Server, click Select Display Folder and then select or create a folder. Click Next.
  3. In the Select a Data Source screen, select the Analysis Services data source that you want to use. If you do not see the data source listed, click Refresh to update the list. If you cannot find the data source, click Toggle View to see the available data sources. They are arranged by their folder structure. Click Finish.

 Note   Analytic charts use data that is stored in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. If you do not have that type of data source available, click Cancel to exit the wizard without creating your report. Create your data source, publish it to Monitoring Server, and then create your report. To learn how to create a data source, see Create a data source.

  1. In the Confirmation screen, review the information in the Details pane to verify that your report was successfully created. Then click Close to close the wizard.
  2. Click the Home tab, and then click Publish Item to save your changes to Monitoring Server. Proceed to Stage II: Configure the report to display data.

Stage II: Configure the report to display data

Before you begin, make sure that you have created the basic structure of your report.

  1. In the center pane of the workspace, click the Design tab.

 Note   Depending on which version of Dashboard Designer you are using, you may have an Editor tab instead of the Design tab.

  1. In the Details pane, expand Measures, Dimensions, or Named Sets to display the list of items that are available in each category. Drag an item to the Series, Bottom Axis, or Background section. Repeat for each item that you want to display in your chart. Keep the following points in mind as you add items to your report:
    • The Series section corresponds to the vertical axis of your chart, and the Bottom Axis section corresponds to the horizontal axis.
    • Any items that you place in the Background section serve as hidden filters for your analytic chart.
    • To display data in your analytic chart, you must place at least one item in each of the Series and Bottom Axis sections. You can place a named set in one section, and a measure in another section. Or, you can place a dimension in one section and a measure in another.
    • You cannot combine a measure and a dimension member in the same section.
  2. For each dimension that is on your chart, you can select the dimension members that you want to display. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click a dimension, and then click Select Members. The Select Members dialog box opens.
  2. Use the expandable tree control to view the list of dimension members. Select the items that you want to display in your analytic chart, and then click OK. The Select Members dialog box closes and your analytic chart refreshes to display the members that you selected.
  1. Click the Home tab, and then click Publish Item to save your analytic chart to Monitoring Server. Then, you can add it to a dashboard.