Sparklines are small, simple charts that can be used to show trends and changes in data over time. Different types of sparkline charts include line, area, and column. You can use these sparklines to make your bland data look better, though they have limited functionality compared with traditional charts. Despite that, they can be more informative than other chart types because of their simplicity. Due to their compact size, sparklines are mostly used in a table, matrix, or list to show trend in a series of values without taking up too much space.
From version 2.1.14, Bold Report Designer provides a sparkline report item feature. In this blog post, we will see how to design a sales trend analysis report to show sales trends by order date for each product using the sparkline report item. To design and visualize the data trends, first we must embed the required data in the Bold Report Designer. Later, we will bind and customize the data in the sparkline report item to achieve the sales trend analysis report’s design. You can try out the following report designing steps in our Bold Report Designer demo site.
Create data set
Create a data set to bind the required data to the sparkline report item. Use the following sample query to recreate the following report designing steps. This sample query runs against the AdventureWorksDW2014 sample database.
SELECT Prodcat.EnglishProductCategoryName, prodSubcat.EnglishProductSubcategoryName, prod.EnglishProductName, prod.Color, fact.[TotalProductCost], fact.SalesAmount, fact.TaxAmt, fact.[OrderDate], fact.[ShipDate] FROM dbo.DimProduct as prod INNER JOIN dbo.DimProductSubcategory AS prodSubcat ON prod.ProductSubcategoryKey = prodSubcat.ProductSubcategoryKey INNER JOIN dbo.DimProductCategory AS Prodcat ON prodSubcat.ProductCategoryKey = Prodcat.ProductCategoryKey INNER JOIN dbo.FactInternetSales AS fact ON fact.ProductKey = prod.ProductKey
Add sparkline to the report design
- You can find the sparkline report item under the KPI category in the item panel.
- Drag a sparkline report item into a table cell and resize it according to your layout.
- In the configuration panel, switch to the DATA
- In the DATA section, drag your overall sales value and target value to the Y-Value(s) and Column sections, respectively.
The sparkline report item will be configured with random data in the design as shown in the following image.
Customize sparkline appearance
In the properties panel, you can change the sparkline properties such as width, height, color palette, background color, and border.
Switch chart type
You can switch the sparkline type based on your data patterns using the Chart Type property. This property is listed under the Basic Settings category in the properties panel.
Customize chart series
You can also display labels, borders, and markers, or define actions for each series in sparklines. These properties are listed under the Basic Settings category in the properties panel.
For example, you can display labels in sparklines by following these steps:
- Select the series name in the Choose Series drop-down.
- Enable the Show Data Label property check box.
- To customize the label style, open the Advanced… properties.
- Modify the label style, format, angle, position,, to enhance the data presentation in the sparkline.
Similarly, you can display markers for sparkline series using the Show Marker property and customize the marker styles in the advanced properties.
You can preview the report at design time using the built-in Bold Report Viewer to ensure the report design is as expected.
I hope this blog provided a clear overview on how to configure data and customize the appearance of the sparkline report item in the Bold Report Designer. For additional information on the sparkline report item feature, you can go through the documentation.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section below. You can also contact us by submitting your queries through our contact page, or if you already have an account, you can log in to submit your support question. Feel free to check out the Bold Reports Embedded demos and our documentation to explore the tools and their various report customization features.
Bold Reports now comes with a 15-day free trial with no credit card information required. We welcome you to start a free trial and experience Bold Reports for yourself. Give it a try and let us know what you think!