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Getting SSRS line chart series to represent cumulative values by time

Posted on 2010-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,

I have a line chart in my SSRS report that shows commission over time. The series group consists of two years, 2010 and 2009 so there are two lines running across my chart to represent each year. By default the chart is representing the sum of January followed by the sum of February, etc. What I need is for it to represent the series values cumulatively so you can see the sum of January followed by the sum of January and February, etc.

How is this best done in SSRS?

Many thanks in advance.
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Question by:irb56
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Expert Comment

by:Emes
ID: 33631513
I would change the sql to return the sum values that you wish for the chart other wise you can use a formula for the series values.

=iif(month<2,sum(amt),0)  something like this not sure unless we get more detail.

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Author Comment

by:irb56
ID: 33634214
Thanks for the reply. I've pasted a simplified version of my dataset below. Note that I am using effective_month as category in my line chart, effective_year as the series and Sum(commission_transacted) as the data. What I want to see is a line chart representing cumulative commission for the first 6 months of 2010 compared to the first 6 months of 2009. There are two lines on the chart, one representing 2009 and the the other one representing 2010. I want both lines to represent a continuous upward trend with June representing the total commission for 6 months, 2009 versus 2010. Are you able to illustrate how this would be achieved either via an expression in the chart or a modification of the dataset?

SELECT
      LEFT(DATENAME(month,cover_start_date),3) AS effective_month,
      DATEPART(month,cover_start_date) AS effective_month_no,
      DATEPART(year,cover_start_date) AS effective_year,
      SUM(ISNULL(commission_transacted,0)) AS commission_transacted
FROM Policies
WHERE DATEPART(year,cover_start_date) BETWEEN 2009 AND 2010
      AND DATEPART(month,cover_start_date) BETWEEN 1 AND 6
GROUP BY
      DATEPART(month,cover_start_date),
      DATEPART(year,cover_start_date)
ORDER BY effective_month_no;
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Expert Comment

by:itcouple
ID: 33641753
Hi

I usually avoid cummulitive data on graphs but in your case that might work quite well as it is for comparison....

Anyway you might find this blog usefull (not necessarily this particular article) http://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/?p=790

Regards
Emil
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Author Comment

by:irb56
ID: 33646320
Thanks for the Blog link. I couldn't find anything here to help me produce the cumulative line chart I wanted, just a tale about a situation where a bar chart displayed with cumulative totals has been used to mislead its audience. I appreciate that the use of cumulative totals is not a good idea in some circumstances but I think it's valid enough in my scenario. I developed a similar chart in Qlikview, which supports the display of cumulative totals with a single mouse click within the chart's properties and I am puzzled as to why this appears to be difficult to achieve in SSRS.

I have an idea about how this might be achieved which I'll work on and if it solves the problem, I'll post an update later today.
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Accepted Solution

by:
itcouple earned 500 total points
ID: 33646458
Hi

I had no intention to resolve your issue with this link. Stephen Few is information guru so I thought I will share his website with you.

Try this http://blog.stevienova.com/2007/07/02/ssrs-runningvalue-to-get-cumulative-totals/

Regards
Emil
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Author Closing Comment

by:irb56
ID: 33647462
Thanks very much, that's perfect. From reading this article I was quickly able to resolve the issue. This involved changing the expression of the data field in my SSRS line chart from...
=Sum(Fields!commission_transacted.Value)

...to...

=RunningValue(Fields!commission_transacted.Value,Sum,Nothing)
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