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Add Conditional Formatting to a Column Chart

Explains how to create three conditional formatting rules on a chart in Discovery. One rule will highlight above expectations, a second will highlight below expectations, and a third will show a neutral zone for "as planned."

This walkthrough shows you how to create conditional formatting rules on a column chart, where:

1 Service Revenue data series is conditionally formatted to highlight Below Expectations

2 Product Revenue data series is conditionally formatted to highlight Above Expectations

3 Total Revenue data series is conditionally formatted to highlight As Planned Zone

Line Chart with 3 Data Series Conditional Formatted for Above Expectations, Below, and As Planned

Before You Begin

Review Conditional Formatting before starting this walkthrough.

This example assumes that a column chart exists in a dashboard using the default version Working Budget with the following two accounts and one calculation:

  • Product Revenue (general ledger account)
  • Service Revenue (general ledger account)
  • Total Revenue: A calculation that sums Product Revenue and Service Revenue.

Create a Rule for Above Expectations

You will create a conditional formatting rule on the Product Revenue data series to highlight revenue that goes above plan. After completing these steps, you will have a conditional formatting rule and a column chart that looks like: 

Conditional Formatting Rule for Highlighting Above Expectations on Total Revenue

You can replace the hard coded value with an expression that references a data series in the chart. For example: [Product Revenue] >= [Product Revenue] * 1.03, where the right-side expression is a growth rate. You must reference a data series that is in the chart.

Create the First Rule

  1. In edit mode, go to the column chart.
  2. Click Appearance Settings Tab in the right panel to open the Appearance Settings tab. Expand the Conditional Formatting section.
  3. Click Add rule. The Conditional Formatting dialog displays.
  4. Define the rule, Click Help Icon for syntax rules and list of operators and functions.
    1. Provide a description: Above Expectations 
    2. Build the expression: [Product Revenue] >= 4750000
    3. Pick the highlight color to format data points when the condition is true.
    4. Choose the series: Product Revenue
  5. Click Save.

Create a Rule for Below Expectations

You will create a second conditional formatting rule on the Service Revenue data series that highlights revenue that goes below plan.

After completing these steps, you will have a conditional formatting rule and bar chart that looks like: 

Conditional Formatting Rule When Data Falls Below Expectations and Resulting Chart

Build  a Second Rule

  1. Click Add rule. The Conditional Formatting dialog displays.
  2. Define the rule:
    1. Provide a description: Below Expectations
    2. Build the expression: [Service Revenue] < 1250000
    3. Pick a highlight color.
    4. Choose the data series: Service Revenue
  3. Click Save.

Change the Data Series Name

The data series name for services revenue is too long and makes the chart look cluttered with data labels. You can shorten the name of the data series referenced in a conditional formatting rule – without breaking the rule. When you change the name in the data series, the name changes in the rule too.

Effect on Rule After Renaming the Data Series

  1. Navigate to the Accounts section in the Data Settings tab.
  2. Expand the data series: Services Revenue
  3. Change the name: Services

The name changes on the chart data label and the conditional formatting rule now references the renamed data series.

Create a Rule for an As Planned Zone

You can create a conditional formatting rule that evaluates data that falls within a range of values.You will create a rule that will highlight data points that are tracking "as planned." 

After completing these steps, you will have a conditional formatting rule and a column chart that looks like: 

Conditional Formatting Rule That Evaluates Data Between Two Values and the Resulting Chart

  1. Click Add rule. The Conditional Formatting dialog displays.
  2. Define the rule:
    1. Provide a description: As Planned Zone
    2. Build the expression: [Total Revenue] BETWEEN 830000 AND 880000
    3. Pick a highlight color.
    4. Choose the series: Total Revenue
  3. Click Save.

This completes this walkthrough.

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