Area Chart

An area chart is very similar to a line chart, in that it plots data points across Cartesian coordinates, connecting each data point with a line. However, unlike a line chart, the area between the data points and the x-axis is shaded or colored for emphasis.

Area charts are often to display a trend in quantitative data over a period of time. They are particularly useful when comparing trends across multiple hierarchies, as the contrasting shaded areas make it easy to spot trends.

How to Build an Area Chart

Select the required area chart type from the Area Chart sub-menu:

As with other Cartesian charts, you must have at least 1 measure in the Values zone and 1 hierarchy in the Categories zone. This will produce a basic area chart, plotting the data points representing the value for each hierarchy element. In this example, the chart plots net profit by month:

Here, a second hierarchy, “Class” was added to the Color zone. Now the chart shows net profit by month for each product class.

Spline Area Chart

The spline area chart is functionally identical to the area chart. The difference is that each data point is connected by a curved line instead of a straight line.

Stepped Line Area Chart

The stepped line area charts connects each data point with steps. This can make it easier to read the chart accurately.