Line Visuals

A line chart reveals trends or change over time. Line charts show relationships within a continuous data set, and can be applied to a wide variety of categories. A line chart displays information as a series of data points, or markers, connected by straight line segments. It is a basic type of chart common in many fields. While it is similar to a scatter plot, the line chart orders the measurements along the primary axis and is often used to visualize a time series.

Availability Note.

This visual type supports smooth rendering of streaming data.

The following steps demonstrate how to create a new line visual on dataset World Life Expectancy [data source samples.world_life_expectancy].

For an overview of shelves that specify this visual, see Shelves for Line Visuals.

For customization options, see Settings for Line Visuals.

  1. Start a new visual based on dataset World Life Expectancy [data source samples.world_life_expectancy]; see Creating Visuals.
  2. In the visuals menu, find and click Lines.

    selecting line chart type
  3. Note that the shelves of the visual changed. They are now X Axis, Y Axis, Colors, Tooltips, Drill, Labels, and Filters.

    The mandatory shelves are X Axis and Y Axis. Note also that the fields placed on these two shelves may be easily swapped by switching X and Y.

    shelves of this visual type
  4. Populate the shelves from the available fields (Dimensions, Measures, and so on) in the Data menu. Notice the two approaches for populating the shelves of the visual:

    • Under Dimensions, select year and drag it over X Axis shelf on the main part of the screen. Drop to add it to the shelf.
    • Click the Y Axis shelf. Then select life_expectancyfield from the Data menu by clicking on it. This adds the field to the shelf.
  5. On the X Axis shelf, click the field, and in the Field Properties menu, select Order and Top K. When it expands, select the option Ascending.
  6. If the field on the Y Axis appears as a sum aggregate, change the aggregate to avg(life_expectancy):

    • On the shelf of the visual, click the icon to the right of the field.

    • In the Column Properties menu, click the icon next to Aggregates.

    • From the list of aggregate functions, select Average.

      changing the aggregation to average
    • Click icon at the top of the Column Properties menu to close it.

    • Note that the shelf now contains the modified field with avg() aggregation function.

  7. Click Refresh Visual.

  8. The line visual appears.

  9. Alias the year field as Year, and the life_expectancy field as Life Expectancy:

    • On the shelf of the visual, click the icon to the right of the field.

    • In the Field Properties menu, click the icon next to Alias.

    • In the text box below Alias, enter the alias name of column, as it should appear in the visual.

    • Click icon at the top of the Field Properties menu to close it.

    • Note that the shelf now shows the column with its alias name.

  10. To see the individual countries, and in different colors, you must place the field country on the Colors shelf. We recommend that you apply an Alias to it.

  11. Click Refresh Visual again, and notice the changes to the visual: the single line is broken out into Country components, and Arcadia Instant automatically provides a color legend.

  12. [Optional] On the Tooltips shelf, add several fields from Dimensions and Measures.

    This enables you to see specific descriptive information in your visuals, such as input values, segment affiliation, and calculations.

  13. On the Filters shelf, add several Dimensions and Measures from the Data menu.

    This enables you to dynamically control the data input, and discover the data at a more granular level.

    For example, from Dimensions, drag country, un_subregion, un_region, year, and population onto the Filters shelf.

  14. On the Filters shelf,

    • Click the (right-arrow) icon on the population field.
    • Select []Enter/Edit Expression.
    • Enter [population]>10000000.
    • Click Validate & Save.
  15. Click Refresh Visual.

    The updated line visual appears. Note that some of the lines do not originate at the beginning of the time series. This is because their population were below the 10,000,000 threshold that we set in the population filter.

  16. To limit the dimensions available to the Drill Into feature (it appears on dashboards that include the visual), specify the fields that can remain visible by placing them on the Drill shelf.

  17. Click (pencil icon) next to the title of the visualization to edit it, and enter the new name.

  18. Change the title to World Population - Lines.
  19. At the top left corner of the Visual Designer, click Save.

    clicking to save
Tip. The following video demonstrates how to configure a line visual using shelf or field properties, such as aliasing and changing measure aggregation, or using settings and styles, such as modifying color palettes and legend placements.