Create and use combo charts in Power BI

APPLIES TO: ✔️ Power BI Desktop ✔️ Power BI service

In Power BI, a combo chart is a single visualization that combines a line chart and a column chart. Combining the two charts into one lets you make a quicker comparison of the data.

Combo charts can have one or two Y axes.

When to use a combo chart

Combo charts are a great choice:

  • when you have a line chart and a column chart with the same X axis.
  • to compare multiple measures with different value ranges.
  • to illustrate the correlation between two measures in one visualization.
  • to check whether one measure meets the target defined by another measure
  • to conserve canvas space.

How to create a combo chart

Watch Will create a combo chart using the Sales and Marketing sample.

Note

This video might use earlier versions of Power BI Desktop or the Power BI service.

Note

Sharing your report with a Power BI colleague requires that you both have individual Power BI Pro licenses or that the report is saved in Premium capacity.

To follow along below, use the Retail Analysis sample PBIX file.

  1. From the upper left section of the menubar, select File > Open report.

  2. Find your copy of the Retail Analysis Sample PBIX file.

  3. Open the Retail Analysis Sample PBIX file in report view .

  4. Select to add a new page.

Create a basic single-axis combo chart

  1. Start on a blank report page and create a column chart that displays this year's sales and gross margin by month.

    a. From the Fields pane, select Sales > This Year Sales > Value.

    b. Select Sales > Gross Margin This Year and drag it to the Y-axis well.

    c. Select Time > FiscalMonth and drag it to the X-axis well.

    Screenshot of the initial column chart values.

  2. The visualization will be similar to this one.

    Screenshot of the column chart visualization.

  3. In the upper-right corner of the visual, select the More options ellipsis (...) and select Sort axis > FiscalMonth.

    Screenshot of the More options (ellipsis) menu expanded with Sort axis and FiscalMonth.

  4. Select the ellipsis again and choose Sort axis > Sort ascending.

  5. Convert the column chart to a combo chart. There are two combo charts available: Line and stacked column and Line and clustered column. With the column chart selected, from the Visualizations pane select the Line and clustered column chart.

    Screenshot of the line and clustered column chart icon in the Visualizations pane.

  6. From the Fields pane, drag Sales > Last Year Sales to the Line y-axis bucket.

    Screenshot of combo chart fields.

    Your combo chart should look something like this:

    Screenshot of the completed single-axis combo chart visualization.

Create a combo chart with two axes

In this task, we'll compare gross margin and sales.

  1. Create a new line chart that tracks Gross Margin Last Year % by FiscalMonth.

  2. Select the ellipsis to sort it by FiscalMonth, then select the ellipsis again and choose Sort axis > Sort ascending.

  3. In January GM% was 35%, peaked at 45% in April, dropped in July and peaked again in August. Will we see a similar pattern in sales last year and this year?

    Line chart showing last year's gross margin percentage.

  4. Add This Year Sales > Value and Last Year Sales to the line chart. The scale of Gross Margin Last Year % is much smaller than the scale of Sales which makes it difficult to compare.

    Line chart showing Values, Sales, and Gross Margin percentage at the same scale.

  5. To make the visual easier to read and interpret, convert the line chart to a Line and stacked column chart.

    Icon for Line and stacked column chart.

  6. Drag Gross Margin Last Year % from Column y-axis into Line y-axis.

    Screenshot of combo chart fields showing Line y-axis field.

  7. Power BI creates two axes, thus allowing the datasets to be scaled differently; the left measures sales dollars and the right measures percentage. And we see the answer to our question: yes, we do see a similar pattern.

    Cluster combo chart example.

Add titles to the axes

  1. Select the paintbrush icon to open the Formatting pane.

  2. Set Y-axis to On, then select the down arrow to expand the Y-axis options.

  3. Set Y-axis > Values > Display units to Millions.

  4. Set Y-axis > Title to On, then set Style to Show title only

    Screenshot of the combo chart with Y-axis on.

  5. Set Secondary y-axis to On to display options for formatting the line chart portion of the combo chart.

    Screenshot of the combo chart with Secondary y-axis on.

  6. Under Secondary y-axis, set Title to On.

    Your combo chart now displays dual axes, both with titles.

    Screenshot of the combo chart with dual axes and titles.

  7. Optionally, modify the text font, size, and color and set other formatting options to improve the display and readability of the chart.

From here you might want to:

Cross-highlighting and cross-filtering

Highlighting a column or line in a combo chart cross-highlights and cross-filters the other visualizations on the report page, and vice versa. Use visual interactions to change this default behavior.

Considerations and limitations

Depending on the size of your combo chart, the data labels may or may not display. If you don't see data labels, resize the combo chart.

Next steps

Doughnut charts in Power BI

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