Friday, December 15, 2023

Lesson 15 - Stacked Area chart in Power BI Desktop

Stacked Area chart is the type of visualization tool used to represent the cumulative contribution of data over time and across categories. Here the data series are stacked on the top of each other to show the cumulative contribution to the total.

How to Proceed?

Step 1
Launch power BI desktop app and open the new report page and import the data required. 

Step 2
In “Visualizations” pane click on “Stacked Area chart” which is  highlighted in the given figure

Step 3
Drag the data fields into “Field Section “that we want to compare and analyze.

X axis:  Represents Sport (Top 10)

Y axis: Shows the Number of Medals

The legend represents the different data series or categories which helps us to understand which line corresponds to which data elements. 

Step 4:

Filters in Power BI allows us to control and shape the data as per our needs. Here we are showing the page level filter where we can display only the data we want to show in reports or dashboards. By slicing and dicing the data we can gain insights from it.
Here, we used filters in medal (Filtered only Gold, Bronze and Silver) and in Sport (Top 10 Sports by medal count).

Step 5:

Customizing the appearance of Line chart
You can customize the appearance of the visual.  You can change Title, Font size, Style, Colours and Data labels. Click anywhere on the visual and set the below properties in the Format section.

In this visual, I chose background colour as blue and gave 87% transparency which reduces the intensity of the colour.

Give suitable title for the visual and customize the font size, colour and position of the title.

Chose Colours for the line to show different categories.

To add data labels to the Stacked area chart, click on the “Data Labels” section under “Visual”. Here you can choose which data to display in the labels and adjust their position, font, and color. 

In this visual, to place the position of data labels. Under formatting visuals, click on data labels and choose the desired options.
Here for this visual, we used “Inside Center” option to display the data.

We can also change the shape and
thickness of the line on the chart under the setting Visual-->Lines-->Shape.

Here for this visual we chose Solid line and thickness of the line as 3px

To Represent the shape of the data points in different style we have options under Visual-->Markers-->Shape

Step 6 Save the visual

Finally, your area chart is ready. Click save button to save the visual. 

When to use Stacked Area chart?

Stacked Area charts are used in various scenarios like when we want to show how different components contribute to the whole and changes on their proportions over time and different categories and also, we can use this to showcase breakdown of categories where we can highlight the importance of categories and finally, we can also show cumulative data trends and pattens over time

  • We can clearly visualize the whole composition and with contribution of each individual components
  • In stacked area chart we can easily recognize the pattern like area chart
  • Like Area charts here in stacked area charts also become clumsier when used for large number of data points


Stacked area charts are effective in showing cumulative trends of multiple individual categories relative to whole.

Tags Power BI
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