My New Favorite Chart — Overlapping Bar Charts

Back in April, I had the pleasure of attending Jason Thomas’s (B | T) Advanced Charting Techniques in SSRS at SQL Saturday #220 in Alpharetta, GA.

During this session, I was introduced to my new favorite SSRS visualization — the Overlapping Bar Chart.

The overlapping bar chart is really just a standard bar chart with a range chart in the background.  The range chart in the background represents the sum of the bars in the foreground.  This allows you to see very quickly the total amount for a category as well as a quick breakdown of the parts that make up that total.

To create an overlapping bar chart, you will first need some data.  The data should have a category (such as dates or products) and then a couple of quantity columns and finally a total column which sums the quantity column.

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