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MicroStrategy Dashboard Widgets – Microcharts

By on February 2, 2015 in Tips, Tricks and Technology with 0 Comments

A Microcharts widget provides a visualization that helps users view a particular trend at a glance. These trends are generally for a metric overtime or comparisons with the targeted or forecasted values. These visualizations are compact and gives us a picture at a single glance.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Minimum of 2 attribute along the rows. The one on the right should be a Time attribute.
  • Minimum of 2 metrics along the columns to display only Sparkline and Bar Microcharts. A minimum of 7 metrics in case Bullet Microchart is also required.

This widget is available in Flash, Interactive and Express mode. All the interactivity features can be utilized and viewed in Flash and Interactive mode.

We can view the widget in Express mode but no editing can be performed on the Interactive features in this mode.

Figure 1

Use Case

We will be considering the following use case to support the working of a Microchart.

As per the minimum requirements mentioned above, consider the following grid-

Figure 2


Types of Microcharts

  1. Sparkline: Sparkline depicts a metric’s value over time using a line graph. It also has a reference line that shows comparison between the metric value and the reference value.
  2. Bar charts: This is a simple Microchart which depicts a metric’s value over time in the form of bars.
  3. Bullet chart: Bullet charts are used to compare the values of a metric with other metrics. It consists of a horizontal performance bar that depicts the value of the metric being compared. There is a vertical reference line that generally shows a target or a forecasted value.

Figure 3 

Operations Modes in Microcharts

  1. Grid Mode: By default the Microchart widget is displayed in the grid mode. When in grid mode, a Microchart displays rows of data in a grid format. All the data can be viewed at the same time.
  2. Vertical Scroll mode: This mode displays a single row of data at a time. User can either scroll from one row to another using the buttons on the right or set the mode to be scrolled automatically depending upon the speed you set.
  3. Ticker: This mode displays each row of data in the form of slowly moving ticker from right to left. Each row can be displayed as two types of tickers depending upon the value of the third metric (performance bar) and seventh metric (Target value metric).
    • The rows that have the value of the performance metric less that the target metric(vertical bar on the widget) show Ticker 1
    • The rows that have the value of the performance metric greater that or meets the target metric(vertical bar on the widget) show Ticker 2

These tickers can be customized to alert the users, with strings and variables. You can customize a ticker as follows- The Revenue for the {Region} Region did not meet {[Revenue Forecast]} {&bullet}

Figure 4


Formatting a Microchart

 Right click anywhere on the Microchart widget in Interactive or Flash mode. Select properties, this opens up a dialog box that allows a user to edit this widget.

The Dialog box has a drop down with the following options-


 When you choose Options from the drop down, you can find 3 tabs each for the type of Microcharts. Each Microchart (Sparkline/Bar/Bullet) can be edited using these tabs-

  • User can choose to enable or disable any of the Microchart types
  • Reference line can be enabled or disabled as per the user’s wish
  • User can choose to display the Min/Max legends for Bar chart.
  • Grid formatting can be inherited, using this dialog box
  • You can choose to show the tool tips

Figure 5



When you choose Color from the drop down, you will find 3 tabs for the Microchart types. Here a user can change the color of the reference line, Series line or the reference area for any of the Charts.


The Labels option allows a user to edit/name the title or label the chart or Microchart type that is being used within the Widget. It also allows a user to rename the associated metric on the widget.


A user can choose to change the Background Opacity


When you choose Modes from the drop down, it opens a door for the formatting within various modes of the Microchart widget

  • Vertical Scroll Mode
    • A user can choose to disable/enable the Next and Previous button for manual scrolling
    • User can choose the speed with which the automatic scroll works.
  • Ticker Mode
    • User can choose to disable/enable the Next and Previous button along with the Detail view within this mode
    • You can give a title to this ticker
    • Each row can be either a Ticker 1 or ticker 2 (described earlier). A user can customize each ticker using the formatting property mentioned under this tab
    • The color of the tickers can also be changed as per the user’s wish

Points to Remember

  • A Time attribute should always be present for a Microchart. Since, it displays a trend over time
  • Minimum required metrics are 7 to display all 3 charts but any additional metrics will be displayed as it is.


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