Combo chart in Power BI

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.

Prerequisites

Combo charts are available in Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. This tutorial uses Power BI service to create a combo chart. Make sure you have user credentials to sign in to Power BI.

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

Create a basic, single-axis, combo chart

To follow along, open Power BI service and connect to the Retail Analysis sample. To create your own combo chart, sign in to Power BI service and select Get Data > Samples > Retail Analysis Sample > Connect. The Retail Analysis Sample dashboard appears.

  1. From the "Retail Analysis Sample" dashboard, select the Total Stores tile to open the Store Sales Overview report.

  2. Select Edit Report to open the report in Editing View.

  3. At the bottom of the page, select + to add a new report page.

  4. Create a column chart that shows this year's sales and gross margin by month.

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

    2. Drag Sales > Gross Margin This Year to the Value well.

    3. Select Time > FiscalMonth to add it to the Axis well.

      Screenshot of the newly created column chart.

  5. Select the ellipsis in the upper-right corner of the visualization, and select Sort by > FiscalMonth. To change the sort order, select the ellipsis again and choose either Sort ascending or Sort descending.

  6. 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 visualizations pane with the Line and clustered column chart option called out.

  7. From the Fields pane, drag Sales > Last Year Sales to the Line Values well.

    Screenshot of the Line Values well with Last Year Sales dragged into it.

    Your combo chart should look something like this:

    Screenshot of the column chart with the Last Year Sales line value added.

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 Month. Select the ellipsis to sort it by Month and Ascending.

    Screenshot of the new line chart.

    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?

  2. 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. It's difficult to compare.

    Screenshot of the line chart with Value and Last Year Sales added.

  3. To make the visual easier to read and interpret, convert the line chart to a Line and Stacked Column chart.

    Screenshot of the visualizations pane with the Line and stacked column chart option called out.

  4. Drag Gross Margin Last Year % from Column Values into Line Values.

    Screenshot of the Line and stacked column chart

    Power BI creates two axes, allowing the service so scale the datasets 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.

Add titles to the axes

  1. Select the paint roller icon Screenshot of the paint roller icon. to open the Formatting pane.

  2. Select the down arrow to expand the Y-axis options.

  3. For Y-Axis (Column), select these options:

    Setting Value
    Position Select Left.
    Display units Select Millions.
    Title Move slider to On.
    Style Select Show title only.
    Show secondary Move slider to On. This shows options for formatting the line chart portion of the combo chart.
  4. For Y-Axis (Line), select these options:

    Setting Value
    Position Select Right.
    Title Move slider to On.
    Style Select Show title only.

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

    Screenshot of the Line and stacked column chart with titles turned on.

  5. Optionally, change 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. Use visual interactions to change this default behavior.

Next steps

Doughnut charts in Power BI

Visualization types in Power BI