Visualize progress (work item charting)

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You can quickly view the status of work in progress by charting the results of a flat-list query. You can create several types of charts—such as pie, column, or trend —for the same query.

Charts support viewing a count of work items or a sum of values for select numeric fields, such as Remaining Work or Original Estimate.

A view of 6 charts for a flat-list query

Add a chart

  1. From the Queries page, open the chart editor for a flat list query. To author charts, you need to have Advanced access.

    New chart link on Charts page

  2. Select the chart type and field for grouping values. When you use pie, bar, and column charts, select a single field to view a count of work items.

    Configure a Pie chart

    If you don’t see the field you want in the Group by drop-down list, add the field as a column to the query and save the query. You can group by any field except date-time and free-form text fields.

    Choose Sort-by-Value to display data based on numeric values; descending will display the largest data values first. Choose Sort-by-Label to display data based on labels; ascending will display grouped data according to the alphabetical order.

  3. If you receive an error message when you close the chart editor, you need to request Advanced access.

Charts automatically update when you edit the query and when the results of the query change.

Create a stacked bar chart

A stacked bar chart lets you track progress against two field values.

Configure Chart dialog box for a Stacked bar chart

Also, you can sort the rows in the chart by value or label.

Q & A

Q: I can view charts, but I can’t create one. What’s missing?

A: You need to have Advanced access in TWA to create and save charts.

Q: Can I change the colors in the display of charts?

A: Feature support for changing chart colors is available in Visual Studio Online and for TFS instances that have been upgraded to TFS 2013.2. Simply select a series in the chart and pick a color from the color picker. The TFS 2013.2 download is available here.

Q: Can I add a chart to the team home page?

A: Feature support for pinning charts to the team home page is available in Visual Studio Online and for TFS instances that have been upgraded to TFS 2013.2. To edit, delete, or pin a chart to the home page, select an option from the chart's context menu. You can only pin charts to the home page that are saved as shared queries.

Chart context menu

To learn more about the team home page, see View progress on the team dashboard (home page).

Q: Why doesn’t my chart show all the field values in the results?

A: When a chart contains more than eight items within the data series, values in the nine-plus items are consolidated into a set labeled “Other.”

Other category groups data beyond 7 set series

Q: Why doesn’t the field I want to select show up in the chart editor?

A: Add the field to either the query filter criteria or a displayed column.

You can’t select fields for groupings that aren't supported, such as ID, Title, Tags, date-time fields, Description, Repro Steps, and other HTML and long text fields.

Q: How does the chart display areas and iterations?

A: When you select Area Path or Iteration Path, only the leaf node appears in the chart. The leaf node is the last node of the full path. For example, Phone is the leaf node of FabrikamFiber/Fabrikam Website/Phone. If your query contains a mixed level of leaf nodes, your chart might not reflect expected results.

Q: Can I create a chart that aggregates items using SUM? Can I create a trend chart?

A: Yes, if you connect to a server that has been updated to TFS 2013.4. Otherwise, you can only create status charts that show a count of work items.

To create trend charts, open the query in Team Explorer and choose Create Report in Microsoft Excel.

Q: Can I share the charts I create with my team?

A: Yes. Team members can view the charts you create for queries that are saved under Shared Queries. Charts that you create for queries under your My Queries folder are visible only to you.

Also, you can copy the URL of the chart page and email that to a team member.

Q: How are charts that are generated with the chart editor different from PivotCharts that I create using Excel?

A: The chart editor generates data from the work item tracking data store and therefore displays the most recent data. Excel PivotCharts access data published to the Analysis Services cube, which is refreshed every two hours by default.

Q: Which browsers support charts?

A: Charts display in browsers that support Scalable Vector Graphics (SGV). This includes Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10, Chrome, Firefox and Safari on Mac. Charts have not been optimized for mobile or touch displays.

Q: What other charts can I access?

A: You can access the following charts: