28.5 Charts

By default, a 3D bar chart is included in the .jrxml file that is downloaded from DHIS 2. This is set up so that only data from the «parameter organisation unit» (often the parent or grand parent) is used. Usually, this is a good solution. Since it is the default, we will start by looking at bar charts, before looking at line charts.

28.5.1 Bar charts

Bar charts are the default chart type in DHIS2. In this section, we will look at how to make a bar charts like the one above, comparing the value of one indicator in several districts. To edit the default chart in iReport, right click on it and choose Chart data.

A window will appear. By default, the Filter expression is filled in so that only data for the parent organisation unit will be displayed. If for some reason you do not want this, simply delete the text in the text box. In this case we do NOT want the filter, as we are making a chart showing a comparison across districts. To continue, click the details tab.

Under details, you see the list of series for the chart. By default, one series is created per crosstab column. In this case, we are looking at data for one indicator for the whole of 2010, for a number of districts. The indicator is along the crosstab dimension.

To make changes to a series, select it and click modify. Another window will appear where there are four areas that can be edit. The three first are required, but it is sufficient to add an empty quote («») in one of the first two.

The first box is a text field where the name of the series can be inserted or edited. This is the field that will be used to fill the text in the legend box (shown below).

However, if you want to have the name of each bar along the x-axis of the chart instead of using the legend, this can be done by adding whatever text you want to present in the Category expression field, or by inserting an expression to have it filled automatically when the report is run. In this case, we want to have one bar for each organisation unit. We therefore edit the category expression by clicking on the button to the right.

As the expression, we chose organisationunitname, as shown below.

When we are finished, the series editor should look like below. Click OK, then Close to close the Chart Details window.

If you add a good description in the Category expression area, you can leave out the legend box. This is done in the Report properties panel of iReport, where you can also edit many other details of the chart.

We can also add a title to the chart, for example the name of the indicator. This is also done in the Chart properties panel, under Title expression.

The Expression editor window will appear, where you can enter the title. Note that the title must be in quotes, as shown below.

The chart is now ready.

28.5.2 Line charts

Line charts can be useful in many circumstances. However, to make line charts the report data (report table) must be suited for it. Thus if you want to make a line chart, it is important that the report table does not have periods in the crosstab dimension. Examples where this is useful is if you are making a report for a single organisation unit with one or more indicators, or if you are making a report with one indicator and one or more organisation units.

Below, we will go though the steps needed to make a report with a line chart showing the development of three indicators over one year, for one organisation unit. We start by making a report table with the choices shown below:

When we open the resulting .jrxml-file in iReport, the default line chart is included. Since we want to make a line chart, we delete this chart and drag a new chart element into the report from the Palette panel.

As soon as we drag the Chart element into the report, a window will appear. We choose the Line chart, as shown below.

A chart wizard will appear. Click next in the first step, then Finish in the next - we will add the data later.

Next, adjust the size and position of the chart in your report. Then, we will add one data series for each of our three indicators. Right-click on the chart and choose Chart data. If you are making a chart with one indicator and several organisation units, you probably want to make a filter expression so that only data from the parameter/parent organisation unit is used in the chart. To do this, add this line to the Filter expression area:


In our example, we only have on organisation unit, so this is not necessary. Next, click the details tab to see a list of the series in the chart. For now, this list is empty, but we will add one series for each of our three indicators. To add a series, click the Add button.

In the window that appears, enter the name of the first of the indicators in the Series expression window. Remember to put the name in quotes. In the category expression (along the x-axis) we want the months, so we use the button next to the field to open the Expression editor and add periodname.

In the value expression, we add the actual data values for our first indicator. Use the Expression editor again to do this. When we are finished, the window should look like the one below, only with different names according to the indicator.

You can then Click OK to close the window. Follow the same steps to add a series for the other indicators.

Close the window, and the data for the line chart should be ready. However, some additional adjustments might be needed - most of these can be found in the Line chart properties panel. For example, when making a month by month chart as we have in example, there is often not enough space for the month names along the category axis. This can be fixed by rotating the labels by for example -40 degrees, by using the property Category Axis Tick Label Rotation.

Many other options are available to give the chart the desired look.