Time series reference

How to configure time series charts.

A time series chart show how your data changes over a period of time. For example, you can display the count of website sessions daily over the course of a week, or your company's profit margin quarter by quarter for the last 4 years.

In this article:

Time series in Data Studio

A time series chart displays the time dimension as the X-axis (horizontal axis), with the Y-axis (vertical axis) representing the measurement scale. Individual metrics are plotted as a series of data points (also called "markers") between the 2 axes. You can have separate left and right Y-axes in a Data Studio time series chart, if desired.

You can show up to 5 metrics in your time series chart. Each series can be shown as either a line or bar in the chart.

Time series example

The example chart below shows the distribution of website Users metric broken down by the Region dimension from a Google Analytics data source. The chart is filtered to show US states and has a date range of "Last Month." 

Example of a time series chart

Time series DATA tab properties

Section Property Notes
Data Source

A data source provides the connection between the component and the underlying data set. Components in Data Studio currently can connect to a single data source.

  Date Range Dimension (Required) The Date Range Dimension is used as the basis for limiting the date range of the chart. For example, this is the dimension used if you set a date range property for the chart, or if a viewer of the report uses a date range control to limit the time frame.
Dimension

Dimensions provide the data series for your chart.

  Any available time dimension A time dimension provides a time-based X-axis for your chart. The data in this dimension determines the interval of the time series. The time dimension can be the same dimension as the Date Range Dimension, or it can be a separate dimension. For example, you can use a date dimension with YYYYMMDD format as the Date Range Dimension, but then use a different dimension segmented into calendar quarters as the X-axis dimension in your chart.
Breakdown Dimension The Breakdown Dimension displays the metric data broken down according to the selected dimension. For example, a chart showing annual sales data could be broken down by a Sales Region dimension to show sales by region, or by an Employee ID dimension to show sales by sales associate.
Metric

Metrics provide the numeric scale and data series for the chart.

Each metric appears as a data series in the chart. You can display up to 5 metrics in a time series.

Default Date Range

The default date range property lets you set a timeframe for an individual chart. Learn more about working with dates and time.

  Auto Use the default date range determined by the chart's data source.
Custom Lets you use the calendar widget to select a custom date range for the chart.
Date compare type Displays comparison data for the selected time period.
Filter

The filter property restricts the data displayed in the component by including or excluding the values you specify. Learn more about the filter property.

  Filter name Click an existing filter to edit it. Mouse over the filter name and click X to delete it.
+Add a filter Creates a new filter for the chart.

Time series STYLE tab properties

Section Property Notes
Color By

This section controls how your data is colored. Learn more about coloring your data.

These options appear when you have a secondary (breakdown) dimension in your chart.
  Series order Use the current theme to color the data according to its position in the chart. This option emphasizes the ranking of the data over the identity of the data.You can set specific colors using each data series' color picker.
Dimension value

Colors each dimension value in the chart with the color specified in the dimension value color map. This option ensures that your data uses color consistently, regardless of the position of that data in the chart.

Series #n

This section repeats for each metric displayed in the chart. The order of sections matches the order of the metrics listed in the DATA tab.

  Line or Bars Displays the data points for this series as a line or bar.
Line weight Determines the thickness of line series.
Series color Sets the color for the series line or bar.
Cumulative When checked, data for this series is summed over time. Otherwise, the data is shown with no additional aggregation.
Show points Displays individual data points on a line series. Viewers can mouse over a data point to display its value.
Show data labels Displays individual values on for the data points in the series.
Trendline
A trendline is a line superimposed on a chart revealing the overall direction of the data. Data Studio supports three types of trendlines: linear, polynomial, and exponential.

A linear trendline is the straight line that most closely approximates the data in the chart. (To be precise, it's the line that minimizes the sum of squared distances from every point to it.)

If your data is best explained by an exponential of the form eax+b, you can use an exponential trendline to show the direction of your data.

A polynomial trendline displays data directionality as a curved line. It can be useful for analyzing large, highly variable data series.

Options for setting the trendline color and weight appear when you select one of the above options.

Missing Data

This option appears when your time dimension is missing data. Data Studio offers 3 ways of dealing with this situation.

Note: this option has no effect on bar series. The Line to Zero option will affect a trendline, however.

  Line to Zero When you select this option, a line series will drop to zero for the missing dates. This is the default option.
Line Breaks When this option is selected, missing data appears as breaks in the data series.
Linear Interpolation When this option is selected, Data Studio will continue the series by connecting the data points on either side of the missing data.
Legend

These options determine the placement of the chart legend.

  None No legend appears
Right Legend appears on the right.
Bottom Legend appears on the bottom.
Top Legend appears on the top.
Alignment Sets the alignment of the legend relative to the selected position. 
Max lines Sets the number of lines used by the legend. If the number of series requires more lines, overflow items can be displayed by clicking the < and > arrows.
Axes

These options control the display of the chart axes titles and scales. A right Y-axis section appears when you have more than 1 metric in your chart.

 
Show axes Shows or hides the chart axes.
Reverse Y-Axis direction Controls the vertical display of the Y-axis.
Reverse X-Axis direction Controls the horizontal display of the X-axis.
Show axis title Shows or hides the axis labels. 
Axis min and max Set minimum and maximum values for the Y-axes.
Custom tick interval Controls the interval between axis ticks.
Log scale Makes the Y-axis scale logarithmic.l

Grid

These options control the look of the chart grid.

  Axis color Sets the color of the x-axis line.
Grid color Sets the color of the grid lines.
Chart background Sets the color of the chart background.
Chart border color Sets the color of the inner chart border.
Background and Border

These options control the appearance of the chart background container. 

  Background Sets the chart background color.
Border Radius Adds rounded borders to the chart background. When the radius is 0, the background shape has 90° corners. Border radius of 100° produces a circular shape.
Opacity Sets the chart's opacity. 100% opacity completely hides objects behind the chart. 0% opacity makes the chart invisible.
Border Color Sets the chart border color.
Border Weight Sets the chart border line thickness.
Border Style Sets the chart border line style.
Add border shadow Adds a shadow to the chart lower and right borders.
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