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This article is about Looker Studio. For Looker documentation, visit https://cloud.google.com/looker/docs/intro.

Time series reference

How to configure time series charts.

A time series chart shows 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 Looker 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 Looker 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."

A time series chart compares the number of users in California and New York as two lines during the month of October.

Configure the chart

Add a new chart or select an existing chart. Then, on the right, use the Properties panel to configure the chart's Setup and Style tab properties.

Set up the chart data

The options in the SETUP tab determine how the chart's data is organized and displayed.

Data source

A data source provides the connection between the component and the underlying dataset. 

  • To change the chart's data source, click the current data source name.
  • To view or edit the data source, click Edit. (You must have at least view permission to see this icon.)
  • Click +BLEND DATA to see data from multiple data sources in the same chart. Learn more about data blending.

Dimension 

Dimensions are data categories. Dimension values (the data contained by the dimension) are names, descriptions, or other characteristics of a category.

Date range dimension

This option appears if your data source has a valid date dimension.

Note: This option does not appear for Google Ads or Google Analytics data sources, as these automatically use a Date dimension.

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.

Time dimension

A time dimension provides a time-based X-axis for your chart. The data type of this dimension determines the granularity of the time series. For example, to visualize daily data, use the Date data type with full year, month, and day. To group the data by calendar quarter, change the data type to Year Quarter.

For compatibility mode dates, use the Granularity option to change how your data is grouped. Learn more.

Breakdown dimension

This option displays the metric data broken down according to the selected dimension. For example, a chart that shows 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 measure the things that are contained in dimensions and provide the numeric scale and data series for the chart.

Metrics are aggregations that come from the underlying data set, or that are the result of implicitly or explicitly applying an aggregation function, such as COUNT(), SUM(), or AVG(). The metric itself has no defined set of values, so you can’t group by it as you can with a dimension.

Learn more about aggregation.

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.

Default date range options

Auto Uses the default date range, which is 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.

Learn more about working with dates and time. 

Filter

Filters restrict the data that is displayed in the component by including or excluding the values that you specify. Learn more about the filter property.

Filter options

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

Chart interactions

When the Cross-filtering option is enabled on a chart, that chart acts like a filter control. You can filter the report by clicking or brushing your mouse across the chart. Learn more about cross-filtering.

The Zoom option lets you zoom into a chart and pan on that chart to view all the data that is present. Learn more about zooming and panning on Cartesian charts.

The Zoom option is not available when the Cross-filtering option is enabled.

Stylize the chart

The options in the Style tab control the overall presentation and appearance of the chart.

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.

Single Color
When this option is selected, the data series are displayed in shades of a single color. Otherwise, the chart displays in a veritable rainbow of happy colors (depending on your report theme).

You can change the series colors using the color pickers below.

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 values

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

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.

Line style

Determines the style and appearance of the series line.

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.
Stepped lines Displays a line with a series of steps between data points instead of a smooth line that connects the data points.
Compact Numbers Turn on Show data labels to see this option:

Rounds numbers and displays the unit indicator. For example, 553,939 becomes 553.9K.

Decimal Precision Turn on Show data labels to see this option:
Sets the number of decimal places in metric values.
Trendline

A trend line is a line that is superimposed on a chart to reveal the overall direction of the data. Looker Studio supports several types of trend lines, which are available in the Trendline drop-down menu:

  • Linear

    A linear trend line 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.)

  • Polynomial

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

    An exponential trend line displays the direction of data that is best represented as an exponential of the form eax+b.
     
  • Moving average

    A moving average trend line lets report creators visualize a moving average calculation of the data on their charts. When you select a moving average trend line, specify the time period for the calculation.

    The Moving average trend line type is only available for time series charts.

Trend lines are only available for time series charts and scatter charts.

Options for setting the trend line WeightStyle, and Color appear when an option is selected from the Trendline drop-down menu.

Intervals

Select the Add an interval icon to add an interval to your time series chart.

For more information about intervals in Looker Studio, visit the Add intervals to charts page.

Reference lines

Add a reference line or a reference band to your chart by selecting the Add a reference line or Add a reference band option.

For more information about reference lines and reference bands, visit the Add reference lines and reference bands to charts page.

Missing data

This option appears when your time dimension is missing data. Looker 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, Looker 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.

Legend font color Sets the color of the legend font.
Font size Sets the size of the legend font.
Font family Sets the font type of the legend font.
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.

Zoom

After you enable the Zoom option for a chart on the Setup tab of the Properties panel, you can select one of the following options:

  • Click and drag to zoom: Zoom by clicking and dragging to select a portion of the visualization to magnify.
  • Scroll to zoom: Zoom by scrolling with your mouse.

Optionally, select the Pan/Zoom X-axis only checkbox to allow zooming and panning only along the X-axis.

Axes

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

Axis options

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.
Align both axes to 0 Makes both left and right axes start at 0. Available for Cartesian line, bar, and combo charts that have left and right Y-axes.

Left Y-axis

These options control the display of the chart's left Y-axis. A right Y-axis section appears when you have more than one metric in your chart.

Axis options

Show axis title Shows or hides the axis labels. 
Axis min and max Sets minimum and maximum values for the axis.
Custom tick interval Controls the interval between axis ticks.
Log scale Makes the axis scale logarithmic.

X-axis

These options control the display of the chart's X-axis.

Axis options

Show axis title Shows or hides the axis labels. 
Custom tick interval Controls the interval between axis ticks.

Grid

These options control the look of the chart grid.

Axis color Sets the color of the axis line(s).
Grid color Sets the color of the grid lines.
Font family Sets the font type of the grid line text.
Axis font size Sets the font size of the grid line text.
Label font size Sets the font size of the grid line label text.
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 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's lower and right borders.

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