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Bullet chart reference

How to use and configure bullet charts

Bullet charts give you a way to quickly see how well a given metric is performing against target benchmarks. Bullet charts are simple, having just 3 components:

  • A center bar showing the actual value of the metric you are graphing
  • A vertical line showing a target value
  • Colored bands that represent threshold ranges, such as poor, average, and good

Bullet charts are often used in dashboards to provide meter or gauge-like widgets that monitor various "health" or performance KPI (key performance indicators).

In this article:

Bullet charts in Looker Studio

Bullet charts in Looker Studio visualize a single metric. You can optionally display a target value, and set up to 3 ranges. You can also change the chart colors, and apply data filters.

Example:

The bullet chart below is based on the average grade metric for a fictional online course. At a glance, you can see that the average grade exceeds the target:

  • The center bar shows the metric value (3.2, in this example)
  • The vertical bar shows the target average grade (set at 2.8 in the chart configuration)
  • The colored bands in the graph show the ranges for poor, average, and good grade averages.

Bullet chart example. The Avg Grade metric is shown by adding a scorecard on top of the bullet chart.

Bullet chart example. The Avg Grade metric is shown by adding a scorecard on top of the bullet chart.

Configure the chart

Select the chart, then on the right, use the properties panel to configure the chart options.

Setup properties

The options in a chart's setup panel determine how the data is organized and displayed.

Data source

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

  • 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.

Drill down

This option appears on charts that support it.

Drilling down gives viewers a way to reveal additional levels of detail within a chart. When you turn on the Drill down  optioneach dimension you add becomes another level of detail you can drill into. Learn more about chart drill down.

Date range dimension

This option appears if your data source has a valid date dimension. For Google Ads and Analytics data sources, this option is automatically set to the 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

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 measure the things 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.

Bullet charts can have a single metric.

Range limits

Range limits specify the threshold values for the chart. Ranges often indicate "poor," "average," and "good" thresholds. By default, bullet charts set the range values to 1, 2, and 3. You should adjust these to better fit your actual data. You can remove a range from the chart by setting it to 0. If you don't want ranges at all, set all 3 ranges to the same value (use a value large enough to display the metric value).

Range 1 Set the threshold for the "poor" range.
Range 2 Set the threshold for the "average" range.
Range 3 Set the threshold for the "good" range.

Target

Lets you specify the target value for the chart.

Show target Shows or hides the vertical target bar
Target value Set the target value.

Default date range

The Default date range property lets you set a timeframe for an individual chart.

Default date range options

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.

Learn more about working with dates and time. 

Google Analytics segment

This option appears for charts based on a Universal Analytics data source.

A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. You can apply segments to your Looker Studio charts to help ensure that your Looker Studio and Google Analytics reports show the same data. Learn more about Analytics segments in Looker Studio.

Filter

Filters restrict the data that is displayed in the component by including or excluding the values 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.

Style properties

A chart's style properties control the overall presentation and appearance of the chart.

Bar colors

This section controls the appearance of the center value bar and the ranges.

Bar color Sets the color of the value bar.
Range color Sets the color of the ranges.

Axis

Controls the appearance of the chart axis.

Show axis Shows or hides the chart axis.
Font color Sets the color of the axis labels.
Font family Sets the font family of the axis labels.

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.

Chart Header

The chart header lets viewers perform various actions on the chart such as exporting the data or viewing the chart in the Explorer tool. Chart header options are:

Show on hover (default) Three vertical dots appear when you mouse over the chart header. Click these to access the header options.
Always show The header options always appear.
Do not show The header options never appear. Note that report viewers can always access the options by right clicking the chart.
Color Set the color of the chart header options.
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