Formatting conditional data on a graph: Thresholds

Individual cell data can be automatically formatted differently than the data in the rest of the report. Data that is formatted differently calls attention to itself, and makes that data easier to locate for analysis. This conditional formatting is called a threshold, because when a given value in your data reaches a certain point, or threshold, the conditional formatting is applied.

Thresholds are described in detail in Formatting conditional values on a grid: Thresholds.

Because of how graph types display report data, a threshold on a graph report displays background formatting only. This includes a solid color, a gradient color, a pattern, and any other available background effects. Other threshold formatting, such as symbols and text formatting, are not applied to the graph report, but are still displayed on the grid report.

Not all graph types can display thresholds. For example, Area graphs combine all data into a single area object. Since the data is all visually connected into the same area object, thresholds cannot be displayed for specific data points. However, many graph types display a separate series or data marker for each data point, and thus can display thresholds.

The following graph types can display thresholds directly on the series of the graph:

  • Bar
  • Boxplot
  • Bubble chart
  • Funnel
  • Histogram
  • Pareto chart
  • Pie chart
  • Stock

For example, the Bar graph report shown below uses thresholds on the series to highlight when employee satisfaction is above seven or below three for a given survey field.

The following graph types can display thresholds on the data markers that highlight specific data points on the series of the graph:

  • Gauge
  • Line
  • Polar chart
  • Radar line chart
  • Scatter plot and three-dimensional scatter plot

For example, the graph report shown below is the same report used in the previous example. However, the report shown below uses a Line graph style, and the threshold is applied to the data markers.

To create and apply a threshold to a graph report

  1. In Developer, open a graph report.
  2. From the Data menu, select Thresholds. The Thresholds dialog box opens.
  3. Click on New Threshold, and name your new threshold.


    Any thresholds that are already defined for this metric are displayed below the toolbar. If you want, you can select any existing threshold to modify, and then skip defining the condition, as described in the next step. An existing threshold must include some type of background formatting such as a solid color, a gradient, or a pattern. The background formatting is the only conditional formatting that is displayed on a graph report.

  4. Define the condition that the value must meet to have the threshold formatting applied. Click the text Click here to start a new qualification. The parts of the condition appear, each of which must be defined:

    1. Click Field first, to select the business attribute or metric calculation that is part of your condition.
    2. Click Operator to select an operator, such as In List, Not in List, or Where.
    3. Click Value to specify the elements from the available list.

    If you selected an existing threshold in the step above, you do not have to redefine the condition.

  5. Next you define the formatting that you want displayed for values that meet the condition you have defined above.

    1. Click the Edit the threshold formatting icon. The Format Cells dialog box opens.
    2. Click the Background tab.
    3. Select a Background Style from the drop-down list, and then choose the colors to use. For details to format the background, click Help.

      To apply a background to a graph report, you must select a Background Style other than Default.

    4. Click OK.
  6. Select the threshold that you formatted, and click the Enable threshold on Graph icon on the toolbar. This applies the background color to the graph when the threshold condition is satisfied.

    This icon is available only when you have formatted the background of the selected threshold.

  7. Click OK to save your new threshold definition and close the Thresholds dialog box. Your new threshold is automatically applied.
  8. Review the graph report. The thresholds should be displayed for applicable data on the graph report. If you are using one of the graph types that support thresholds, and you do not see thresholds on the graph report, use the steps provided below to display the thresholds:

    1. From the Graph menu, select Preferences. The Preferences dialog box opens with the Options - General page displayed.
    2. In the Other area, clear the Apply rounded effects to all series check box. This removes the automatic beveling effects used for the series and data markers of the graph report, but it also allows the display of thresholds for certain graph types. You can still apply and create your own custom bevel effects for the graph report, as described in the Graphing chapter of the Advanced Reporting Guide.
    3. Click OK to save your changes and return to the graph report. The thresholds should now be displayed on the graph report.