Time Series Area Chart
  • 20 Sep 2022
  • 2 Minutes to read
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Time Series Area Chart

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The Time Series Area Chart visualization type is best used for understanding how ratios, proportions, or percentages change over time. Here are some examples of different area charts:

Reference Content

If you're new to visualizing data in Preset, we recommend the following reference articles:

  • Creating a Chart: A walkthrough of the overall process of chart selection and creation.
  • Using Preset Explore: How to work with the Explore page, the primary interface used when creating a chart.

Creating a Time Series Area Chart

Preset currently has a few options for area charts in the visualization picker:

  • Time-series Area Chart
  • Area Chart

We strongly recommend using the Time-series Area Chart visualization type, as it’s newer and supports more features.

To create a Time-series Area chart, you need to define the following values:

  • the column you want as the temporal X-axis
  • the metric(s) you want visualized on the y-axis
  • the column(s) you want the metric(s) to be grouped / categorized by

These are all defined in the Data tab within Explore.

Simple Area Chart (no dimensions)

Below is a very simple area chart that shows a single metric varying over time.

Here's an explanation of the selections we made in the chart builder interface to generate this chart.

Temporal X-axis
  • Time Column: The temporal, or time, column to be visualized
  • Time Grain: Granularity of the X-axis (Hourly, Daily, Weekly, etc.)
  • Time Range: Optionally filter the datetime range
Time-varying Metric(s) on Y-axis
  • Drag or select the Metric(s) to be visualized on the Y-axis

Here's the SQL query that Preset generated:

SELECT DATE_TRUNC('DAY', started_at) AS "started_at",
       count(DISTINCT ride_id) AS "COUNT_DISTINCT(ride_id)"
FROM dbt_smukherjee.citibike_trips
WHERE started_at >= '2022-04-01 00:00:00.000000'
  AND started_at < '2022-05-01 00:00:00.000000'
GROUP BY DATE_TRUNC('DAY', started_at)
ORDER BY "COUNT_DISTINCT(ride_id)" DESC
LIMIT 10000

This hopefully helps you understand the mapping from the chart builder options above to the final generated SQL query.

Area Chart (with dimensions)

Below is a similar chart to the one above but with a dimension (rider type) added.


To generate this chart, we re-used the same selections from the first chart but made the following, additional selections:

Dimensions
  • Select any columns you want to slice / separate the time series objects by. The unique values for those columns will be used to group together values and generate each time series object.
Customization Options
  • Series Style: by default a line is used to connect the data points
  • Area Chart Opacity: increase or decrease to modify how clear the area underneath the line is
  • Show Value: checkbox that enables the display of underlying numeric values if ticked
  • Stacked Style: stack style is ideal when you have a few, non-overlapping groups in your data. The time-series lines will be "stacked" / separated from each other by the dimensions you selected.
  • Only Total: if selected, only total numeric values are displayed on the top most line. If unselected, values are shown for each time series object.
  • Extra Controls: if selected, enables a quick switcher of the stacking type to end-users
  • Marker: if selected, individual data points are shown
  • Marker Size: slider to help you select the size of the markers
  • Show Legend: if selected, legend containing each dimension and color is shown


Here's the SQL query that Preset generated:

SELECT DATE_TRUNC('DAY', started_at) AS "started_at",
       member_casual AS "member_casual",
       count(DISTINCT ride_id) AS "COUNT_DISTINCT(ride_id)"
FROM dbt_smukherjee.citibike_trips
WHERE started_at >= '2022-04-01 00:00:00.000000'
  AND started_at < '2022-05-01 00:00:00.000000'
GROUP BY DATE_TRUNC('DAY', started_at),
         member_casual
ORDER BY "COUNT_DISTINCT(ride_id)" DESC
LIMIT 10000

Advanced Analytics

As with most time-series visualizations in Preset, the Time-series Area Chart supports Advanced Analytics features like:


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