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SSRS 2008 R2: How to dynamically size your INDICATORS

The indicators that are available in SQL 2008R2 adds great visualizations to your reports. I was recently building an SSRS demonstration and I stumbled upon an additional feature that makes the indicator even more visually appealing. Using a not so obvious property of the indicator you can set its size. The value must be between 0 and 1 or an expression that results in a value between 0 and 1.

To change the size of an indicator, ensure that you have selected the indicator that you want to resize. Similar to the following image:


Next click F4 and the Properties window will open. Locate the IndicatorStates property, click in the text box, and click the ellipses button that appears.

Once you click the ellipses the IndicatorState Collection Editor will open.

Several options are available in this editor, but for now I will focus on the ScaleFactor. According to the description given by the editor, the ScaleFactor determines the mumber by which the indicator is scaled. I am not sure what a mumber is,but I think they meant number. Either way, changing this value from the 1 to anything between 0 and 1 will reduce the size of the indicator. For example, if I change the size to .5 the indicator would look like this instead of like this . In addition to providing an explicit value you can also provide an expression. Remember the expression must result in a value that is between 0 and 1. Assume that, not only do you want the indicators color to visually represent performance, but you would also like the size to be an indicator. Take a look at the chart below:

The first three rows show the Total Sales for each category and the final row represents the Total Sales for all categories. A quick way to implement the indicator sizing strategy is to base the size on a percentage of total calculation. In the case of the above report it would be the Total Sales of one category divided by the Total Sales for all categories. For example, the totals sales for the Accessories category divided by the Total Sales for all categories: (9,093,653.27 / 30, 093,177.09).

To accomplish this return to the IndicatorState Collection Editor, click the drop down in the ScaleFactor property text box and select Expression. In the expression editor you will type and expression similar to the following:


Once you have done this click OK twice and run your report. You will notice that the indicators are different sizes. These sizes are equal to the result of the expression for each row.

Notice the smaller the category Total Sales the smaller the indicator. In fact, the indicator for the Clothing category is barely noticeable. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post please feel free to email me at pleblanc@sqllunch.com.

Talk to you soon

Patrick LeBlanc, founder SQL Lunch


Posted by Steve Jones on 26 May 2011

Nice trick. Not sure I like the visual of the dots, but having different sizes certainly can help someone better understand the scale or relationships between two values.

Posted by Steven Howes on 31 May 2011

I also like the typo in the Scale factor Description.  "Mumber"

Posted by saglamtimur on 5 July 2011

I have found something about "mumber" and it is not alone. There is "umber" and "zumber" as well.


Posted by Julie.Wise on 21 December 2011

Question for you:  In my report I have a couple of indicators and a gauge with in a row in a tablex.

When the description doesn't wrap, my visual controls stay in proportion and when it wraps the visual controls (indicators and gauges) become elongated.  Any suggestions regarding how I can keep my visual controls from changing size?

Posted by Patrick_LeBlanc on 21 December 2011

Julie.Wise, before adding the indicator add a rectangle to the column and then add the indicator.  That should solve the problem.  If it still persists let me know.

Posted by Julie.Wise on 22 December 2011

Thank you Patrick!  I'll give that a try.  These are truely impressive reports with a Gauge in the far left and two indicators in the far right retarding monthly and ytd values.  This has truely brightened up my day.  Thank you again!

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