June 2003   

Vol. 5, No. 6


Showing every date on a chart:
Steve Daum tells how to do it.

Problem:
Our technical support team often receives questions relating to the following data management issue.
Imagine that you collect data in this form:

01/01/02 Product A Bob 12.4
01/02/02 Product B Sally 11.8
01/04/02 Product A Tom 11.6
01/10/02 Product C Susan 12.3

Do you notice that there is not a data point (row) for each date? Customers ask whether there is a way to show EVERY date on the chart, even when data is actually collected only on certain dates.

Solution:
To solve this problem you need a new column in your data source that will have a row for every date, as follows:

01/01/02
01/02/02
01/03/02
etc

Product A and Product B may both be made on the same day, however, and thereby comes the rub. For one solution to this challenge, create a temporary folder and unzip the attached file into that folder. Next, run CHARTrunner 1.5 or higher and set your working folder to this temporary folder. Display the chart named "All Dates." Study the setup on the data definition tab and also review the Excel Sheet that is used as a data source. In the temporary folder, you will also find an example of this in an Access 2000 database.

You will need two tables: one table for your data - as above - and another table that has one row (in date order) for each date you might be interested in. Using a query, you can then "join" these two tables and make them look like a single table to CHARTrunner. There is an added benefit demonstrated. The AllDates table may be used to record "notes" for specific dates. These notes can then show up on charts, even though no data may have been collected on that specific date.

To discuss this further, email software development manager Steve Daum (steved@pqsystems.com). If you don’t have a copy of CHARTrunner, you can download a free 30-day trial copy at www.chartrunner.com


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