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Starting Charts with 'Zero' Value?


Wickerman
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I'm still working on a chart I previously posted about, tracking the up and down cumulative results of 'sessions' over time.  Ideally, the chart would begin at the ZERO point on the Y-Axis, and then the first real data-point would move up or down from there.  But since I don't have a zero record in the data set, it begins with the first result displayed on the Y-Axis (see image).  

When I want to make a chart to share with someone, I just create a temporary dummy 'zero record' that sorts to the beginning of the set  -- but this isn't ideal (extra hassle, addition of an extra record that isn't really a 'session').  Is there a method for dealing with this?  I almost expect there's maybe a simple option box on the chart set-up somewhere that says 'start chart @ Zero' but I haven't been able to find one.  Thanks for any help!

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 10.05.47 AM.png

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27 minutes ago, Wickerman said:

I almost expect there's maybe a simple option box on the chart set-up somewhere that says 'start chart @ Zero' but I haven't been able to find one.

I am puzzled by this request. I don't know of any charting tool that offers such option (perhaps that's my limitation). And I am not aware of any situation where this would be desired. Perhaps that too is my limitation - but I believe charts are supposed to reflect the data. If there is no 0 value in the given data set, there should be no 0 data point in the resulting chart.

I also wonder what would be the X value of this dummy 0 point? It seems completely arbitrary. Perhaps you just need to change the chart's type to bar?

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Hmmm -- I would've thought that the situation where you are tracking some quantity from a neutral starting point would have been not that uncommon -- for instance the progress of a fund-raising drive that starts not at the value of the first donation, $100 but at Zero?   In my situation, where you are looking at potential winnings or losses, it's visually quite misleading to have the 'zero line' (break even) very far away from the starting point of zero.  Here's maybe a better illustration of why not having a 'zero start' is misleading.  In the first, it appears that the progress began 'well' and then fell off -- because the '0' is all the way at the top of the Y-axis.  In the second version, with a dummy record starting the chart at the zero point, it's much clearer to see that this has been a downward trajectory with one nice point of recovery.

ZeroStart2.jpg

ZeroStart3.jpg

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Well, yes, because I just carelessly threw a date I knew to be earlier than the first record into the 'Dummy' record.  In practice I would use the day before the first data point, so it would look fine.  The point is that with the first data point being on the Y-Axis, it doesn't provide a visual cue to its being a 'negative' value, coming down from 0.  Instead it 'looks' like it's the starting point.

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I don't suppose there's a means of creating a sort of 'reverse Wild Card' record -- i.e., a symbol you put in a field that results in its always being a 'hit' no matter the search terms?  :-)

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A chart can only show values that you supply. You could populate a variable with values that start with 0 and use that for the data series.

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  • 1 month later...

Joosty -- thanks for the suggestion, but this doesn't quite duo what I'm after -- it just sets the chert so that '0' is the lowest visible value -- so if the chart ever goes below the X-axis. into negative territory, it's cut off by the bottom of the chart edge.

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