Summarizing separate variables

You can use the Chart Builder to create charts that summarize and compare multiple variables. For example, if sales data for each year are recorded in a separate variable, you can create a single chart that summarizes sales data for each year in a separate bar.

How to create a chart that summarizes multiple variables

Note: Not all chart types support summaries of separate variables as described in this topic. You cannot create summaries of separate variables for histograms, population pyramids, boxplots, and dual axis charts. High-low-close charts summarize separate variables, but these charts have separate zones for each variable. See the topic High-Low Charts for more information.

  1. Drag a gallery chart or a graphic element onto the canvas.
  2. Drag one of the scale variables that you want to summarize to the y axis.
  3. Drag another scale variable to the top section of the y-axis drop zone. Drop the variable when you see the plus sign (+) in the drop zone. The Create Summary Group dialog box then appears.

    Note: If the gallery chart contains a point element, the previous action will create an overlay scatterplot. See the topic Scatterplots and dot plots for more information. To create summaries of separate variables for a point element, you must first drag a categorical variable to the x axis.

    When you summarize multiple variables, the Chart Builder creates a new variable whose categories are the individual variables. This "summary group" variable is put on the x axis and is displayed as INDEX. The y axis displays the summarized value for each variable. The Chart Builder uses an asterisk (*) to indicate any of these constructed variables. Note that you can move the INDEX variable to a paneling or grouping zone. It acts like a categorical variable.

  4. Click OK to create the summary group variable.
  5. If necessary, drag additional variables to the y-axis drop zone.
  6. As with any chart, you can edit the individual elements. For example, you could choose the median as the statistic for each variable, or you could change the scale for one of the axes. See the topic Editing elements for more information.

How to remove a variable from the summary group

Because the summary group variable acts like a categorical variable, you delete a variable from the summary group in the same way that you delete a category from a categorical axis or grouping zone.

  1. Click Element Properties if the Element Properties dialog box is not displayed.
  2. In the Edit Properties Of list, select the axis or group in which the summary group variable appears.
  3. In the Categories group, select the variable and click the delete button.Click Apply.

You can also right-click the drop zone in which the summary group variable appears and choose Delete Variable from the pop-up menu.