"y_axis_combined: false" Causes unwanted and unnecessary y-axes

Userlevel 1

I quite often include a series for percentage in my charts meaning I need to set “Combine Axes” to OFF.

This is fine unless I start adding more measures or table calculations - when I do, I get an extra y-axis for each measure/table calculation.

Whats worse is each y-axis has its own scale. Although I could theoretically control that with y_axis_min & y_axis_max, in practice I don’t know what the numbers are in advance and I can’t use expressions to populate these ranges:-

This stops me from doing various things:-

Adding a table calculation to shade a specific area of the chart (middle 50% etc) - I cant guarantee the scale will be the same, so the shading may not fit the line.

Adding a table calculation to mark when specific events occurred or simulating x-axis reference lines


Ideally, I would be able specify the number axes, which series are on each axis and also use expressions to set axis min and max (i.e axis_max: max(r_total))

10 replies

Userlevel 3

Hey Phil,

Just wanted to check that we’re on the same page here.

The reason that you don’t want to combine axis in this context is because the percentages are way lower than the numbers in the series, right?

In any case I have passed both ideas along to product for you!

Userlevel 1

Hi Nicole,

The reason that you don’t want to combine axis in this context is because the percentages are way lower than the numbers in the series, right?

Yes, that’s correct. The core of the issue is that once you have split the axis, each series gets a separate scale and the range of the scale is set by the max number in the series - which is not always desirable.

Although you can manually set the range of each axis using a comma separated list, in practice this is no use as you can only use constants - so it’s effectively useless unless you know values in each series beforehand. Ideally you would be able set the range of each axis using expressions (like table calculations):-

And also limit the number of axes. I might have 5 series, but in 99% of cases I never want more than 2 axes (left & right)

want to double Phil’s sentiment. having the ability to specific which measure falls on which y axis would help a ton. right now, its all or nothing which limits certain visualizations.

I also agree with what Phil has said above. This is a major detriment to creating smooth flowing visuals with multiple data series that may be related but have different values and/or ranges.

Userlevel 3

Do you mind notifying this product team again? Sounds like a lot of customers would really like this functionality.

Userlevel 3

+1, this is also a pain point for us

Userlevel 1

We are plamning to address this in the near term so that users can select which series are plotted on which axis and which axis to combine. This would allow you to have say, 3 measures plotted on a combined left axis and two percentage measures plotted on a combined right axis. We are targeting this quarter to start development.

Userlevel 3

That’s great to hear. This is what we’ll be working with in the meantime:

+1 for this request! We have many use cases that run along the lines of reporting daily sales and cumulative monthly sales v. goal, and if we can’t get cumulative and goal on the same axis, it’s not useful.

Userlevel 3

Any update here? This is a basic visualization solution that has been handled well by every other analytics provider that I’ve used, so I’m looking forward to Looker catching up to feature parity.