Custom Number Formatting

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1. Overview

This article will give more information on custom number fromatting in Dundas BI. It uses .NET format strings to be able to use different formats in the dashboard. For more information, take a look at the links provided below for the numeric format strings.

2. Getting Started

Shown below is the initial table using AdventureWorks2012. We will be using this table for the following examples.

Sample Table
Sample Table

3. Changing Numeric Format for Table

To change the numeric format of a number in the table, go to the Data Binding Panel, and edit the measure you want to change.

Edit Metric Set
Edit Metric Set

On the Configure metric set element window, under Format, change N2 with the custom format string you want to apply to the data.

Format Metric Set Element
Format Metric Set Element

The final table will look like this:

Table with Format String
Table with Format String

If you want this to be applied to the other data visualizations, follow the steps above. The tooltip will retrieve the information used from the table:

Bar Chart with Custom Format on Tooltip
Bar Chart with Custom Format on Tooltip

For the left axis label on the chart that was shown above, it comes from Properties > Main > Chart > Left Axis > Text > Labels

Axis Label Settings
Axis Label Settings

4. Limitations

The custom number formatting cannot be used for data point labels or axis labels.

5. Best Practices

Typically, when comparing row-by-row, the eye is quickly glancing through the number of digits rather than the actual value. As a result, it could be misleading when users read the shortened values, and accidentally interpret one number larger than the other when it is not.

For example, in this table, we do not even need to read the number to know that Category A is larger than in Category B.

Category  Value 
A 1,000,000,000 
3,000,000 

This will also work if the custom formatting with M or B is used:

Category  Value 
A 1.000B 
0.003B

However, if it is set dynamically, it will confuse other people that Category B will be greater than Category A, as 3 is bigger than 1:

Category  Value 
A 1.0B 
3.0M

6. See also

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
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