How to Create a Spark Chart

Table of Contents

What is a Spark Chart

Spark Chart is a generic term for a regular chart used inline, as a micro-chart, embedded within a grid cell or inline with a text. Most our Inline Charts may qualify as Spark Charts. However, we’ll apply this term here only to a specific category of Inline Charts.

Our category of Spark Charts:

  1. Spark Line – inline micro-version of a single-series straight Line Chart.
  2. Spark Area – inline micro-version of a single-series straight Area Chart, with semi-transparent fill color by default.
  3. Spark Columns – inline micro-version of a single-series Column Chart, with up/down colors for positive/negative colors.
  4. Spark Win/Loss – looks like a Spark Column chart, but all positive or negative spikes have the same size. You get one positive spike or column for a positive or True value, with the up color. And one negative spike or column for a negative or False value, with the down color.
  5. Spark Pie – inline micro-version of a single-series Pie Chart.
  6. Solid Gauge – inline micro-version of a single-value semi-doughnut Solid Gauge.

All our Spark Charts are multi-series, based only on numeric columns – except for Win/Loss, which also works on Boolean values. They are based on several other grid columns. They may be set anywhere, but an empty column may be automatically appended if current column is not empty.

Steps to Create a Spark Chart

Start Visual Xtractor or Data Xtractor. Connect to a database. Create or design a SQL query. Run the query and check the results.

  1. Display and enable the Inline Chart query builder.
  2. Set any column to one of the Spark Charts – Spark Line, Spark Area, Spark Columns, Spark Win/Loss, Spark Pie or Solid Gauge settings.
  3. If the column wasn’t empty, a new one may be appended with this setting.
  4. In the Edit Inline Chart Series popup, reference the other columns, or constant values, the chart is based on.

Spark Charts Demo Query

Look for the ready-to-use Spark Charts generated query under the Queries > Demo Queries > Inline Charts > Spark Charts folder. Click on the “add demo queries” command link, if not there.

You have all Spark Charts here, except for the Solid Gauge, which is demo-ed in the Solid Gauge query.

All Spark Charts are based on multiple columns that must be referenced as parameters. You may also specify constant values instead.

Here is the Edit Inline Chart Series popup for a Spark Line: it’s based on the q1, q2 and q3 grid columns, and a constant value 10. This means first three values for the line are dynamically taken from the current row and the referenced columns. But we also add each time a final constant value 10.
Spark Line Parameters

Customize your Spark Chart

  1. Show or hide the horizontal X axis for Spark Line/Area/Column or Win/Loss.
  2. Show plain or gradient fill for Spark Area/Column/Pie/Gauge or Win/Loss.
  3. Show or hide point markers for Spark Line/Area charts.
  4. Show standard icons as monochrome, with no colors.
  5. Increase any individual row size (with the mouse on the row header) for bigger charts.

Custom Spark Charts


  • Creating Spark Charts in Data Xtractor or Visual Xtractor is fast and intuitive: select one of the Spark Line/Area/Column/WinLoss/Pie or Gauge inline charts, and reference the columns they apply to.
  • Use toolbar buttons for a multitude of configuration options.
  • Increase any row’s size for bigger chart images.