Cognos Analytics

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Dashboard Visualization Color Inconsistencies

  • 1.  Dashboard Visualization Color Inconsistencies

    Posted 9 days ago

    I am trying to understand how dashboard visualizations determine what colors to use in a palette. Maybe this is a bug or just the way I am performing the task. As an example, I created two area charts.  They have two measures on the y-axis which creates a color group.  The result is one chart is using the first and second color of the palette while another might use the last two colors or the exact same palette.

    Has anyone else seen/resolved this?  


    Jeremy Aude
    Channell Commercial Corporation
    Rockwall TX

  • 2.  RE: Dashboard Visualization Color Inconsistencies

    Posted 6 days ago

    That's essentially how it works. It assigns colors to categories of data in the order that they appear in the palette. Once those colors are used up, it will start again from the beginning.

    For the most part. There are situations where it deviates from that or skips colors that I don't think I (or anyone else) can understand. I have a client who has done A LOT of work to try and figure this out. If you'd like I can put the two of you in touch, just shoot me an email.


    Ryan Dolley
    2020 IBM Champion
    Connect with me on LinkedIn:

  • 3.  RE: Dashboard Visualization Color Inconsistencies

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi Jeremy,

    I have found it works best if I limit my color palettes to exactly the number of colors I need in a visualization.  I have to create more custom palettes this way but it provides more control over the colors it uses.  I have found it goes in order as Ryan stated but if it has any "extra" colors in the palette, it randomly skips some.


    Donna Neumiller

  • 4.  RE: Dashboard Visualization Color Inconsistencies

    Posted 5 days ago

    Hi Jeremy, thanks for your question.

    This seems like a good opportunity for our team to create some kind of technical documentation to share how this works. I can take that back to our team to put on our roadmap. I was thinking a tech note or blog post. Would that work for you?

    To build on what others have said, starting in 11.1.1 there is a property called "Colour consistency" that will assign the same colour to the same projected value across all your visualizations of the same dashboard. Think of this as 'system-assigned-colour-by-value'; when this property is enabled you will see that anywhere a value (eg. "Texas") appears on a visualization, it appears as the same colour.

    Looking ahead, future iterations of this experience would be 'customer-assigned-colour-by-value'; giving you more control over colour assignment. With this, you would see "Texas" coloured with the same colour across all your visualization, and you get to choose the colour. So you could have "Texas" appear everywhere in your dashboard as burnt orange, or maroon, or whatever colour you think best represents "Texas".

    You can vote to let us know 'customer-assigned-colour-by-value' matters to you, or submit your own ideas of how to improve this experience in our Ideas portal.

    Brennan Fox

    Product Quality @ IBM Cognos Analytics

  • 5.  RE: Dashboard Visualization Color Inconsistencies

    Posted 5 days ago
    Edited by Matt Denham 5 days ago
    I get asked about this fairly often and I think that Brennan and Ryan have done a fantastic job of explaining it.  For the purposes of illustration, I put together a demo tutorial that I'm hoping helps clarify: How do colors get assigned to values in visualizations in Cognos Dashboards?

    Matt Denham

  • 6.  RE: Dashboard Visualization Color Inconsistencies

    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi all,

    Thanks to you all for the explanations. It makes sense now and the video provided the perfect example! Good to hear I am not the only person who has asked this before. :-)

    Have a great day.