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Need help deciding which type of chart to use?

The following table describes each chart type and the types of data and applications for which it is best suited. Hover the cursor over each chart type to learn what types of data it needs. For example, a GIS Heat Map needs one location dimension in Detail.

Chart typeDescription

Bar/Column

Provides a visual presentation of categorical data. They compare two or more datasets and can show positive and negative values.

FunnelDisplays values as progressively increasing or decreasing proportion, totaling 100 percent. You can set block height and specify whether to show the funnel neck.

GIS Bubble

Displays geographic data but requires specially prepared data before you can create it. It requires location dimension data in the Detail. You can specify the level of geographic detail such as continent, country, or city.

GIS Heat Map

Displays geographic patterns of higher than average occurrence of things like crime activity, traffic accidents, or store locations. It also requires special location dimension data.

Curve

Displays a trend over time or categories.

CrosstabDisplays the joint distribution of two or more variables represented in the form of a matrix.
TableThis option is only available when viewing data that has not yet been built into a cube. Some of the options for working with data will be disabled. See Working with non-materialized or raw data cubes.

Line

Displays information as a series of data points called markers connected by straight line segments. Line charts can display continuous data over time, set against a common scale, and are ideal for showing trends in data at equal intervals or over time. In a line chart, category data is distributed evenly along the horizontal axis, and all value data is distributed evenly along the vertical axis. As a rule, use a line chart if your data has non-numeric x values. You can also choose to show steps or steps without risers.

Area

Compares two or more quantities of graphically quantitative data using a line chart with the areas below the lines filled with colors. Use a stacked area chart to display the contribution of each value to a total over time.

Pie

Displays data as a circular chart divided into sectors, illustrating numerical proportion. It is used to show the percentage or proportional data and usually the percentage represented by each category is provided next to the corresponding slice of pie. Pie charts are good for displaying data for around six categories or fewer.

Scatter

Plots data points on a horizontal and a vertical axis in the attempt to show how much one variable is affected by another. Scatter charts are commonly used for displaying and comparing numeric values, such as scientific, statistical, and engineering data. These charts are useful to show the relationships among the numeric values in several data series, and they can plot two groups of numbers as one series of xy coordinates.

Treemap

Displays hierarchical data as a set of nested rectangles. Use dimensions to define the structure of the treemap, and measures to define the size or color of the individual rectangles. Use color and size dimensions correlated in some way with the tree structure to see patterns that would be difficult to spot in other ways. Both the size and color are determined by a value, for example Sales. The greater the sum of sales for each category, the darker and larger the box.

KPI

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) helps a business monitor its performance and measure its progress towards specific goals. Create a KPI in a worksheet and include it in a Dashboard as one of the cards. You can use one or two measures in the y-axis. You can use a template to define the appearance or choose No Template and use the rich text editor to customize the design.

Packed Bubble

A packed bubble visualization displays a large amount of data in a small space. Dimensions define the bubbles, and measures define the size and color of the individual circles. For example, use a product dimension to create the bubbles, volume of sales to indicate the size, while color could indicate the profit.

Word Cloud

A wordcloud or Tagcloud is a visual representation of text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata to visualize free form text. The importance of each word is shown with font size and/or color.

Dot Plot

A dot plot (or dot chart) charts values that fall into a simple scale of categories sometimes referred to as bins. Dot plots are especially useful for assessing distributions when there is a relatively small amount of data. They are useful for highlighting clusters and gaps, as well as outliers.

Gantt chartA Gantt chart provides a graphical illustration of a schedule that helps to plan, coordinate, and track specific tasks in a project. It shows the amount of progress made or production completed in certain periods of time in relation to the amount planned for those periods. It's a variant of a bar chart with a time-based axis and requires the use of date-time data.
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