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Standards in Charts Utilization

Why do we need standards? Why visualize? What is actually a successful visualization? How to choose the right type of chart? The answer to all those questions is right here! Enjoy the read!

DAHLBEER · Wednesday, December 5, 2018

What is the benefit of standards?

Documenting current best practices to explain a certain topic and why our company utilizes it, is a way to empower continuous improvement in future products we develop and allows us to identify optimal methods by which to complete critical work.

One such topic for us is the utilization of visual data means – or charts. Whenever we develop an application and we feel the need to visualize data, we would always follow a set of guidelines to lead us to the best choice of a diagram and model it in the most easily comprehensible fashion in order to be valuable and usable by the end client. Our internal standards consist of elements and procedures that are organized in a way that ensures they are easily understood, consistently followed, and constantly improved by all our team members.

First of all, before going into revealing how to approach the matter, let me discuss briefly the need to include charts into planning applications in general.

Why Visualize?

  • Visualizations reveal patterns in data. Some Datasets that have nearly identical statistical properties, when graphed can reveal distinct patterns. Famous is the example of Anscombe's Quartet .
  • They help us make comparisons. Bar charts, grouped bar charts, and histograms are good examples of visualizations that allow for easy comparisons. A well-crafted visualization will enable you to quickly compare one variable (or a set of variables) against another.
  • They enable us to discover new information. Data in its raw or even in its cleaned form makes it difficult or nearly impossible to discover new information, trends, or correlations.
  • They enable us to comprehend massive amounts of data.

At DAHLBEER we govern our projects and applications based on standardization that we consider is best suited. The visualizations are often valued because they answer a certain question on a given business case – just by looking at them. If you take the same dataset but ask several different questions – they can be answered with different types of graphs.

We have prepared the following cheat sheet which can help a business analyst or a developer in choosing the correct chart type for his visualization. We have prepared the following cheat sheet which can help a business analyst or a developer in choosing the correct chart type for his visualization.

A successful visualization:

  1. Has clear purpose (why this visualization)
  2. Includes only the relevant content (what are you visualizing)
  3. Uses appropriate structure (how are you visualizing it)
  4. Has useful formatting (everything else)

The following diagram can be helpful when you need to deliver answers from your data in a visual manner. It always starts with the question that your chart is supposed to answer. Take a look at it:
 

Questions to Ask When Deciding Which Type of Chart to Use

1. Do you want to compare values?

Charts are perfect for comparing one or many value sets, and they can easily show the low and high values in the data sets. To create a comparison chart, use these types of graphs:

  • Column
  • Bar
  • Pie
  • Line
  • Scatter Plot
  • Bullet

2. Do you want to show the composition of something?

Use this type of chart to show how individual parts make up the whole of something, such as the device type used for mobile visitors to your website or total sales broken down by the sales rep.

To show composition, use these charts:

  • Pie
  • Stacked Bar
  • Stacked Column
  • Area
  • Waterfall

3. Do you want to understand the distribution of your data?

Distribution charts help you to understand outliers, the normal tendency, and the range of information in your values.

Use these charts to show distribution:

  • Scatter Plot
  • Line
  • Column
  • Bar

4. Are you interested in analyzing trends in your data set?

If you want to know more information about how a data set performed during a specific time period, there are specific chart types that do extremely well.

You should choose a:

  • Line
  • Dual-Axis Line
  • Column

5. Do you want to better understand the relationship between value sets?

Relationship charts are suited to showing how one variable relates to one or numerous different variables. You could use this to show how something positively affects, has no impact or negatively affects another variable.

When trying to establish the relationship between things, use these charts:

  • Scatter Plot
  • Bubble
  • Line

In conclusion, we can say that among many topics in the world of planning, we at DAHLBEER approach even the underestimated ones - as including a chart in a layout or dashboard, with standardized manner and research into what best suits the desired goal.

 

DAHLBEER

DAHLBEER

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DAHLBEER ensures your business objectives are achieved. Our vast experience and technical expertise in SAP planning tools enables efficient implementation in short cycles. Dynamic and Reliable – It’s how we are known to our clients.

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Phone: +49 (0) 89 998 208 480
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