We interact with charts day-in and day-out as we read the news, attend meetings, review sales numbers, forecast projections, and set targets. However, we rarely stop to think about what makes these sometimes-drool-worthy pieces of information so pervasive in media and business. How you display data is just as important and what data you display. Let’s take a look at five different charts you can utilize to supercharge your analytics and data visualization efforts. We will look at treemaps, bubble charts, marimekko chart, Sankey diagrams, and finally funnel charts. You can take a deeper dive into each of the charts as well.
Let’s get started!
How can I visualize my data using treemaps?
Treemapping is a data visualization technique that is used to display hierarchical data using nested rectangles; the treemap chart is created based on this technique of data visualization.
The treemap chart is used for representing hierarchical data in a tree-like structure. Data, organized as branches and sub-branches, is represented using rectangles, the dimensions and plot colors of which are calculated w.r.t the quantitative variables associated with each rectangle—each rectangle represents two numerical values. You can drill down within the data to, theoretically, an unlimited number of levels. This makes the at-a-glance distinguishing between categories and data values easy.
A simple example Take a look at the chart sample shown below:
How can I visualize my data using bubble charts?
When you have a table with 3 related dimensions of data, how do you represent it on a flat 2D chart? Put three column charts side by side, one for each dimension? Or use two XY-plot charts? But both of them will be ineffective in putting together all the 3 parameters in one elegant visualization. Time to say hello to the bubble chart.
Bubble charts/Bubble graphs plot data defined in terms of three distinct numeric parameters. They allow the comparison of entities in terms of their relative positions with respect to each numeric axis and their size as well.
Column charts and line charts have 2 axes commonly – a numeric axis and a categorical axis. The Y-Axis is the numeric axis for column and line charts. This means that the quantitative magnitude of the plot is indicated by the position of the plot with respect to the Y-axis. Bubble charts are different because both axes of a bubble chart are numeric. Hence, the position of the bubble plot is an indicator of two numeric values. The area of the bubble plot (or the scatter blot bubble size) is an indicator of the magnitude of the third numeric characteristic.
How can I augment my analytics with a marimekko chart?
A Marimekko Chart (or mekko chart) is similar to a 2D Stacked Chart. However, in addition to depicting data through varying heights (as in a regular Stacked Chart), they depict an added dimension of data through varying column widths. For the mekko chart example above, you can get the following data from a single chart:
Contribution of Sony Vaio to the total Desktop Sales (brand-wise contribution in each category )
Contribution of Desktop to the Overall Sales (category-wise contribution to the overall sales)
Let’s add another layer of complexity to our data. Suppose you had different brands in each of the product categories. For the sake of our understanding let’s assume, you sell Desktops from Lenovo and Dell, Laptops from Dell, Sony Vaio and HP and Tablets from Samsung, iPad and HTC. How will you visualize the contribution of each in a single Marimekko Chart?
How can I utilize Sankey diagrams to turbocharge my data?
Sankey diagrams are a specific type of flow diagram typically used to visualize the flow of material, energy, cost, or any measurable resource, shown proportionally to the flow quantity. They draw the attention of the reader to the largest flows, the largest consumer, the main losses, etc. Supported by different colors, flow quantities that have different dimensions are understood intuitively.
Sankey diagrams use links with width proportional to the flow quantity visualized– if a flow is twice as wide, it represents double the quantity. A Sankey diagram has multiple nodes which are connected by a link. Each node should only appear once and there can be utmost one link between a pair of nodes. They are widely used in energy efficiency, marketing analysis, supply chain management, production systems and many other industries.
How can I effectively utilize Funnel charts to display data?
The Funnel chart is used to visualize the progressive reduction of data as it passes from one phase to another. Data in each of these phases is represented as different portions of 100% (the whole). Like the Pie chart, the Funnel chart does not use any axes either.
Each stage of the funnel represents a part of the total. Therefore, it assumes the shape of a funnel — with the first stage being wide and the largest, and each subsequent stage smaller than its previous stage. Typically, the first stage, the “intake” stage, is the largest.
The most common use of the Funnel chart is in visualizing sales conversion data.
Now that we have investigated these 5 different charts for visualizing your data it’s time to take a deeper look at how FusionCharts can bring these charts to your software solutions. FusionCharts helps you build beautiful dashboards for your web & mobile projects. The five charting types above (plus many more) are included in FusionCharts. With extensive documentation, cross-browser support, and a consistent API, it is easier than ever to add interactive and responsive charts. From simple charts like line, column, and pie to domain-specific charts like heatmaps, radar, and stock charts we’ve got you covered.