Create a Chart
The Chart Designer allows you to create bar, pie, line, dial, and area charts that can be added to a dashboard.
Use Chart Designer
Before you can start creating a chart you must choose a data source that contains the data you want to use. You must then define the data that will be displayed in the chart. If you are unsure what chart type is best for displaying your data, see Choosing the Correct Chart Type for more information.
Use the following steps to use the Chart Designer:
- In the Dashboard, choose a dashboard panel and click the Insert icon and choose Chart. The Select a Data Source dialog box appears.
- Select the data source from the list of available choices. The data source contains the content you want to display in your chart. The Query Editor appears.
- The Query Editor allows you to retrieve dynamic data from a database for display in a chart. Defining your query is the first step in ensuring that the correct data is selected. In the Query Editor, click (+) next to a category name to display its associated table columns.
- Click the small green arrow to place the column name under Selected Columns. In the example below, the Customernumber column has been selected and moved under Selected Columns. Notice that the column names appear under Selected Columns. Continue adding columns as needed.
- Now add the Conditions; these are your constraints that filter what you are choosing. You can add multiple conditions. In the example below, the search is limited to customer numbers.
Under Combine, you can choose your constraint (and, or, and not, or not) from the drop-down list. Under Comparisons you can click the drop-down list to display options for comparisons, =, <, >, and so on; (for example, where the customer number is equal to 144 or 145). You can also choose an aggregation type from the drop-down list for table columns that contain numeric data. The table below contains a definition for each aggregate type:
|SUM||Sums a column's values|
|COUNT||Counts a column's values|
|AVG||Averages a column's values|
|MIN||Selects the minimum column value|
|MAX||Selects the maximum column value|
Click Preview at any time to view the data associated with your query.
- Add the columns that you want to Order By. The ordering of the selected data is accomplished by one or more columns in a table. For example, you can sort the data by customer name and address.
- Click OK in the Query Editor when you are done. The Chart Designer appears.
- Under Data, click the drop-down arrow to display and choose the table columns.
|Series Column||Series show up as the individual columns on a bar chart and as individual lines in a line chart. Area charts display each series as a point.|
|Category Column||Categories are displayed as bars or groups of bars on the x-axis (horizontal axis). In line charts, categories are usually associated with time periods. In area charts, the x-axis displays the category labels.
If you don't want to display categories, choose None.
|Values Column||The value is always numeric. The value determines the height of columns in a bar chart and the height of lines in a line chart. In area charts, the y-axis values determine the heights of the points.|
A preview of the chart appears in a box in the upper-right corner of the Chart Designer as you choose your options.
- Under Chart Type, click a chart type to choose it. By default, pie and dial charts display in "animated" Flash mode. You can turn animation off by disabling the Animated check box in the Chart Designer. Animated charts bring focus to important aspects of your data. For example, animation allows you to bring out a data point if it reaches a critical value, such as high or low sales numbers. If you selected a pie or dial chart, see Working with Pie Charts or Working with Dial Charts, respectively.
- Under Theme, choose a theme from the list. The theme is applied to your chart.
- Enter the labels for the Chart Title, X Axis Title (horizontal axis), and Y Axis Title (vertical axis). Entries are displayed in the chart preview.
- Click Apply to see the chart preview.
- Click OK display your chart in the dashboard panel.
The following guidelines may help you determine which chart type is best suited for the data you want to present in your dashboard:
If you want to compare items during a specific time period, consider using a bar chart. Key words to think about when creating a bar chart are compare or rank. For example if you want to compare items sold to show which one made the most profit, you might create a bar chart that ranks the products from the lowest to highest profit. The bar's length determines its ranking; the label identifies the item. Bar chart data can be presented horizontally or vertically depending on your requirements.
If you are comparing parts of a whole, consider using a pie chart, which gives dashboard consumers an immediate visual clue of the relative sizes of the shares of a whole. Key words associated with charts include, portion, share, and percentage. For example, if you want to demonstrate the proportion of the company's budget spent on health insurance, use a pie chart. Categories are represented by individual slices. To make the chart easier to read, limit the number of slices to five. The size of the slice in a pie chart is determined by the value as shown in the following example:
You can animate a pie chart if you want its pieces to be exploded, which means that the individual slices of the pie can be pulled away from the rest of the pie.
To animate a pie, enable Animated check box in the Chart Designer.
Line charts are useful for showing changes over time. Key words associated with data that is best suited for a line chart are trend, growth, and decline. If, for example, you want to show how product sales have changed over five years, use a line chart. The slope of the line helps users quickly identify the direction of the trend.
Dial charts are often associated with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Dial charts are circular and contain a scale, a needle, and one or more a dial sectors. The dial sector is used to identify a specified area on a dial chart using a particular color. For example, you could have a dial plotting inventory with a minimum dial value of 10000 and a maximum dial value of 50000. There could be a red dial sector for the region between 2000 and 4000 indicating that if the needle is in this area, there is a danger of a supply inventory shortage.
For dial charts to display correctly, you must enter values for your range and the chart title. In the example below, the dial chart preview is displaying ranges associated with sales. Notice that each dial sector is represented by a color, red, yellow, or green. The needle is positioned in the 220796.48 range, indicating that total orders, while not stellar, are not near the danger zone indicated by the red sector in the dial.
You can change the color of a dial sector by clicking the small down arrow in the color boxes associated with Range. Select a color from the palette so that you can preview it on your dial chart. Click Apply to preview your dial chart. Click OK to place your dial chart into the dashboard.
Area charts can be used to show a comparison of the same thing during different points in time. Area charts are not designed to provide exact data but they do give users visual clues of the relative sizes of the items they are representing.
After creating a chart, you can perform any of the following modifications:
- Edit a Chart
- Correct Scaling Issues
- Rotate Chart Axis Labels