Part 05: Objects – Charts

A chart is a graphical object, in which visualization elements such as columns, bars, and lines represent data. The most important groups of business charts are those showing development over time (charts with horizontal category axes), those showing structural relationships (charts with vertical category axes), and those showing x‑y charts, scatter plots, and bubble charts (charts with two value axes). Other chart types are of lesser interest in business communication and will be treated in a later. Looking at charts with horizontal and vertical category axes, the basic chart selection matrix displayed in the figure here on the left aids in selecting the right chart type for time series and structure analyses.

 

IBCS recommendation

IBCS recommendation for charts

In addition, the basic chart selection matrix displayed in the figure here on the left aids in selecting the right chart type for scenario analyses.

Hichert charts for analysis

Hichert charts for showing deviations

 
Charts with horizontal category axes

Charts with horizontal category axes (short: horizontal charts) typically display time series. Use the horizontal category axis as a time axis. Vertically, the visualization elements represent the data per time period or point of time (there is no need to show a vertical value axis as the visualization elements carry their own values). Time category axes run from left to right and show characteristics of period types (e.g. months or years) or points of time (dates).

In general, the data series of a horizontal chart is represented by columns(single, stacked, grouped), vertical pins, horizontal waterfalls, or lines. Vertical pins can be considered very thin columns. Because of their importance for the IBCS, they are dealt with in a separate section.

Charts with vertical category axes

Charts with vertical category axes (vertical charts) typically show structural data. In general, present structural data of one period or one point of time in the form of bars.

Use the vertical category as a structure axis. Horizontally, the visualization elements represent the data per structure element (there is no need for a horizontal value axis as the visualization elements carry their own values). Structure axes run from top to bottom and show characteristics of structures (e.g. products or countries). The sequence of these elements depends on the intended analysis; see the UNIFY section about “Structure analyses”.

In general, the data series of a vertical chart is represented by (horizontal) bars (single, stacked, grouped), by horizontal pins, or by waterfall bars. Do not use lines in vertical charts as they could be interpreted as trends or developments, which do not exist in structure analyses.

 Charts with two value axes

Charts with two value axes show two-dimensional positioning of visualization elements, which can provide new and interesting insights. Scattergrams arrange points in a two-dimensional coordinate system.

 

About Tobias Riedner
Tobias Riedner foundet WYCDWD.com in 2015. He works and worked as innovator, consultant, analyst and educator in the fields of business intelligence and data warehousing. He learned a lot from the best consultants, managers und educators in the past and shares his knowledge worldwide. He works for a steady growing traditional company which is a leader in industry 4.0.