A classification of charts for visualizing MI


Several generic classifications of graph types exist which are designed to assist us in choosing the appropriate chart for portraying the message in our data.  They include:

Stephen Few’s Graph Selection Matrix

Andrew Abela’s Chart Chooser diagram

Juice Analytics’ Chart Chooser tool

These are all very helpful tools, but they are deliberately generic and not specifically focused on the type of multi-dimensional data that we consistently find in MI.

To address this more specific need, we have created an Analysis Library for business that groups charts frequently used to visualize management information into seven high level groupings.



These groupings focus on the fundamental business requirements to:

  1. Analyse trends over time
  2. Understand compositions and make comparisons at a point in time or between points in time
  3. Analyse variances at a point in time or between points in time
  4. Analyse two dimensions simultaneously using heatmaps
  5. Identify relationships using scatter plots and related charts
  6. Evaluate forecasts using statistical scenarios
  7. Look for patterns and outliers in frequency distributions

Future blog posts will take us into each of these seven categories in more detail, providing a chart chooser for each.

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