Data Visualization Best-Practices For Trends

Common data visualization to quickly understand how a KPI is evolving across time. The color coding helps to quickly get the big picture.

Data visualization best-practices

  • Display a bar chart
    • Use vertical bars and display the KPI value on top of each bar
    • Sort the table by period ascending
    • When applicable, add symbols or lines to represent possible references: Previous Year, Budget, Forecast…
    • Apply color coding to the bar based on the variance between the Actual value and the selected Reference
    • Above each period, display the growth rate compared to previous period (+ color coding to indicate whether is growth is positive or negative)
  • Allow the user to select which reference must be used for color coding
  • Allow the user to dynamically select the KPI he wants to analyze (for instance moving from a Revenue analysis to a Gross Margin analysis)
  • Allow the user to change the periodicity of the visualization: Year, Semester, Quarter, Month, Week, Date
  • Allow the user to select whether the performance must be shown in Month-To-Date or Year-To-Date

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Tableau Software

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Qlik Sense

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