Understanding Different Chart Types Used in Dashboards

Selwyn Zhou

Everyone knows now is a “Big- Bang” age of data. How can we make good use of this "big data"? This is a complex task. Proper Data visualization is one of the most important methods to achieve this goal.

Why we need data visualization?

  • Visualization leverages the capabilities of human visual system and the mind to process a
  • huge amount of information
  • , up to 60,000 times faster than written information.

  • Humans can identify
  • patterns, trends, relationships, and meaning
  • Visualization elicits further exploration

There are many competitive products in the market today. If you want to know more about how to choose a visualization tool, I have another detailed blog about this topic. You can go by to have a look if you are interested. Even though different products have different interfaces and have their own pros and cons, their basic mechanism is the same. They can use their containing components to help you find information and relationships that would otherwise be difficult to see. That is the reason why we regard using charts and graphs as a core capability of these data visualization tools. By chosing the appropriate components in various scenarios, we can optimize our final outcome.

Here we use SAP Business Objects Dashboard as an example. SAP BO is a traditional vendor product and also a market leader in today’s visualization tool competition. Even though it has some weaknesses, the strong support and networking resources from SAP make it a great choice to consider if budgets allow it. Here is the summary of its visual components.

Here, I've created a demo to show you the effects.

As you can see, xCelsius, now known as Dashboard, provides a wide assortment of available chart types. It takes some practice to know which chart type is best for displaying particular information, and especially when it is part of a larger effort to use data visualization to drive changes in business behavior. Want to know more about SAP Business Objects Dashboard and how this demo works, just click the button.