What are Data Widgets?
Transforming data into an effective visualization (any kind of chart or graph) is the first step towards making your data work for you. You can do that in TapClicks Dashboards by selecting the Data Widget option on your Dashboard.
How to Create a Data Widget
See the knowledgebase article How to Create Widgets.
When Should You Use Each Data Widget Visualization Type?
Below we make recommendations for when to use each type of visualization:
- Big Number
- Data Grid
- Bar Chart
- Line Chart
- Combo Chart
- Pie Chart
- Funnel Chart
- Gauge Chart
- Bubble Chart
Sometimes you just want a big overall number for specific metrics. Big numbers will give you the overall totals of what you are interested in as a quick overview. Visually, big numbers are great eye-catchers.
When to use Big Number:
- The best way to utilize big numbers is for a top-view look at your metrics.
- Examples: displaying the total number of followers, number of likes, number of clicks, or number of impressions.
- Including big numbers at the top of your dashboard is one of the best ways to have your clients see totals for their time frame.
Data Grid is the best choice when your data needs to be displayed in a table. While less visual than other widget types, there are times you want to display all the data and the Data Grid is perfect for that.
When to use Data Grid:
- The best way to display data that requires both row and column series.
- Examples: displaying marketing metrics like clicks and CPC for several clients at once.
- There are many ways to visually enhance the table like grouping columns by color, applying color-based logical conditioning to cells, and turning each column into a heat map.
Bar charts are also one of the most common ways to visualize data. It's quick to compare information, revealing highs and lows at a glance. Bar charts are especially effective when you have numerical data that splits nicely into different channels so you can quickly see trends within your data.
When to use a Bar Chart:
- A good way to compare data across channels.
- Examples: a volume of likes, comments, and shares or website traffic by origination site.
- Include multiple bar charts and group them next to one another on your dashboard. This helps the viewer quickly compare related information instead of flipping through a bunch of spreadsheets or slides to answer a question.
- Use stacked bars or side-by-side bars. Displaying related data on top of or next to each other gives depth to your analysis and addresses multiple questions at once. You can simply do this by selecting the stacked bar chart option.
Line charts are one of the most frequently used chart types. Line charts connect individual numeric data points. The result is a simple, straightforward way to visualize a sequence of values. Their primary use is to display trends over a period of time.
When to use a Line Chart:
- Use to view trends in data over time.
- Examples: engagement growth over a monthly period, website page views during a month, and revenue growth by quarter.
Also consider an Area Chart:
- Shade the area under the lines. When you have two or more line charts, fill the space under the respective lines to create an area chart. This informs a viewer about the relative contribution that line contributes to the whole. This option can be selected in the Line Chart Options section.
To emphasize different types of information in a chart, you can combine two or more chart types. For example, you can combine a bar chart with a line chart for an instant visual effect that might make the chart easier to understand. Visually, you can see two charts in one.
When to use a Combo Chart:
- You should utilize combination charts when the range of values for different data series in your chart varies widely, or when you have mixed types of data. This way, you can plot one or more data series from a different chart type on a secondary axis.
- Your metrics should be related to one another and one metric's scale does not overshadow your second metric. For example, if you utilize a metric whose scale is in the thousands and a metric in the hundreds, you will be limited in seeing the correlation.
Pie charts should be used to show relative proportions – or percentages – of information. Pie charts are one of the most commonly misused chart types. If you are trying to compare data, leave it to bars or stacked bars. Don’t ask your viewer to translate pie wedges into relevant data or compare one pie to another. Key points from your data will be missed when the viewer has to work too hard.
When to use a Pie Chart:
- Use them to show proportions.
- Examples: percentage of budget spent on different campaigns, demographic channels from a survey, breakdown of video view percentage.
- Limit pie wedges to six. If you have more than six proportions to communicate, consider a bar chart. It becomes too hard to meaningfully interpret the pie pieces when the number of wedges gets too high.
The funnel chart is used to visualize the change and reduction of data as it passes from one phase to another. Data in each of these phases are represented as different portions of the whole process from start to end.
When to use a Funnel Chart:
- If you have data that tracks people's usage from a starting point to a completion point, funnel charts will be your best way to visualize how far a user progresses to completion.
- For example, at the top of the funnel, you will have all the users coming to your site. However, you really care about how many of those users make it to the checkout page to submit an order. Funnel charts are a great way to track progress to a completion point so you focus on where people get lost in transition. You can then strategically plan to maximize your completion goals.
Gauge Charts should be used to show progress against some upper limit during some well-defined time period like a month or year. It is used to visually "gauge" progress.
When to use a Gauge Chart:
- Use these to display progress.
- Example: display the number of page views, month-to-date, against the monthly page views goal.
- Gauge charts also display current period progress and prior period progress.
Bubble charts provide a dynamic three-dimensional visualization, leveraging X and Y axes for two dimensions and bubble size for a third, facilitating simultaneous comparisons of complex datasets.
When to use a Bubble Chart:
- To illustrate relationships and variances among multiple data points in a single chart.
- To track changes over time by plotting data points with time on one axis, a numeric variable on another axis, and bubble size representing a third variable. This is particularly useful for identifying growth rates, market trends, or changes in customer behavior.
- A bubble chart must have three dimensions to visualize.
- Leverage bubble sizes and colors for emphasis.