Today’s beta release brings us one step closer to Data Dynamics Reports v1.1 and we’re adding significant new functionality this release with a set of report items specifically designed to create dashboards.
The dashboards above illustrates the simplicity of the dashboard controls included with Data Dynamics Reports.
Continue reading this post for an explaination of the two new report items included in this build, bullet graph and sparkline.
The Bullet Graph concept created by Stephen Few implements the idea of a gauge without the wasted space and color schemes that are not color-blind nor international friendly. The concept is so simple its surprising that gauges are still used.
The example above illustrates the encoding of a KPI as a Bullet Graph. The coloring of the background regions implies that the KPI would be in different states depending on where the value ends up. The value is in the warning area of the bullet graph. A vertical line in the middle of the bullet graph indicates what the target value should be. For this particular example the value is encoded as percent of target so 100% is considered the target.
The sparkline was created by Edward Tufte and is used to display the trend of data over time in a “small” graph. Dashboard for Data Dynamics Reports includes several sparkline variations in the same data region.
The Line sparkline is the typical one seen on market analysis dashboards and should be used when you have a continuous flow of data. Market data, temperature over time, and other cases where the previous value has a large influence on the current value.
The Column sparkline is used when you have discrete data points and not a continuous flow of data. Examples include sports scores, cash register receipts, and other cases where the previous value has little to no influence on the current value.
The Whisker sparkline is typically used in win/loss/tie scenarios or true/false scenarios. Similar to the Column sparkline, but it renders a tie (0 value) in a different fashion.
Additional features will be added to the dashboard over time and these two new controls are just the beginning of the enhancements we are planning on making for Data Dynamics Reports.