Chart Types Primer

Chart Types Primer

You can create various types of charts such as Area, Bar, Bubble, Line, Pie, Stacked, Scatter, Funnel, Web and 3D charts by simply dragging and dropping the required columns into the respective shelves in the design area. 

Before we proceed any further into understanding the chart types and the combination of columns that can be used to create them, it is necessary that we first know about the functions associated with each column.

Listed below are the associated functions used in Zoho Reports:

  • Dimension: a column that has discrete values (eg. String and date column).
  • Aggregate: a column with an aggregate function applied contains aggregate values like sum, average etc. This even includes aggregate formula columns.
  • Measure: Measure column is nothing but a column containing numerical values that can be measured.

The chart designer looks as shown below. You can create charts by simply dragging and dropping the columns in their respected shelves. To know much more in detail about creating charts, you can refer to this help documentation

The chart types that are not applicable for the combination of columns that you use while creating the chart will appear faded (disabled). Let us now see in detail about each chart type and the combination of column types used to create them.

Pie Chart

Pie charts are used to represent percentage or proportional data. A pie chart can be converted to any of its equivalents like ring chart, funnel chart, bar chart, line chart, scatter chart, area chart or web chart.

Given below is a combination of column types which when dropped in the mentioned shelves will help you generate a pie chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 2Dimension/ AggregateOptional--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 3OptionalAggregate/ Dimension--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional

Example: Region vs Profit. 

Ring Chart

Ring chart or otherwise called as a doughnut chart is used to represent data in rings. A ring chart displays the contribution of each value to the overall total expressed in percentage. Ring chart can be converted to any of its equivalents like pie chart, funnel chart, bar chart, line chart, scatter chart, area chart or web chart.
Given below is a combination of column types which when dropped into their respective shelves as mentioned will generate a ring chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 2Dimension/ AggregateOptional--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 3OptionalAggregate/ Dimension--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional

Example:  Region-wise sales%

Bar Chart

Bar charts are used when you have to compare data classified into discrete groups. They are generally used to categorize data or represent two or more metrics of a particular category. They display values as individual bars whose height is determined by the value plotted and grouped by each category. A Bar chart can be converted into any of its equivalents like Line, Scatter, Area, Stacked Bar, Stacked Area or Combo chart depending on the category.

The below combination of column types will help you create a bar chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregateDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 2DimensionMultiple Aggregate fieldsDimension/ Aggregate/Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 3Dimension/ AggregateOptionalAggregate/Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 4OptionalDimension/ AggregateAggregate/Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional

Example: Product Category wise sales

Stacked Chart

A Stacked chart allows you to easily analyze the patterns and trends in your data by comparing the parts of your dataset to the whole. In other words, it plots the contribution of each value to the total across categories. There are two types of stacked charts - Stacked Bar and Stacked Area

Stacked Bar Chart

You can use the below combination of columns to create a stacked bar chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate

Dimension/ Aggregate/Measure

Dimension/ Aggregate/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Optional
Case 2OptionalDimension/ Aggregate

Dimension/ Aggregate/Measure

Dimension/ Aggregate/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Optional
Case 3Dimension/ AggregateOptionalDimension/ Aggregate/MeasureDimension/ Aggregate/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Optional

Example: Quarter wise sales for each region.

Stacked Area Chart

You can use the below combination of columns to create a stacked area chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregateDimension/ Aggregate/ MeasureAggregate/ Optional--
Case 2DimensionMultiple Aggregate fields--Aggregate/ Optional--

Example: Yearly profit obtained for each product category

Scatter Chart

Scatter charts are commonly used for plotting and comparing numeric values, such as scientific, statistical, and engineering data. It is generally used for comparison between two numerical axes with uneven intervals and ranges. You can interchange a scatter chart with a line chart.

The following combination of column types will help you generate a scatter chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate/ DimensionAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 2AggregateAggregate/ DimensionAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 3Dimension/ AggregateOptionalAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 4Aggregate/ DimensionOptionalAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional 

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Example: Temperature Vs Rainfall

Line Chart

A line chart is used to analyze series trend across a time period. You can interchange a line chart with a scatter chart.

Any of the below combination of column types will generate a line chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate/ Dimension/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 2OptionalAggregate/ DimensionDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 3Aggregate/ DimensionOptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ Optional

Example: Running Sales vs Cost vs Profit.

Bubble Chart

Bubble charts are really useful if you want to visualize your data highlighting the magnitude/weight of a data point with sizing. You can use a bubble chart wherever a Scatter plot is used, with scatters points being replaced by bubbles. The size of the bubble will be determined by the data column dropped in the new Size shelf of the Chart designer.

The following combination of column types will help you generate a bubble chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextSizeTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate/ DimensionAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 2AggregateAggregate/ DimensionAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 3DimensionOptionalAggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 4 AggregateOptionalDimension

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 5OptionalDimensionAggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 6OptionalAggregateDimension

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Example: Sales of each State by Product Category

Packed Bubble Chart

The Packed Bubble chart type is used to display data in a cluster of circles or bubbles. They are used to display the values disregarding the axes. The difference between a normal bubble chart and a packed bubble is that the latter is tightly packed rather than spread over a grid. You can use a packed bubble chart to visualize large amount of data in a small space.

The following combination of column types will help you generate a packed bubble chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextSizeTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate/ DimensionAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 2AggregateAggregate/ DimensionAggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 3DimensionOptionalAggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 4 AggregateOptionalDimension

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 5OptionalDimensionAggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Case 6OptionalAggregateDimension

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Aggregate

Aggregate/ Dimension/ Measure/ Optional

Example: Region-wise Sales metric for each Quarter

Combination Chart

The combination chart is a combination of bar and line chart and is used when you have a mixed type of data to represent. 

The following combination of column types can be used to create a combination chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionMultiple Aggregate fields------
Case 2DimensionMultiple Aggregate fields--AggregateAggregate

Please do note that you cannot build a combination chart when the Color shelf is occupied.

Example: Profit Vs Sales - if total sales across products is represented in bars, the profit can be represented as an individual line in the same chart.

Area Chart

Area charts shade the area beneath the lines and therefore help you more readily to compare data magnitudes. They are mainly useful for emphasizing the change in metrics across time. You can interchange an area chart with a web chart.

Given below is a combination of column types which will help you generate an area chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregateDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ Optional----
Case 2DimensionAggregateDimension/ Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregateAggregate

Example: Year wise Sales

Funnel Chart

The funnel chart is used to represent a progressive flow/reduction of a business metric across phases. 

The below combination of column types can be used to create a funnel chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregate--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional
Case 2OptionalAggregate--Aggregate/ Measure/ OptionalAggregate/ Measure/ Optional

Example: Sales Pipeline - To visualize potentials across each stage

Web Chart

Web charts help in studying the comparison between different data series. It compares the values of a number of data series represented with data markers in proportion with a center point.

Given below is a combination of column types which will help you generate an web chart.

 X axisY axisColorTextTooltip
Case 1DimensionAggregateDimension/ Optional--Aggregate/Measure/ Optional

Example: Cost Vs Sales for 2016