Maps, Violin Plots and Waterfalls

Inspire Action with the Right Data Visualizations


3 min read

Photo of a woman in a business office working on a tablet with text that reads "10 ways to take your data visualizations to the next level"

A good data visual can provide a very fast construct of a situation or trend – useful when you have a large, complex dataset or information that isn’t joined or connected. There are many types of data visualizations available. Which is the right one for your use case?

Today, the world of data visualization offers a world of choice. From arc diagrams and bullet charts to violin plots and waterfalls, more techniques are available than ever before. Which translates into more ways to analyze data, convey information and illuminate insights.

Knowing which visuals work best for what information is key. Are you showing correlations or deviations? Comparing values? Illustrating change over time? Let’s look at some of the newest visualizations and how they might best meet your information needs.

Slope Chart

You may have used a bar chart to rank items. Building on the idea, a slope chart shows how ranking changes over time. Relative rank is indicated across two points in time, making it easy to compare grades of the slopes and see how the rate of change differs between categories.

This type of data chart is ideal for visualizing changes in sales, costs or profits. It provides a simple view of what has gone up, what has gone down and how quickly it happened.

Graphic of a slope chart for undefined data increase/decrease between 2018 and 2021

Calendar Heat Map

Are you tracking changes over time? Beyond line charts, calendar heat maps illustrate how a dataset varies over long periods such as months or years. A heat map shows variance across several variables. Data is overlaid on a calendar and a color gradient is used to show relative values across time.

This type of map is best for visualizing how a quantity varies depending on the day of the week or how it trends across time. Examples include retail buying trends and network activity.

Graphic of a calendar heat map for January through December

Marimekko Chart

You could use a pie graph to show the relationship of parts to a whole. You can also do this with Marimekko charts, which are ideal for showing categorical sample data.

A Marimekko chart compares groups and measures the impact of categories within each group. A dimension axis shows the groups; a measure axis displays the percentage value for each category item; value is indicated by group size. This two-dimensional stacked chart is commonly used in finance, sales and marketing.

Graphic of a marimekko chart example

Visualizing with Qlik

From box plots to tree maps, we can help you create practically any visualization that your use cases require. Do you need to integrate complex datasets, pinpoint outliers, label data points or summarize? Qlik provides these capabilities too.

Every chart, object or table is also interactive, allowing users to go further into the data. And Insight Advisor can auto-generate visualizations, narrative interpretations and even entire dashboards for exploration. All of which brings richer visual meaning to your datasets.

To learn more about using visualizations for your data, download the eBook 10 Ways to Take Your Data Visualizations to the Next Level here.

The world of data visualization offers a world of choice. From arc diagrams and bullet charts to violin plots and waterfalls, more techniques are available than ever before.

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