# Functional patterns

## Functional patterns overview

There are various functional patterns that support user activities such as analyzing data, communicating data stories, monitoring, and planning.

Use the appropriate visualization method for the need you are trying to satisfy, and keep in mind that there is a range of functions that are supported, that can be used to reveal insights.

### Inform others

This functional pattern helps to communicate a single important data point to a reader.

Suitable visualization methods are:

• Scaled-up number (single value) • Gauge • Progress meter ### Find patterns

This functional pattern helps revealing forms or patterns in the data to give it meaning.

Suitable visualization methods are:

#### Area graphs

• Area graph, overlapping • Stacked area graph • Stacked area graph, percentage #### Bar charts

• Bar chart • Clustered bar chart • Stacked bar chart • Stacked bar chart, percentage #### Column charts

• Column chart • Clustered column chart • Stacked column chart • Stacked column chart, percentage #### Other

• Line plot • Spline graph ### Compare values

This functional pattern helps with identifying differences or similarities between categories or show the composition of the data set.

Suitable visualization methods are:

#### Bar charts

• Bar chart • Clustered bar chart • Stacked bar chart • Stacked bar chart, percentage #### Column charts

• Column chart • Clustered column chart • Stacked column chart • Stacked column chart, percentage #### Line charts

• Line plot • Spline graph #### Other

• Donut chart ### Rank items

This functional pattern is best used to transform categorical or numeric data in such a way, that the values get sorted by their rank.

Suitable visualization methods are:

#### Bar charts

• Bar chart • Clustered bar chart • Stacked bar chart • Stacked bar chart, percentage #### Column charts

• Column chart • Clustered column chart • Stacked column chart • Stacked column chart, percentage ### Understand distributions

This functional pattern helps with analyzing frequency, how data is spread out over an interval, or how it is grouped.

Suitable visualization methods are:

#### Area graphs

• Area graph, overlapping • Stacked area graph #### Line charts

• Line plot • Spline graph ### See a part–to–whole

This functional pattern helps with understanding how something is divided up in the context of its totals.

Suitable visualization methods are:

#### Bar charts

• Stacked bar chart • Stacked bar chart, percentage #### Column charts

• Stacked column chart • Stacked column chart, percentage #### Other

• Donut chart • Gauge • Pie chart • Progress meter ### Detect trends and/or see evolutions

This functional pattern helps with finding trends and changes over time. A requirement is the presence of a time stamp.

Suitable visualization methods are:

#### Area graphs

• Area graph, overlapping • Stacked area graph • Stacked area graph, percentage #### Column charts

• Column chart • Clustered column chart • Stacked column chart • Stacked column chart, percentage #### Other

• Line plot • Spline graph • Stepped function graph • Stepped line graph ### Understand proportions

This functional pattern helps with understanding differences or similarities between values or to a whole.

Suitable visualization methods are:

#### Bar charts

• Stacked bar chart • Stacked bar chart, percentage #### Column charts

• Stacked column chart • Stacked column chart, percentage #### Other

• Donut chart • Gauge Last updated: May 2020