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) Scaled-up number (single value) chart example
  • Gauge Gauge example
  • Progress indicator Progress indicator example

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 Area graph, overlapping chart example
  • Stacked area graph Stacked area graph chart example
  • Stacked area graph, percentage Stacked area graph, percentage example

Bar charts

  • Bar chart Bar chart example
  • Clustered bar chart Clustered bar chart example
  • Stacked bar chart Stacked bar chart example
  • Stacked bar chart, percentage Stacked bar chart, percentage example

Column charts

  • Column chart Column chart example
  • Clustered column chart Clustered column chart example
  • Stacked column chart Stacked column chart example
  • Stacked column chart, percentage Stacked column chart, percentage example

Other

  • Line plot Line plot chart example
  • Spline graph Spline graph chart example

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 Bar chart example
  • Clustered bar chart Clustered bar chart example
  • Stacked bar chart Stacked bar chart example
  • Stacked bar chart, percentage Stacked bar chart, percentage example

Column charts

  • Column chart Column chart example
  • Clustered column chart Clustered column chart example
  • Stacked column chart Stacked column chart example
  • Stacked column chart, percentage Stacked column chart, percentage example

Line charts

  • Line plot Line plot example
  • Spline graph Spline graph example

Other

  • Donut chart Donut chart example

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 Bar chart example
  • Clustered bar chart Clustered bar chart example
  • Stacked bar chart Stacked bar chart example
  • Stacked bar chart, percentage Stacked bar chart, percentage example

Column charts

  • Column chart Column chart example
  • Clustered column chart Clustered column chart example
  • Stacked column chart Stacked column chart example
  • Stacked column chart, percentage Stacked column chart, percentage example

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 Area graph, overlapping chart example
  • Stacked area graph Stacked area graph chart example

Line charts

  • Line plot Line plot example
  • Spline graph Spline graph example

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 example
  • Stacked bar chart, percentage Stacked bar chart, percentage example

Column charts

  • Stacked column chart Stacked column chart example
  • Stacked column chart, percentage  chart example

Other

  • Donut chart Donut chart example
  • Gauge Guage example
  • Pie chart Pie chart example
  • Progress indicator Progress indicator example

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 Area graph, overlapping chart example
  • Stacked area graph Stacked area graph chart example
  • Stacked area graph, percentage Stacked area graph, percentage example

Column charts

  • Column chart Column chart example
  • Clustered column chart Clustered column chart example
  • Stacked column chart Stacked column chart example
  • Stacked column chart, percentage Stacked column chart, percentage example

Other

  • Line plot Line plot chart example
  • Spline graph Spline graph chart example
  • Stepped function graph Stepped function chart example
  • Stepped line graph Stepped line chart example

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 example
  • Stacked bar chart, percentage Stacked bar chart, percentage example

Column charts

  • Stacked column chart Stacked column chart example
  • Stacked column chart, percentage Stacked column chart, percentatge example

Other

  • Donut chart Donut chart example
  • Gauge Guage example

Last updated: May 2020