Adam Cooke

I currently work as a consultant for Qlik, a software company doing some interesting stuff in business intelligence. Check it out Qlik.com. I write this blog to showcase some technical bits that I hope will be useful to others.
adamcooke@webofwork.com

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Avoiding the spaghetti line chart

Webofwork > Innovation  > Avoiding the spaghetti line chart

One of the easiest charts to create in Qlik Sense or Excel or any BI tool is a line chart. Very good for showing trends over time but also very easy to make look like spaghetti or a pile of string if not thought about correctly.

spagettilinebig

 

See what I mean?

 

Here are a couple of alternatives while still using the line chart to make the data more readable.

Use space to separate and untangle each line.

spaced

The creation of space means it much easier to read the line chart. Arguably you do lose the comparison to peers on the y axis.

 

Highlighting one line against the pack

 

Another approach is to plot all lines, but highlight one against the pack based on a user selection. This can easily be done in Qlik Sense using Set analysis, but the same approach could also be achieved in Excel and other BI tools.

onehighlighted

 

There are of course lots more ways, but these two can normally be achieved with a minimal amount of extra work, yet provide a much more insightful line chart data visualization.

 

 

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Adam Cooke

I currently work as a consultant for Qlik, a software company doing some interesting stuff in business intelligence. Check it out Qlik.com. I write this blog to showcase some technical bits that I hope will be useful to others.

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