Use the right chart to increase the effectiveness of your business communications. Workiva offers a variety of charts for different purposes. Line and area charts show changes over time. Column and bar charts compare different items. Pie and doughnut charts represent data as percentages. Waterfall charts emphasize the impact on initial values. Scatter and bubble charts show multiple dimensions for data. All charts can be exported as PNG or JPEG files.
Line and Area Charts
Line and area charts show changes over time. Line charts demonstrate changes in a specific trend for a single data group. Measurements are indicated by markers and joined with straight line segments.
Marker size, shape, fill colors and borders are highly customizable. To adjust these options, right-click on your chart and choose Chart Properties .
Two or more quantities can be compared with an area chart. Area charts emphasize changes in values using color fills.
You can further customize the plot fill using the Opacity setting in the Chart Properties panel. This allows you to create areas of your chart that are more or less transparent as desired.
More information can be found in the Line and Area Charts article.
Column, Bar and Combo Charts
Column and bar charts are used to compare different items or identify changes over time. Column charts feature a vertical display of data. Bar charts use horizontal formatting of data.
Stacked charts can be either horizontal or vertical. Stacked charts break data down into constituents to identify problems or highlight progress.
Use the Chart Properties panel to control:
- Column width
- Column color
- Border colors
- Column overlap
- Label positions
More information can be found in the Column, Bar and Combo Charts article.
Pie and Doughnut Charts
Pie and doughnut charts display data in slices rather than in series. Pie and doughnut charts represent data points as percentages, showing a comparison of parts to the whole. A doughnut chart displays as a ring with a variable inner radius.
Slice colors, borders, and labels are controlled from the Chart Properties panel. Each slice in a pie or doughnut chart can be formatted individually.
More information can be found in Pie and Doughnut Charts.
Waterfall charts have initial and final value columns with floating columns in between. This demonstrates negative and positive values with an impact on the initial and final values.
Waterfall charts include the option to change the color of columns representing Positive Change and Negative Change, as well as changing Column Types so that either a Total value or Change is represented.
The most common use case for a waterfall chart is three total columns with the changes between. Often these are three different years with profit and loss comparison and a midpoint total column.
More information can be found in Waterfall Charts.
Scatter and Bubble Charts
Scatter and bubble charts are useful for displaying two or more dimensions for data. Scatter and bubble charts are often used to communicate data related to risk management, audit and SOX processes.
Scatter and bubble charts can be used to help to identify correlations between two variables. This can identify the potential root cause of problems.
- Point labels
- X axis position
- Y axis position
- Point sizes
These dimensions are controlled from the chart’s data table and the Chart Properties panel. The Chart Properties panel provides access for the General settings, Plot settings and the Bottom Axis and the Left Axis.
More information can be found in Scatter and Bubble Charts.
Chart Health Checks
Document Health performs several checks on charts. You will be alerted through the Document Health report if any of the following are found:
- Duplicate axis labels
- Empty cells in chart data
- Overlapping data points
- Non-numeric text found in chart data
- Mixed shown-in scales used in chart data
- Data point cropped from view
- Empty chart series name
Learn more about Document Health.