Please could I ask for support to have the Bullet Chart issues, outlined below, addressed so as to make the Bullet Chart usable in all the scenarios for which it was built? Image 1 shows how bullet charts in BOARD 11.x can be used.
Image 1: Four stacked bullet charts. All are of uniform length and each is independent of the other
Unfortunately, image 1 was heavily processed to appear presentable. Image 2 shows the charts before fiddly remedial formatting and compensating workarounds were applied.
Image 2: The actual bullet charts from Image 1 but without compensating remedial formatting and manual alignment. Note the lack of scale transparency and inability to control the length of the chart due to the fixed location labels and their varying character lengths.
WHY HAVE I ASKED FOR SUPPORT WITH THESE ISSUES?
Aside from the fact that the bullet was specifically conceived for use with dashboards ( Here is the spec) and its application in BOARD makes it difficult to use its full potential, such issues make it very difficult to create effective charting tools for use on small mobile devices too.
We are developing BOARD data visualisation objects and interaction optimised for use in dashboards on mobile phone screens. Efficient modelling objects such as bullet charts and switchable multi-measure single chart objects are key to successfully achieving our objectives.
The issues with the current BOARD Bullet Chart, illustrated in Image 2, are these:
- Series names appear only on the right hand side when configuring chart horizontally.
- Series names cannot be blank (or spaced) to hide them, only made transparent.
- Labels cannot be word wrapped nor the text justified centre, left or right.
- The size of the series name actually changes the size of the chart making it very hard to 'stack' individual KPIs and maintain an even look.
- It is not possible to make charts wholly transparent as the scale background cannot be changed. The outcome of these issues is that I must hide all series titles and replace them with labels to the left. This makes the process of stacking bullet charts for various KPIs cumbersome and requiring a container to first place all items in before individually creating each series label.
- There is an, as yet, undefined issue in that objects disappear from view but were configurable and selectable from the left hand menu. This outcome happened when I was using the alignment tools; I did check that one item was not 'under' another. To resolve this issue, I had to select and delete the now invisible objects.
WHAT IS A BULLET CHART.
For those that are unaware, designed in 2006 by Stephen Few (Few 2006) , bullet charts were expressly developed, and shaded not coloured, as an effective and efficient data visualisation tool for use with dashboards; and an antidote to meter and gauge charts which used more room and space to convey little information (eye candy). Here is the complete specification for them
With Bullet Charts, one can show several measures in a very small single chart. Stacking the charts, one can create a very informative, dynamic and unambiguous dashboard display as can be seen in image 3.
Image 3: Original Bullet Charts as seen in 'Information Dashboard Design (p.127), by Stephen Few (2006 O'Reilly).