Categories of Chart Types

Charts are separate data visualization graphs, displayed below the data result grid. Unlike the inline charts, which are painted within the grid’s cells. Chart graphs have nothing to do with your generated SQL query or the database server, but only with data collected after the query execution. Run Visual Xtractor or Data Xtractor, and make a selection in the Chart query builder, whenever such choice is available.

Large categories of our chart types:

  1. Bars – huge variety of vertical columns or horizontal bars, including the simple single and multi-series Bars, Overlapping Bars, Nested/Progress Bars, Bullet Charts, Stacked and Skyscraper Bars, Range Bars, Marimekko and Bar Mekko Charts etc. We also included here graph that look like bars, but are not known as Bar charts, such as Treemaps, Dot Matrix and Waffle charts, Dot Plots and Heat Maps.
  2. Cartesian – Point, Line and Area charts on an orthogonal X/Y plot. Extended point-based charts such as single/multi-series Scatter, Bubble, Quadrant and SPLOM charts. Specialized line charts such as Arc Diagrams, Parallel Coordinate Plots, Rank/Bump Charts, Dumbbell Charts and Slopegraphs. Range Areas and Stream Graphs.
  3. Circular/Radial – they both display a circular plot. Radar/Polar charts usually show Cartesian charts on a circular area. While Radial Column/Bar charts are equivalent circular representations of Bar/Column Charts.
  4. Pie/Funnel – shape-based charts, with two large subcategories: Pie/Doughnut Charts and Funnel/Pyramid Charts, including Sunbursts and Radial Heat Maps.
  5. Statistics – charts and chart helpers mostly used in statistics, such as Box/Density Plots and Histograms, Trend/Mean/Median Lines, Pareto Charts, Goal Line/Area,  Error Bars…
  6. Financial – stock and price change charts, such as Candlestick and OHLC, Renko and Kagi etc.

For a detailed list and specific instructions on each chart type, go to the Chart Types page.

Examples of Stacked Bar Charts:

Chart Type Selections

In Visual Xtractor, the Chart query builder is always visible. You have to manually type a SQL query, run it and make one or several allowed chart type selections in the Chart builder, on the returned result columns. In Data Xtractor you may have to show and enable the Chart builder first, when you visually design the query.

There are four different types of chart selections, from the dropdown menu displayed when you click on a Chart builder cell:

  1. Label – this will determine the categorical data labels for the bar charts, the X numeric values for Cartesian charts, the circular labels on a Radar/Polar plot, the labeled values of a Pie or Funnel chart and so on. Main purpose of this optional but frequent selection is to assign some friendly descriptive text to each measured numeric value plotted on the chart.
  2. Category – this may be used as an additional upper category, when you already used Label and you want to group you data into a more general cluster. Category values may be displayed as data labels and legend items instead.
  3. Size – for proportional area charts, you may introduce a second numeric value for bi-dimensional representations. For bar charts, which by default show only heights, this may vary the bar width, in Mekko charts. For scatter points, this may lead to Bubble charts, with variable radius.
  4. chart type – whatever other specific chart selections come next are for your main plotted chart values, most often numeric. Chart types are grouped within chart categories and represented with a small thumbnail, to better identify your selection. Each chart type depends on your data type from that column. Some types may create an additional no-field column, as described later.

Chart Menu

Single/Multi-Series and Single/MultiColor

Single-Series chart types usually have one single specific chart selection, with optional Label, Category or Size. Most single-series charts are by default single-color, but can show a different color for each point. The legend shows an entry for each point (i.e. each row cell from the result grid).

Multi-Series chart types have more than one chart selection, with optional Label, Category or Size. Most multi-series charts are by default multi-color, with a different color for each selected data column. The legend shows an entry for each series (i.e. each entire column from the result grid).

All our 2D and 3D charts can be SingleColor or MultiColor. But you may want to show most of your single-series charts with one single color, and the multi-series charts with one different color for each series. You can also show any chart with gradients of grey instead.

Single-color charts can also use two alternative colors for positive and negative values or variations.

  1. Value-Based Colors apply to Bar and Scatter charts, including Bubble charts. First palette color is used for positive colors, second palette color for negative values.
  2. Variation-Based Colors apply to Range and Waterfall charts, HiLo and Heat Maps, most stock and price change charts: Candlestick and OHLC, Kagi and Renko, Three Line Break and Point and Figure charts. First palette color is used if current value goes up, second palette color if it goes down.

Interactive Chart Features

Chart interactions can be turned on and off all together from the Interactive top menu item of a toolbar button. The individual interactive features are:

  1. Interactive Legend – most charts automatically show a collapsible chart legend on the right. Single-series charts show one entry for each point, while multi-series charts display one item for each series. An interactive legend allows you to hide points or series with one click on the related legend item. You may either show only related points/series alone, and hide the rest. Or hide related points/series.
  2. Explode on Click – pie/doughnut slices and funnel/pyramid segments may appear “exploded” on individual clicks. Another general toolbar option allows you show all slices/segments as exploded from start.
  3. Show Cursor Position – the cursor position may appear when you move the mouse over a rectangular or circular plot.
  4. Show Trackball or Crosshairs – a vertical line (i.e. Trackball) or one vertical and one horizontal line (i.e. Crosshairs) may appear when you move the mouse over a rectangular or circular plot. They all follow the current mouse position.
  5. Point Highlight – the individual graph element for the current point (a bar, slice, segment, dot) may be automatically highlighted when the mouse moves over that position.
  6. Point Selection – the individual graph element for the current point (a bar, slice, segment, dot) may be selected – and remain selected – when you click on it.
  7. Use Zoom – draw a rectangular area with your mouse button down over a chart, and you may zoom in into that area. Go back by refreshing the chart, or with the button from the chart’s axis.
  8. Use Tooltips – a small rectangle with additional info may appear when you move over a chart point.
  9. Use Rotation – you may rotate 3D charts with this feature, by holding the mouse button down.
  10. Use Animation – automatically start to animate a 3D chart on a mouse click. This may show you the chart from a different perspective while slowly rotating it.

Mixed and Multiple Charts

Mixed Charts display series of different chart types on the same chart area. You can generally successfully mix Cartesian and Bar charts. Or different scatter, line and area charts on the same Polar/Radar circular surface. You’re either not allowed to mix charts of different types, or you get a clear warning message with the ignored types.

Multiple Charts display series of different chart types on separate split chart areas. Multi-series mixed charts of the same type will each appear as separate single-series charts when split. Similar chart types may have these areas synchronized, to show common axes, and appear as Small Multiples.

Most often, you may switch between mixed charts and multiple charts by one simple toolbar button click. However, there are chart types – like Funnel and Pyramid charts – that will automatically appear as multiple split charts if you select more than one similar series for them.

Specific combinations of multiple split charts may get a reserved treatment:

  1. Stock Chart with Volume – Candlestick/OHLC chart on top, with a synchronized volume Area chart at the bottom. A semi-transparent Bollinger Band can be also rendered on the back of the stock chart.
  2. Box Plot with Scatter – single Box Plot synchronized with the expanded points on a Scatter chart, with an optional vertical compressed Scatter Bar in the middle.
  3. Histograms with Scatter – Histogram with similar semi-transparent Density Plot on the back, and a horizontal Scatter Bar on top.

Proportional Area Charts

The Size selection usually creates a specific proportional area chart. This second numeric measure will make most shapes appear bi-dimensional. Hence we start talking rather about areas, instead of single-dimensional widths, heights or angles.

  1. Overlapping Bubbles – when used alone on a numeric column, with no chart-specific selection, the Size selection vary the area (and optional the radius) of each circle. Change the marker type to a square rectangle, triangle or diamond, for variations of this chart.
  2. Bubble Chart – when used with Scatter chart selections, Size reflects the area (and optional the radius) of each point marker. For multi-series charts, add more than one Size, with each following a different Scatter selection.
  3. Polar/Radar Bubble Chart – similar to the Cartesian Bubble Chart, but on a Polar/Radar circular plot.
  4. Bar Mekko – added to a typical vertical Bar chart selection, Size will vary each bar’s width. Proportional Area is a particular case, when both Size and the Bar selection apply on the same column data. This makes the width/height ratio of each bar to be the same.
  5. Variable Size Pie – a single-series Pie chart may add a Size to get a variable radius for each slice. Remark that if you render the slices with the same angle, this will look like a Nightingale Rose chart.
  6. Variable Size Doughnut – similar to a Variable Size Pie, but you may get three different variations based on the position of the whole.

Here is a selection with the different variations of Variable Size Doughnut charts:

Category Charts

Like Size, the Category selection adds also another dimension to the chart. But Size adds another measure (usually numeric), while Category (usually descriptive text) adds an upper level group, that translates into another labeling style. Existing legend labels – usually collected from the Label column – will now be replaced by the Category values. Data labels will also show Categories instead.

There are many possible chart combinations allowed, as it follows:

  1. Status Chart – that’s a specific use case for a Gantt chart. In fact, adding a Category to these Range Bar charts will actually render a specific Gantt chart. The Category is a must for this type of chart.
  2. Block Plot – scatter charts use a numeric Scatter selection for the Y values, and Label for the numeric X values. You cannot use Label here to display friendly point descriptions. And this is where a Category selection is also required. You may now show these values as data labels, with the Block Plot style as well.
  3. Bar Charts with Category – main impact is different groups of bars will now get a different color each. And these groups may be individually hidden by one single legend item. Similar for the equivalent Radial Bar/Column charts.
  4. Cartesian Charts with Category – same impact, but combines with scatter, line and area charts. Add also a Size, to get Bubbles grouped in a different manner.
  5. Multiple Line Charts with Category – charts like the Parallel Coordinates Plots or an Arc Diagram may show many lines. Category helps group several lines together and show them with the same color, limiting the number of colors as there is already too much clutter.
  6. Pie/Funnel Charts with Category – you may get adjacent slices or segment with the same color now.

Here is a short selection of Status Gantt Charts:

Chart Configuration Options

Most chart styling options have been isolated in built-in and customizable themes, accessed through the separate Xtractor Templates application (installed for free with any of our Data Xtractor packages). Users may rather focus on the exploratory analysis and select predefined colors, markers and other visual elements. First chart toolbar button, from the left-bottom corner, is used to access these features:

  1. Chart Theme – with specific styles for the current chart.
  2. Chart Colors – to change the default color palette for current chart theme.
  3. Chart Hatches – to change the default hatch pattern palette for current chart theme.
  4. Chart Markers – to change the default marker palette for current chart theme. Markers are sets of builtin or individual images that you may use for each point. You may choose to use just the first palette marker for all your series, or variable markers, one for each point or series.

Other options are common to most types of charts:

  1. Chart Help – go to online tutorial pages to learn how to configure and customize the specific chart types you selected.
  2. Interactive Features – turn on and off all or individual interactive features, as described before.
  3. 3D – switch 2D chart to a 3D view. Most our charts are rendered in both 2D/3D. Just be aware 3D views may look nice, but they are not recommended by most experts.
  4. Show Multiple Split Charts – switch between mixed charts (i.e. multiple chart types on the same area) to multiple charts (i.e. single-series charts in separate split areas), as described before.
  5. Show Graph Only – that’s a quick switch when you want to hide all clutter (axes, labels) and display the graph alone, width its eventual data labels, with one single click. You may also turn on and off the plot alone.
  6. Axis and Data Labels – all sorts of options for the individual X and Y plot axis, and the point labels, with their visibility and orientation.
  7. Colors – show single or multi-colors, for the single or multi-series chart. Show different colors for positive/negative values or variations. Or show everything with gray gradient colors.
  8. Drawing Styles – you may get different solid or semi-transparent drawing styles for the bars, pies/doughnuts and funnels/pyramids, in 2D or 3D.
  9. Line Styles – lines can be straight, curve (spline), step or jump. Their dash style may show interrupted or dotted lines. Line styles may apply to both line charts and area charts.
  10. Marker Type – most charts may display point markers. You can turn this feature on and off, and select the kind of marker you want.
  11. Swap Rows with Columns – swap data or rotate the graph, to display vertical columns instead of horizontal bars, or row data instead of column data.
  12. Show as Lollipop – show thin bars with large markers width the data labels inside. Or thin arcs and rings, for pie/doughnut-based charts. Show Full Bar Width will rather make your bars larger and leave no gaps between.
  13. Group Labels – group same value labels together. This is good for charts like Gantt, when you get duplicate labels, but you want them to appear as overlapped range bars, on the same line.

Chart Options

Many other options are specific to the chart type you selected, and we’ll show them only for each specific chart type tutorial. For instance, this Waffle Gauge may have the number of bricks per each row and column adjusted.

For multiple-series charts, select just one from the combo box, when visible, and have the specific options for that series alone on the right.

You can maximize the chart to the whole available area, and hide the grid and the visual SQL query builder.

We used a limited set with fixed values for most our options to simply make things easier for the user. When presented with an empty field, or a large set of values, many people get rather confused, as they don’t know what to go with.

Chart Demo Queries

For any database type, regardless of your data and server engine, you may also generate and play with many demo queries. Some Chart demo queries are presented below:

Chart Demos

Theme Chart Samples

Xtractor Templates is an application installed with any Data Xtractor product, to configure your themes, colors and other styles. You may select a theme and switch to the Theme Charts for your selection. Switch to a specific category of charts.

The selection below shows some specific Stacked Bar charts:

Theme Charts Stacked Bars