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Learn your options for data visualization with this comprehensive guide of charts available in SAP Analytics Cloud. In this guide, we give a quick description of each chart type and show you what it looks like in practice.

Charts are divided into the following categories:

To start building charts with your own data sign up a  free 30-day trial of SAP Analytics Cloud.


Comparison charts show comparisons between two or more categorical values.

Bar/column charts are used to compare measures based on dimensions. The value of a measure is represented by the length of the bar, while dimensions provide the axis of the chart.

When bars are horizontal the visualization is considered a bar chart, vertical bars are considered a column chart.

Bar/Column Chart Type

When a color dimension is selected, bars or columns will automatically cluster to show the breakdown of the measure over the included dimension.

bar/column clustered chart type

Stacked Bar/Column
An alternative to a clustered bar/column chart is to use a stacked bar/column chart. When bars/columns are stacked, they show the total measure divided into selected dimensions.

Stacked bar/column chart type

Combination Column and Line
This chart type displays one measure as a column and a secondary measure as a line. The two measures are usually displayed over a time dimension. This chart is useful for showing the relationship between two measures over a period of time.

Combination column/line chart type

Combination Stacked Column and Line
A combination stacked column and line chart should be used in a scenario when the goal is to show trends as well as a breakdown of a particular measure in relation to a dimension.

Combination column/line chart type

Use a waterfall chart when you want to show the positive and negative changes that a measure goes through according to a dimension (usually time).

waterfall chart type

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Charts that fall under this category are typically used to show trends over time.

With line charts you get an overall picture of your selected data by communicating upward and downward trends and overall volatility.

line chart type

Line charts can also be used to track more than one data series on the same chart. This helps to reveal any correlation in trends.

multiple line chart type

Like line charts, area charts are best used to depict a time-based relationship. However, area charts also represent volume and are most useful for communicating an overall trend over time, as opposed to individual data point values.

area chart type

Stacked area charts can be used for multiple data series with part-to-whole relationships or to show a cumulative series of values.

stacked area chart type

Time Series

Another option to show trends over time is a time series chart. By choosing a time series chart you’ll easily be able to filter by different time periods.

time series chart type

A feature of the time series chart is the ability forecast future values based on historical data within the chart.

time series chart type with forecast

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The correlation chart type is used to show whether the value of one measure impacts the value of another. Color coding dimensions can deepen the meaning of correlation charts, but is not always required for analysis.

Use a scatterplot to find out whether or not there is a correlation between two specific measures.

Bubble Chart
To see the correlation between three measures use a bubble chart. They display a measure on each axis and a third measure is reflected in the size of the bubble.

Bubble chart type

Cluster Bubble
This style of bubble chart is another way to show the value of a measure based on two dimensions. The best way to explore a cluster bubble chart in SAP Analytics Cloud is by hovering over each bubble to display the tooltips that contain more detailed information.

cluster bubble chart type

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Charts in the distribution category focus on displaying the distribution of values within a dataset

Box plot
Box plots show the distribution of data based on a five number summary: minimum, first quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum. When datasets have single points with extremely high maximums or surprisingly low minimums they’re displayed as outliers.

box plot chart type

The dimension tool tips on a box plot will show the breakdown of the 5 number summary, as well as the number of outliers and values within the data.

box plot tool tip

Heat Map
The tiles on a heat map change color based on the value of the measure. Heat maps are a convenient way to represent a large volume of data points in a chart that’s easy to read.

heat map chart type

Histograms are easy-to-read charts that allow you to compare quantitative data in a visually compelling way.

Histogram Chart Type

Tree Map
The tree map chart type functions similarly to heat maps. The difference is that the dimension tiles change in size depending on the value of the measure. Tree maps are limited to a single measure and dimension per chart.

tree map chart type

Radar charts are useful for seeing the distribution of values across dimensions and what the outliers are. They can be used to see which dimensions are scoring high or low for a particular dimension, making them ideal for displaying performance.

radar chart type

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Charts in the indicator category are a quick way to show current values or a level of progress.

A bullet chart type can be used to indicate progress towards a goal. To use a bullet chart in SAP Analytics Cloud you must first establish thresholds for the measure you are working with.

bullet chart type

Numeric Point
Use a numeric point chart type to show totals at a glance. Numeric points can also be enhanced with thresholds. When thresholds are enabled the color of the number changes to show where it falls within the threshold.

numeric point chart type

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More charts

The charts in this category are used to show both part-to-whole relationships and distribution of measures.

Pie/ Donut
Pie charts and donut chart type are used to show the percentage of a type of dimension within a measure. The entire pie or donut should always add up to 100%.

pie chart type

Thresholds can also be added to pie/donut charts to show a quick view of a status of a dimension in relation to a goal.

donut chart type

The Marimekko chart is bar style chart type that communicates through width, rather than height alone. This allows for each bar to communicate two measures using the size of the bar as well as two dimensions by stacking values of dimensions in a single bar and the axis labels.

marimekko chart type

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The International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) is not a chart type per se, but rather a conceptual design guideline for conveying business information in the most concise manner to enhance understanding. In the examples below, we’re seeing two IBCS charts — one comparing absolute values and the percentage values. You can see that the variance is shown in green for positive values and red for the negative values.

The black and white variance chart shows data from the previous year (PY) for January to September as well as the actual (AC) data for the same time frame. We also see the data from the previous year (PY) compared to the Forecast (FC) for October to December.

IBCS Variance Chart SAP Analytics Cloud

To learn more about IBCS charts, please visit our IBCS playlist.

Try all the chart types with your own data

Ready to give visualizing your data a try? Start with a free 30-day trial of SAP Analytics Cloud and learn more of the basics with our Getting Started Guide.

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