When it comes to Visio's high quality, yet static content, can we make that flat data more interactive and fresh? Sure, with Data Graphics! Some people refer to drawings like this as having data-behind. Or if you have clicked on the Data tab and saw Data Graphics and didn’t know what those were used for, well then you’re luck as I’ll show you how to wire those up. You might have seen the Supply Chain example from Microsoft in a number of demos, and think that it must be some overly complicated configuration. It’s not!
Visio diagrams with live data behind can by used for all sorts of things:
This blog lists some samples from Microsoft that you can download with the Visio drawing and sample data you can play with. Here are a few other examples to get your creative juices flowing:
Open Visio, create a new drawing and click the Data tab. In Visio 2013, click the Link Data to Shapes icon in the ribbon. These are the options you will get:
You can get data from an Excel sheet, Access database, a SharePoint list, SQL server database or other ODBC connection. What else could you want? Well I’m sure a lot, but that should certainly cover a wide variety of data sources. Obviously I work with SharePoint primarily and have used this connection. It’s quite cool and allows you to choose the general list or just a view. (Sweet!)
While this doesn’t DIRECTLY apply to just drawings with data behind, I thought I would mention how to set backgrounds while we’re talking drawings. Depending on your drawing, you might want to use a background that would automatically appear on all pages you create, and not interfere with your shapes. Visio has built in support for this where you use a dedicate page and define it as a “background page”. This makes it not show in the page dropdown when rendered in Visio web access. To do this:
Done! Now for any page you want to have the background, just go into the page setup and choose it. Using a trick I documented in this blog, I added a semi-transparent shape on top of the map to help the shapes stand out against it so it’s not so busy.
Data graphics are a way to show additional data for a shape in a graphical way. Microsoft has a good article on an overview of data graphics here. You can create the following types of data graphics:
Did you know you could also get pivot style data in data graphics as well? They’re called pivot diagrams, and you can read more about them and how to make them from Microsoft here.
To see this better, let’s use the Help Desk example from above. You can get the files directly here. You will get the Visio drawing and the Excel data files.
Now we have our Excel data in Excel. It will show in the External data below the page drawing.
You can sort, rename columns, change column types and such by right-clicking on any part of the column, and choose Column Settings. You can select which columns to show, in what order, change their name and their type. Now we can add our items from Excel to the worksheet.
Now you’re cookin!
Obviously not the prettiest around, so just play with the theme shading, etc. to make it look better. Drag the shapes in the right order, add your arrow shapes (they have no data on them at all) and you’re ready to go! If you need to refresh the data, just click Refresh from the ribbon. The actual sample has multiple data graphic styles which you can see by looking at the pre-done sample from the download. Actually there are a total of 3 different styles used (they really just show different fields, show in a different order, or don’t show the data bars).
This should get you started, the possibilities are endless. Go look for some data and get data graphing! Create multiple pages for different views of your data. Upload to SharePoint and make a dashboard by adding in a Visio web part. If you use a lot of icon sets or colors, consider inserting a legend by clicking Insert Legend from the Data tab of the ribbon.
I highly recommend you download a lot of the samples, look at how they work and try it out for yourself. Here are a few other resources you might be interested in:
For more information about C5 Insight or this blog entry, please Contact Us.
So could I use this to make a thermometer goals chart that can update as I add in daily donations ? And have this shown on my home page in SharePoint?would you happens to have a easy step by step graph I could follow? Does this have to work though excell page on my desktop in order to updat daily?
The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.
This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.
Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.
This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.
Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.