DataMarket blog

Data, visualization and startup life

DataMarket’s chart types – different ways to look at data

with one comment

In the last few weeks we’ve been gradually adding different chart types and new ways for DataMarket-users to look at the – more than 17,000 – available data sets on the site. We decided it’s about time to introduce some of these new possibilities.

Open any dataset on such as this one about Renewable energy production. At the top of the screen, you’ll see a line of buttons that allow you to switch between different views of the selected data:

Line charts

Line:The default view when opening a data set will typically be a standard line chart, in this case showing the history of energy production in Italy from 5 different renewable energy sources: Hydro, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal:

Click the image to open this view →

Relative line: Switch to a relative line, and you’ll see which of these energy sources has been growing fastest:
Stacked area: Or to a stacked area chart to see how they all add up:

Bar charts

Bar chart: The standard bar chart allows more exact comparison of the sources at a given point in time. You can use the slider below the chart to select the desired point in time:
The bar charts also come in very handy if you want to compare the situation in two or more countries. Let’s bring in France and Spain for comparison. Notice how the bars are automatically clustered by country:
Stacked bar chart: The stacked bar charts make such comparison even easier to analyze the different composition of values, in this case the composition of renewable energy production in these three countries:
Column chart: The column chart shows clustered category columns and their change over time. Good to compare changes over a few points in time while maintaining relative comparison between categories (e.g. “I want to see how all renewable energy types have developed and still see if hydro or biomass is bigger in a given year”):
Stacked column chart: The stacked column chart shows composition of the sum and change over time. Allows comparison over longer time, but make internal comparison in a given year harder than the regular column chart:


The last two “chart” types are textual representations of data.

Table: The Table view is quite self-explanatory, simply giving you a table representation of the selected data:
Current values: This view lists the last available value for any of the selected time series and the change from the previous day/month/year, based on the granularity of the data in question. This is a fairly common representation of stock prices for example.
Pie chart: Hardly the right category for it, and hardly the right chart type for anything. Still frequently requested, especially by our chart embed users, so here it is. Expect changes – and guidelines telling users why they’ll really want something else:)

Other options

So, our chart types allow you to look at selected data in a number of different ways, each telling a different story and giving you a different perspective.

…and don’t forget all the other things you can do with the selected data using the control bar below the chart area:

More on that later.

Written by Hjalmar Gislason

September 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] the updated chart types post for a rundown of all available chart types, and what they’re good for. Hint: One of them is […]

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