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Beyond Lines: Spline Area Charts for Insightful Data Visualization

Beyond Lines: Spline Area Charts for Insightful Data Visualization

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    Beyond Lines: Spline Area Charts for Insightful Data Visualization


    Clear communication is paramount in effective data visualization. Spline area charts are an advanced tool in this quest, merging the smooth transitions of splines with the filled contours of area charts. They enable viewers to track changes over time through individual data points and by visualizing the cumulative effect of these changes. This post explores the insights unlocked by leveraging spline area charts in your data narratives.

    What is a spline area chart?

    A spline area chart allows you to showcase the difference between minimum and maximum values over time with data points connected by smooth curves. It combines the features of a spline chart and an area chart.

    Spline Area Chart Example in Bold BI
    Spline Area Chart Example in Bold BI

    Advantages of visualizing data in a spline area chart

    • Trend and pattern recognition: When analyzing data, a spline area chart can help identify long-term trends. This is particularly useful when analyzing stock market data, smoothing out day-to-day fluctuations to reveal overall patterns.
    • Data comparison: When you’re comparing sales performance of different product lines over several quarters, a spline area chart allows you to easily compare the sales trends of each product line on the same graph.
    • Enhanced communication: When presenting quarterly financial data to stakeholders, using a well-designed spline area chart helps you effectively communicate the revenue growth of your company by visually highlighting growth without overwhelming the audience with raw numbers.
    • Emphasis on magnitude: When illustrating the growth of a social media platform’s user base over the years, a spline area chart vividly displays the increasing magnitude of users, emphasizing the platform’s expansion.
    • Aesthetic appeal: In a marketing presentation showcasing the growth of a brand’s market share, a spline area chart with its smooth lines and filled areas enhances the visual appeal, leaving a positive impression on clients or executives.
    • Time series analysis: When analyzing website traffic data over several months to identify seasonal trends, a spline area chart effectively displays fluctuations in visitor numbers.

    When to use spline area charts

    • Use spline area charts to visualize trends over time or across categories.
    • Effectively compare multiple data series simultaneously by highlighting relative magnitudes.
    • Display cumulative totals or proportions to make trends clear.
    • Put the smooth curves and filled areas of spline charts front and center in presentations or reports where visual appeal is important.

    When not to use spline area charts

    • Avoid spline area charts with few data points as they might suggest trends not supported by the actual data.
    • They are not suitable for precise data representation due to the smoothing effect of the curves, potentially obscuring individual data points.
    • Spline area charts may not effectively visualize complex data relationships or nonlinear trends, as they tend to simplify the data into smooth curves.
    • They might hinder data interpretation, especially if filled areas obscure overlapping series or create unclear boundaries between datasets.

    How to configure a spline area chart in Bold BI

    Configuring a spline area chart widget in Bold BI is easy to do and involves the following steps:

    1. Find and select the Spline Area Chart in the Widgets section, and then drag and drop it into the dashboard designer.
    2. In the Properties panel of the chart, navigate to the Assign Data tab.
    3. Drag and drop one or more Measures in the Value(s) field and then drag and drop a Dimension in the Column(s).
    4. Customize the chart by setting its properties according to your preferences.
    5. Click the Preview button to see how the chart will look with your data, and then save your dashboard.
    Configuring a Spline Area Chart in Bold BI

    Check out our documentation for more detailed information on customizing spline area charts in Bold BI.

    Application of spline area charts in real time

    Real estate: Revenue trends

    The revenue trend metric tracks a business’s financial performance by charting revenue over time, helping the business identify growth opportunities. Utilizing a spline area chart, real estate agencies can visualize their revenue trends, revealing long-term growth or decline patterns.

    Revenue Trends Spline Area Chart
    Revenue Trends Spline Area Chart

    Telecommunications: Average reply time

    The average reply time metric is the average time taken to respond to customer inquiries, reflecting customer service efficiency and quality. Employing a spline area chart effectively illustrates reply time trends over time, aiding in performance monitoring and identifying areas for improvement in industries like telecommunications.

    Average Reply Time Spline Area Chart
    Average Reply Time Spline Area Chart

    Customer support: Tickets by day of the week

    The tickets by day of the week metric monitors the number of tickets received and closed by a support team daily. It helps the team identify peak support periods, staffing requirements, and customer reporting behaviors by highlighting trends or variations in support ticket volume over time with clarity.

    Tickets by Day of the Week Spline Area Chart
    Tickets by Day of the Week Spline Area Chart

    Marketing: Total links created by day of week

    The total links created by day of week metric offers insight into user engagement, content-sharing patterns, and platform usage dynamics. A spline area chart effectively illustrates the trend of link creation over time, highlighting fluctuations and patterns in daily link-generation activity for marketing teams.

    Total Links Created by Day of Week Spline Area Chart
    Total Links Created by Day of Week Spline Area Chart

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    In conclusion, Bold BI streamlines the creation of spline area charts, empowering users to delve into comprehensive data analysis effortlessly. These charts serve as indispensable tools for predicting trends and guiding informed decision-making. Take charge of your data analytics journey with Bold BI and uncover the cumulative impact of key elements over time. Start visualizing insights that drive action today!

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