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Method to Improve Comparison of Series and Series Items in Multi-series Bar Charts

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000173307D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Jul-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Jul-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Method to Improve Comparison of Series and Series Items in Multi-series Bar Charts The Improved Comparison Multi-series bar chart is a clustered bar chart that simultaneously displays an additional bar for each series cluster, showing the height of the cluster if it were displayed as a stacked bar chart. The bars for the different series are still displayed side by side, so that they can be compared. The heights of the additional bars allow the user to compare the sums of the series clusters, thus realizing the strengths of both chart types in a single hybrid type.

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Method to Improve Comparison of Series and Series Items in Multi -series Bar Charts

Clustered bar charts and stacked bar charts are two common chart types used to compare values in a table of numeric information. Each type has strengths and weaknesses. What is needed is a way to capture the strengths of both chart types at the same time.

An Improved Comparison Multi-series bar chart solves this problem.

For example, the following table of data shows sales figures by salesperson by year.

Name 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Alice $80,345 $15,290 $19,140 $76,729 $94,599 Bob $83,870 $99,519 $79,105 $75,064 $90,930 Carol $10,507 $99,997 $9,832 $22,033 $87,584 Ted $13,640 $93,065 $78,210 $12,031 $87,229

For each cluster of bars, system: computes the sum of the cluster value


1.


2.


3.

An example of how this might appear is shown below.

In this case the chart shows the "stacked extent" bar only above a single series (default or one selected by the user as above). This not only helps to indicate which series the user has selected for special attention, it also shows accurately how that particular series relates to the total.

Note that in Figure A, the first series is selected. In Figure B, the third series is selected. In both pictures, the optional dashed line mentioned above is displayed.

Figure A

normalizes the chart Y axis so that a bar for the longest sum...