Master data management is a crucial element for business success in this modern digital era. Being able to take data sources and convert them into game-changing analytics and insights is helping organizations stand out in their respective marketplaces. However, as great as discoveries can be, it’s important to have the right data visualization for the facts to be understood. Among the charts and graphs that can provide this clarity is a web chart.
Understanding Web Charts
A web chart shows multivariate data of three or more variables mapped onto an axis. The name stems from its similar appearance to a spider’s web. These charts have a central axis with at least three spokes, known as radii. On these spokes, the values for the data are mapped. It’s designed to show similarities, differences, and outliers for that product, service, or any other item of interest at a glance. Web charts can also go by a variety of names: spider chart, radar chart, star chart, polar chart, cobweb chart, Kiviat diagram, or irregular polygon.
Think of a radar chart like you would your favorite pie. There are many factors that can make up a pie: fruit flavor, the addition of nuts, and other ingredients as well as the crust and density. The chart for pies would have a spoke for each variation, and the mark on the length of each of these radii would indicate the measurement of that variable. For example, your grandma’s apple pie may rank higher because of the flakier crust, but the cherry pie from your favorite bakery may rank differently because of the amount of fruit used. A line is drawn from each variable, creating the look of a spider web.
When to Use Web Charts
Web charts are most beneficial when there are a few items to compare. This can be done by overlaying different product information on the same chart or by having several charts with the same radii but seeking to analyze different items. You could compare grandma’s pie to your favorite bakery’s and your best friend’s by having charts next to each other rather than being mapped out on the same chart. With too much information on one chart, display values can become muddled and can make data visualization that much harder.
In terms of business use, there are a lot of possibilities. Radar charts can be used to consider skill analysis for staff members. With different spokes, employees can be assessed by their communication skills, their problem-solving abilities, and their punctuality. A web chart shows where staff is assessed in comparison to their colleagues. Web charts can also be used to manage quality improvement along a supply chain, displaying performance metrics for regular quarterly evaluation.
Creating Web Charts
Web charts can be used when there are multivariate observations that need to be laid out for easy understanding. An arbitrary number of variables, along with the ability to identify outliers, is key to this chart type. If data points aren’t clearly demonstrated, it defeats the point of creating charts and data visualization. The ability to easily make comparisons across products or services is crucial for polar charts. It’s important to understand that data sets need to be small or moderately sized in these particular models.
When creating web charts, it’s important to arrange variables in a meaningful order to convey messages. However, if you go beyond three series, these data sets should be presented on their own charts. Too many variables can make things confusing. The greatest advantage of a radar chart is that any outlier within trends and patterns is immediately visible, so too much happening otherwise would leave a viewer unable to differentiate commonalities from outliers. With this clarity, there is much that can be done for workflow and to promote better business habits.