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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tree-map / Heat-chart / Tile chart is good for the data analysis visualization/dash-boarding

Any good reporting should be fully automated and web based with no more then 2-3 levels of drill-downs and the highest level should be a color-coded dashboard. So what is the best mean for color-coded dashboard? Nowadays the tile (heat) chart is getting more and more popular for that purpose!

A bit history:

        The  original source of the tree-map idea: Treemaps for space-constrained visualization of hierarchies by Ben Shneiderman
         CMG papers about tree-mapping of capacity usage metrics: 

CMG 2004: Seeing the Forest AND the Trees: Capacity Planning for a Large Number of Servers.

The following two examples from the paper:

CMG 2003: Disk Subsystem Capacity Management, Based on Business Drivers, I/O Performance Metrics and MASF         

CMG 2006: System Management by Exception, Part 6

The following  two examples from the papers: (at the left is the SEDS based report):

Possibly with some influence from the above mentioned papers that type of dash-boarding was adopted by several tools including SAS:


So since SAS 9.3 it is ease to build an interactive tile chart with drill-downs and even with a context “right click” menus to call trend or control charts by parametric URLs. Applying that to SETDS reports the boxes (tiles) size could be EV (By the way, the EV usage for dash-boarding was already discussed in other post HERE)

The Tableau tool is getting more and more popular and there is away to build the self-configurable tree-maps and that looks better than SAS ones. Example: 

Another popular way to build tree-maps now is D3.js JavaScript library. See the code sample here and the result is below: