Comments archive

The pages of this comments archive list all public comments on the latest version of the IBCS® Standards in chronological order.


Native speakers seam to prefer the term “scale band” instead of “scaling area” or “scaling bar”. So I would suggest using “scale band”.

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Hi Nicole,

let me first translate your question:

I did not quite understand how this is meant: “Do not use colored ares for visualization of non-area-related figures such as market shares or return sales”? Why, for example, can areas be colored for “population density” but not for market shares?
Do you have a graphic example for area-related figures where colored areas would be good?

The answer is: The visual impression of colored areas on maps is that regions with a big area (“Alaska”) have a big impact whereas regions with a small area (“Singapore”) don’t. As the values of typical business figures such as market share do not correspond to the area size of the corresponding region, this gives a wrong impression.

“Population density” on the other hand is an area-related figure (“number of people per area”). This is why it would work.

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Ich habe nicht ganz verstanden, wie dies gemeint ist: «Do not use colored ares für visualisation of non-area-related figures such as market shares or return sales”? Warum können für zum Beispiel “population density”, aber nicht für Marktanteile die Gebiete farblich gemacht werden?

Haben Sie ein Grafik-Beispiel für area-related Zahlen, bei denen farblich markierte Gebiete gut wären?

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Hi Rolf, 

I totally agree we need more practical examples/ templates to make IBCS less theoretical therefore broaden the audience. 

The core idea of the promote using vertical lines (e.g. dashed/ light-grey) as a tool to mark beginning and end dates of a timeseries. 

(e.g. Fund performance since circulation until today)  

the advantage of this is that we have x-axis with less detailed steps (e.g. years or quarters except of days) but still have the two very important dates directly displayed in the chart. 

fiddling around with the visualization of performance charts I had to figure out that most people preferred the version with vertical lines with the start and end date of the interval even if it is a redundant information. 




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Hi Gunnar,

the solid line is just your  AC series,  e.g. a performance

the vertical dashed lines are the interval borders which represent

the start and end date of the plotted performance. (these dates should also been found in the title)


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Rolf Hichert

Suggestion for change
New visualisation for outliers:

Jürgen and I suggest to change the outlier chapter UN 5.3 in the next version of the standards.

At present we say:
“Omit the pin head and add outlier triangles pointing in the direction of growth, see Figure UN 5.3.”

We should agree on this minor change:

a) The standard outlier indicator is one triangle only (see in our new book “Solid, outlined…” on page 88, figure 2.4-10)

b) If we want to differentiate outliers with different orders of magnitude (e.g. >50%, >100%, >150%) we could use one, two or three triangles.



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Rolf Hichert

Here the standards are pretty clear:

Never truncate the visualisation (bars, columns…) of absolute values.

You might truncate the visualisation (pins, not bars!) of relative values as explained above: “If such an outlier is not important for business, e.g. a big relative variance of a small value, do not scale the whole chart to this outlier rather visualize unimportant outliers with outlier indicators.”


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Rolf Hichert

Hi, Jens –
Yes, the comment function seems to work… 😊

It seems to me that most people did not understand exactly what your proposal was – at least I didn’t.
Let me first give you some background information – and then we can discuss:

I have started with these chart and table “templates” together with Holger Gerths in our Excel trainings more around 15(!) years ago. They are NOT part of the “standards” – although we used figures for demonstration purposes such as the figures CO 5.1-1, CO 5.2-1 and UN 2.3-5. Some details are not valid any more – other details might become valid in future versions. At the moment, we use these templates for the certification of software tools – and here we cannot demand 100% compatibility.
It would be great to have these and even more templates be part of the standards; this would make the many rules much more easier to understand – especially for beginners. So Jürgen and I tried to update these old templates in our new book; the templates on the pages 190..205 should be pixel perfect. But they are not – although we have spent very many hours on each of them to make them consistent. Some alert readers already have come up with first little mistakes…
Now coming back to template 07A (which corresponds page 194 in our book):
a) the lines have round markers to identify beginning and end of each month – plus the last trading day (2015-05-21).
(There is no detailed rule yet concerning the shape of these markers.)
b) vertical solid lines mark beginning and end of each month, a dotted line marks the last trading day (or any other non-month-end day).
c) two solid triangles highlight the two dates mentioned in the message.
d) two more markers highlight the 100% and the difference mentioned in the message.
e) there are tick marks at the beginning and end of the months – not at the last trading day.

When you look at a)..e): What would you like to change or add?

Sorry for the details – but I hope that we can soon come up with a solution to your inquiry of September 2018… 🙂


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