C08: Area charts
Area charts – always with horizontal axes – display data in their temporal development.
Different than column charts, area charts can be used best if more than 10 time periods are presented, even hundreds of values can be presented. If at all, showing negative and positive values is only possible for the lowest data series. The temporal development of only the lowest data series and the total can be analyzed well. Especially when presenting only few values, the connecting areas gives the impression of continuous data streams, which is not the case in business applications. Markers like in line charts cannot solve this problem because the values of area charts are not represented by the lines themselves but by the vertical difference between two lines.
Features for IBCS® certification of software
- Proper scaling of charts with the same unit (values, volumes, shares, ratios)
- Integrated legends at the left of the first data points (areas) or right of the last data points (areas) in the middle of the respective areas
- Data labels in the middle of the respective areas
- Consistent title and footnote concept; use of category axes for meaning (“semantic axes”)
- Message concept
- Highlighting differences
- Highlighting with trend arrows
- Integrating and highlighting comments