How do I create a chart on the Open Data Portal?

You can create charts on by following the steps outlined below:

  1. Select the type of chart use
  2. Set Labels
  3. Set Values
  4. Review and Change Advanced Settings
  5. Customize Chart
  6. Save your chart
  7. Name your chart and provide metadata

However, before you begin creating a chart, it is important to prepare the data by summarizing it first.

Select the type of chart use

There are a number of options available to chart your data.  What you select will depend on what you need to show:Image showing chart types available on

  • Comparison among categories
    • Column Chart
    • Bar Chart
  • Comparison over time
    • Line Chart
    • Timeline Chart
    • Area Chart
  • Composition – multiple periods
    • Stacked Column Chart
    • Stacked Bar Chart
  • Composition – single period
    • Pie Chart
    • Donut Chart
    • Tree Map
  • Relationships
    • Bubble Chart

Set Labels

Once you select the chart type, you are able to select a column with categorical data to use as labels.  For column charts, bar charts, line charts, area charts, bubble charts, and timeline charts, labels will determine placement of values along x-axis (horizontal axis along the bottom, except for bar charts where it is vertical and along the right side).  However, for pie charts, donut charts and tree maps, it establishes the data series. 

Set Values

You can also select one or more column with numeric data to use as values.  For column charts, bar charts, line charts, area charts, bubble charts, and timeline charts, values dictate placement of values along the y-axis (vertical axis along the right, except for bar charts where it is vertical and displayed along the top).  If more than one column is selected, each one is presented as a separate data series.  However, for pie charts, donut charts and tree maps, you are limited to one value and it determines the size of the slice or box.

Review and Change Advanced Settings

Some chart types allow additional grouping using columns containing categorical data.  This typically creates new data series (e.g. cluster of bars/columns, multiple lines in a line chart, and individual segments of a stacked column or bar).  You may also annotate your chart to provide additional context.

Customize Chart

You also have a variety of options for customizing how your chart is presented, such as:

  • Picking colors used for data series
  • Indicating whether you want values and labels displayed on the chart itself
  • Adding annotations, such as targets, limits or baselines.
  • Adding and customizing a legend (if you only have one data series, don’t include a legend)
  • Customizing flyouts that are viewable when a cursor is placed over a point, bar, bubble, slice or box.
  • Providing axis titles and customizing the axis itself.

Save your chart

If you are creating a chart from a dataset, you will be given options:

  • Save – applies your changes to that particular chart (does not apply when creating a chart from the underlying dataset)
  • Save as – creates a static instance of the chart, reflecting the changes applied. This allows the chart to be linked to separately. The underlying dataset or chart will remain the same.
  • Revert – undoes any applied changed and will take you to the saved state of the underlying chart or dataset.

Name your chart and provide metadata

When using “Save as” to save your view, you are asked to name the chart.  The name you provide should be in plain English and include sufficient detail to facilitate search and discovery.   Some basic elements should be considered when coming up with a title for your view:

  • The main numeric data being summarized should provide the foundation for your title (e.g.  Total Assessed Property Values)
  • Known timeframes your view is limited to should also be used if applicable (e.g. 2012 Total Assessed Property Values)
  • Groupings used to summarize underlying data (e.g. 2012 Total Assessed Property Values by County)

The metadata from the underlying dataset is the default metadata for your chart, but can be edited so that the description and other fields are more specific to the view itself.  You can edit the chart’s metadata the same way you do for your datasets.

Program Area
Open Data, Data Views, Charts

Printed from the Iowa Department of Management website on March 20, 2018 at 10:31am.