Trending Bar – Above or Below Average

Graph objective: Show the trend over time and some extra insight into above or below average performance.

When to use it: Use this graph when you want to show a trend over time and separate performance into two groups “Above or Below Average”. Adding above or below average coloring to this graph gives the user a lot of additional insight with little effort on their part. You could substitute the average for the median or any arbitrary threshold that has business value. Providing this info with color is more difficult on the user with a line graph. In general, bar graphs will only be used for trending when we have significant differences between the time periods, as we do here.

Colors and Sorting:
Colors are used to bucket time periods by performance. Only using two colors keeps the graph simple, yet informative letting the user decide if next steps or a deeper dive is needed. This is a trending graph, so sorting is done by time.

Pros:
1) Shows the trend over time of our metric
2) Buckets the time periods into groups by performance

When not to use it:
1) Small differences – if your time periods have very small differences between them, it can be hard to see the trend with a bar graph. You will want to use a line graph instead.

Notes for tool: give an option with the line and without the line.

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