RoamBi CataList is an extremely powerful view for navigating and consuming information that can exist as a hierarchy, using a robust library of charts. CataList’s innovative micro-charts provide quantitative analysis for each dimension value, empowering you to quickly consume a large amount of information as you swipe and drill. At the lowest level of detail, CataList features a robust library of thoughtfully designed charts and tables for visualizing any combination of trends, comparisons, and qualitative information. Regardless of industry or job function, you can customize CataList to present your pertinent business data into an interactive view that will have you favoring your mobile device for accessing business intelligence.
Example Use Case
RoamBi CataList is a flexible view capable of presenting any combination of charts and micro-charts aligned to your business information. Whether you are a call center manager who monitors call volume and blockage measures or a credit union executive who desires regional budget analysis down to the office level, CataList provides a robust interface for digesting a large amount of information. In this example intended for an executive, CataList provides an intuitive interface to drill into any region and then visualize each office across multiple measures including headcount expenses, operational expenses, and non-interest income. From there you can drill into any office and view a detail card to with a collection of charts and tables that provide a holistic view of performance.
RoamBi CataList Features
Aside from the sleek aesthetics and thoughtful design execution within a small screen real estate, RoamBi CataList’s features:
- Hierarchical navigation of information with flexibility to swap measures represented as micro-charts with the swipe of a finger (figre1).
- Highly configurable micro-charts options including sparklines, bar and stacked bar charts, and column charts.
- Alert and trend icons identify when a value within a micro-chart is out of tolerance (figure 2).
- Dynamic sorting by dimension or measure simplifies navigation or analysis to quickly assess top and bottom performers within a list (figure 4).
- Robust charting library including a line chart, bar chart, area chart, column chart, stacked column chart, combination chart, pie chart, and data table (figures 5 & 6)
- Search dialogue provides instant access to any tabs with matching records (figure 7).
- Micro-chart legends that quickly identify color assignments while exposing additional options for label assignments that maximize screen real estate (figure 9).
- Careful consideration to screen real estate and performance simplifies the aesthetics and alleviates clutter as you scroll top to bottom within the detail view.
- Integrated tap to dial for phone numbers and Google Map integration for addresses.
- Bookmarking option that will save your place so you can re-call at anytime.
Data Visualization Best Practices
Assigning the best possible chart to represent quantitative information will impact a CataList’s effectiveness to clearly communicate performance. As data groups are assigned to a chart type, you can also re-purpose most RoamBi charts as micro-charts, further boosting efficiency for digesting large amounts of information quickly. Understanding best practices for assigning data groups in RoamBi to charts and establishing relationships between standard charts and micro charts will also impact your ability to communicate and interpret information.
Line charts are best applied for consecutive Interval metrics which are typically time-based (month, day, etc). The benefit of using a line chart is its effectiveness to communicate trends over time.
The sparkline, originally conceived by Edward Tufte, is the perfect chart type for the condensed screen real estate or CataList. A sparkline provides the same visual context as a line chart, minus the x-axis labels. In addition to the sparkline, you can enable a trend icon that measures the last value against a single point within the trend to dictate the overall series trend (up or down).
Data tables are best applied displaying data where there is no value or need for quantitative analysis. For applications including multiple measures that are related for analysis, a data table is the perfect solution to display the data.
Bar/Column charts are the most widely used charts for consuming quantitative information based on a single dimension (products, employees, regions, etc) with one or multiple like-measures (sales, costs, etc). Both bar and column charts are extremely effective for representing quantitative information using the relative bar size against a common axis and scale to provide powerful comparative analysis. Choosing between a RoamBi Data Bar and Column chart should be dictated by the number of measures that you would like to visualize and your desire to display dimension axis labels without further interaction. The stacked bar chart does not have a corresponding micro-chart, though you can create a single stacked micro-chart using a Pie chart.
The Data Bar chart will plot one data group (series) in a horizontal orientation with the dimension values (y axis label) displayed to the left of each bar. Tapping on the title will auto expand larger titles, and clicking on any bar will display the data values in place of bars.
The Column chart will accommodate the same analysis as the data bar, but with an option to add an additional series. The column chart will convert to a micro-chart, once a second series is added
Stacked column charts are effective for displaying multiple parts of a whole similar to a pie chart, but across a series. A stacked column chart emphasizes the whole, while enabling you to visualize the distribution of values within each bar.
A combination chart works similar to a multiple series column chart with an option to transform one series into a line trend rather than a bar. The purpose for implementing a combination chart is to draw attention to a series where a trend is present. A combination chart is typically used when there is a calculation or target trend corresponds to the accompanying bars. The corresponding micro-chart is also capable of displaying up to two series.
Pie charts can be implemented as an alternative to a single series column or bar chart, though pie charts should display all parts (slices) required to represent a whole. As the volume of pie chart slices (dimension values) increase, the difficulty of interpreting information and deriving value from the chart decreases. Like the RoamBi PieView, this pie chart will automatically aggregate all remaining values into an “Other” category, once the pie chart exceeds 10 slices.
An area chart is a line chart with extended shading to emphasize a two dimensional space that the trend occupies. While one or two series can effectively communicate this information, as the number of series increase the shading can cause interference as the shaded areas overlap.
An area chart’s assigned micro-chart is a shaded Sparkline that works exactly like the regular Sparkline with additional shading.
Implementation Best Practices
Formatting the source reports or Excel worksheets within each view require best practices that can save you valuable time, while facilitating a usable data structure for your data visualization needs. When working with Excel, all RoamBi Views require a flattened vertical table where any combination of columns can be grouped and then assigned to charts and tables within the view.
By default, the first row in most RoamBi Views is used to assign group names, while the second row identifies the column titles. To streamline the process for defining groups for CataList, during the import step within RoamBi Designer, define the first two rows as your titles.
RoamBi CataList uses the left column within your data to determine the hierarchy to navigate to the detail card level. The budget analysis example has two levels of hierarchy (region and office) requiring you to edit the navigation columns to reflect both column A and B. The hierarchical data needs to be flattened as shown in figure 10.
RoamBi CataList will utilize the right column of your navigation columns to define the detail card titles. As you navigate through the hierarchy and micro-charts down to the detail card, you will need to choose what field will dictate the card title. In most cases the default will automatically become the detail card title figure11.
Once the key column (card title column) is chosen, you can create or modify layout groups which can be assigned to any RoamBi chart and micro-chart (figure 12). To successfully create a chart within the detail card, you need to create groups within the RoamBi Publisher layout tab containing at least two columns containing the same numeric formatting. If either column contains text values or inconsistent number formatting characters ($, %, etc), RoamBi will not enable charting capabilities for that group.
After configuring charts within CataList, you can assign micro-charts that can be displayed within the CataList navigation screen, providing a level of analysis that provides significant utility not possible with other RoamBi views. Most charts can be toggled and configured according to the defined chart you have assigned to each data group.
Applying number formatting to data: RoamBi is intelligent enough to interpret multiple data formats from reports and Excel files. When applying number formatting, you want to ensure that each column only contains a single numeric format ($, %, “,”, etc).
Addresses: When formatting addresses in RoamBi for automatic linking to Google Maps, you will want to input addresses as “Address, City, State abbreviation” (34555 N. 5th Pl., San Diego, CA).
Phone Numbers: RoamBi is intelligent to recognize most variations for displaying phone numbers both for domestic and international phone numbers. It is a best practice to refrain from using decimal separators in phone numbers to avoid RoamBi mistaking the phone number for a standard numeric value. Valid Examples: 123-456-7890 (123)456-7890 + 22 607 123 4567
Email addresses: RoamBi will invoke your iPhone email upon selecting text formatted as an email address without applying any extra formatting.
Websites: Open Safari browser by tapping on any URLs where the text starts with www or http