You may be wondering if you need something special to gain access to the Schedule Chart object. Don’t worry, you don’t, you just need to unhide this visualization if it isn’t already. You can do this from the Objects’ drop down menu. There are several other objects available to you if you’d like to show those as well. Simply check the ones you want to include in the list and then click ok.
The VA 7.3 Schedule Chart is similar to the traditional Gantt chart in that it serves to illustrate the start and finish duration of a category data item. You must provide a category data item and two date or datetime data items representing the start and end dates. You can also add a group by category, lattice by columns and/or rows. Here is a simple example that visualizes my local school district’s 2016-2017 Traditional School Calendar.
Schedule charts can be used to visualize a variety of data such as:
- Calendar Events
- Project Tracking
- Campaign/Promotional Runs
- Floor Service Coverage
Essentially, any category which can be associated with a start and end date can use this visualization.
Here are some examples of using the Schedule Chart to look at project tracking data. Our team uses a similar visualization; however, I have modified real names and gave it a Star Wars theme for a bit of fun.
In this example, the Project name is assigned as the main category. Here are a few takeaways:
- The schedule chart gives a great bird’s eye view of a lot of data. This particular data has over 350 projects spanning a team of 19 individual members.
- The schedule chart automatically includes the least and greatest date value. You can override the X Axis in the Properties tab by assigning a fixed minimum and maximum.
In this next screenshot, I have selected the manager Obi-Wan Kenobi to filter the Schedule Chart. Therefore, by adding section filters to this report, you can see how spotting coverage of Projects and Project Types are easy. And, with some Mock Combat planned later in the year, the Jedis might want to up their training.
This example uses the same Schedule Chart role assignments as before, but different section prompt filters. Here, this report shows how an individual team member can use the Schedule Chart to visualize several things:
- A list of his/her assigned projects.
- The planned duration of each project.
- How the projects are spread throughout the year.
If you chose to look at a particular Project Type, then this visualization would help list the Project names and how they span across the year.
The next example moves away from the traditional use of putting the Project as the main category data item and instead places the Team Lead on the Y Axis. This now allows us to see how busy each Team member is and with which Project Type. By the way, did you notice the neat way the Team names are sorted? I used a custom sort!
Here are just a few more things you can do to enhance this visualization: you can adjust the transparency so you can see overlapping projects and you can easily add reference lines to the X Axis. In this example, I’ve added the reference lines for Q1 through Q4. I’ve also selected a manager from the report section filters and added an additional data item for the Label.
In this example, I wanted to demonstrate the use of the Lattice rows and I also applied a Display Rule for the Project Type. This is a good way if you want to view overlapping information and the transparency property isn’t distinct enough.
Schedule Chart Limitations
If you want a bar representation on the Schedule Chart to appear then the data must have a start and end date for every row of data. If either is missing, then the category name will appear on the Y Axis but no bar will be displayed on the visualization. Also, you cannot create an interaction from or to the Schedule Chart object. That means you cannot create a filter or brush with another object in the report area. The Schedule Chart will be filtered by either report or section prompts. I hope you can include the Schedule Chart into your reports, it is one of my favorite visuals.