In This Chapter
Understanding basic dashboard trending concepts
Comparing trends across multiple series
Emphasizing distinct periods of time in your trends
Working past other anomalies in trending data
One of the most common concepts used in dashboards and reports is the concept of trending. A trend is a measure of variance over some defined interval — typically time periods, like days, months, or years.
The reason trending is so popular is that it provides a rational expectation of what might happen in the future. If we know this book has sold 5,000 copies a month over the last 12 months, we have reason to believe that sales next month will be around 5,000 copies. In short, trending tells you where you've been and where you might be going.
In this chapter, you explore basic trending concepts and some of the advanced dashboard techniques you can use to take your trending components beyond simple line charts.
Building trending components for your dashboards has some dos and don'ts. This section helps you avoid some common trending faux pas.
It would be nice if you could definitively say which chart type you should use when building trending components. But, the truth is, no chart type is the silver bullet for all situations. For effective trending, you'll want to understand which chart types are most effective in different trending scenarios.
We discuss Excel chart basics in Part ...