Speaking the language of business intelligence with an Australian accent

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Enough Pies, I’m Full!

In homage to the Thanksgiving celebration about to take place in the USA I thought I’d place a bet on what I think will be the most overused (and least useful) feature of PPS 2010 analytic reports.

Multiple pie charts!

Those who have used ProClarity will recognize this multi-pie functionality. See how easily you can determine which of the clothing, bikes and components categories sold the most in CY 2008?


I believe that pie charts were included in PPS 2010 as a “required feature” by the sales team. If you listen carefully to some of the PPS team members as they present the latest features you can hear a slight tinge of cynicism in their voices as they say “oh yeah, we support pie charts now too…”

So I ask you, what’s better than a single pie chart?

@PieCounter INT = 1,
@EnoughPies INT = 10 -- enough pies, I'm full!
WHILE @PieCounter < @EnoughPies
'The only thing better than ' + CONVERT(VARCHAR(2), @PieCounter)
' pie chart/s is ' + CONVERT(VARCHAR(2), @PieCounter + 1)
' pie charts!'
SET @PieCounter += 1


Dr John said...

Clearly your coding did not take into account Stephen Few's opinion of pie charts. The code should have been:

@PieCounter INT = 2,
@EnoughPies INT = 10

PRINT 'One pie chart on a dashboard is bad enough'

WHILE @PieCounter <= @EnoughPies
IF (@PieCounter = 10)
PRINT 'A dashboard with 10 pie charts! It must have been designed by Boris Evelson!'
PRINT CONVERT(VARCHAR(2), @PieCounter) + ' pie charts are even worse'
SET @PieCounter += 1
PRINT 'Pie charts really make me sick!'

If you want a laugh, read Stephen's vitriol on Boris Evelson at http://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/?p=637

Nick Barclay said...

Thanks for the code improvement Dr John :)

Ozziemedes said...

So what you need there is some variable scaling on your pie charts to show relative sales. Would it then become a bubble-pie chart? Or a pie-bubble chart? Maybe you could have a flag sticking up from the centre of each pie with a number on it showing the total pie-size?


Random musings only... no response required.