In the spirit of exploring new visualizations, I wanted to learn how to create a Sankey diagram within MicroStrategy Desktop (also known as Visual Insight in web). A Sankey diagram is used to visually explain flow or many to many relationships with respective proportions. The visualization needs a source attribute, target attribute, and measure to size the path or flow. In order to support the visualization, I grabbed data off of http://www.starwars.com/databank. The databank also had images I could leverage as a twist on the visual format. Cross referencing IMDB, I created a list of popular characters by Star Wars

Star ratings have become a staple for assessing review sentiment online. We see them all the time when we shop and can quickly associate whether a review is worth reading based on the 1 star vs 5 stars attached to the review. Given the popularity, I recently included star ratings by product in a dashboard designed for an executive audience. The visualization is intuitive and straight to the point. However, I started thinking why stars and not other shapes? To test out using other shapes, I kept it simple and fun. Star ratings, or in this case custom shape ratings

With a user experience background, I take usability seriously when designing and developing reports. Usability provides end users with polished reporting that is intuitive while still informative. Paying attention to these details can make a huge difference.

For example, “stop light” thresholds are a great conditional formatting style to quickly identify key indicators. They can help users identify which region is growing fastest or is poorly performing.

A report uses red, yellow, and green circular indicators that are commonly associated with the flow of intersection traffic (red for warning or stop, yellow for caution or slow and green for go).

While these stop light colors are known everywhere, what if the end user is color blind?