Data Visualization is not Charts only…

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When you heard Data Visualization, you probably think numbers and charts with line, bar or doughnut.

But data visualization can be much more than that as long as you try to present information a graphical way like :

a map when information is related to an address,
a calendar or a timeline when you deal with dates,
etc…

There are usual solutions to display a linear business flow. Let’s say you have to check and verify each step of a process, it’s easy to present each step in a column with a status icon (one of many possibilities)

This is an example of something I did few years ago. A solution for a printing company. This particular screen presents jobs done at each step of the process :
editing, printing, cuting, delivery…

For a recent solution, I had to deal with some complex business flow, and I wanted to create a dynamic infographic to present complex relation between elements…
In this recent solution, the process I wanted to illustrate with an infographic was the quote to invoice business flow. It’s a complex flow to represent because it is no linear, it could have branches with an unlimited number of connection.

Let me present this Quote-Purchase Order-Delivery Form-Invoice flow :

a QUOTE is first created (DEV in my french exemple)

a QUOTE can generate one PURCHASE ORDER (ARC) only
if the customer changes is mind and changes the PO, a new QUOTE is built.

DELIVERY FORMS (BLI) are created from PURCHASE ORDER. If the company can’t ship all the items in the same time, several DELIVERY FORMS are built…

Each DELIVERY FORMS generate an INVOICE (FAC).

The difficult part here was you never know the number of Delivery Form when you start the process. So I needed to built a dynamic infographic that can automatically update from records of a specific project.

I didn’t want to use an external library like JQuery/JavaScript in a web viewer. I wanted something 100% FileMaker and fast because users are in different locations working on a remote FileMaker Server 15.

The main caveats was that these steps are related to different tables.

The solution I came with was a virtual list to collect the datas from the various tables and a portal in the project form to translate the datas (validation dates, kind of process…) into icons…

The virtual list is loaded when the user enter the project and on the layout level, some « hide object when » calculation evaluate the right icons and branches to display.

These graphics are also navigation tools, every icon is a button to access the related form in the project

Please find an example below