Building charts with bricks

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Data visualisation helps present in an attractive way information that could be difficult to interpret in the form of a table. Undoubtedly, for many managers, the phrase ‘time is money’ is a life motto, not a cliché. They receive a lot of information in tables but often need to quickly verify the progress of business goals. One of the visualisations that helps track progress is the Percentage of Target Bricks.

This chart is made up of small blocks or bricks, each representing 1% of target fulfilment[1]. This means that if 19% of the target is completed, exactly 19 bricks are coloured. If the target is exceeded by 122%, 122 bricks are coloured. The bricks are first arranged horizontally up to a certain number (e.g. ten), then a new row is started above the previous one with space for the same number of bricks, and so on. The exact progress is shown as a number on top of every ‘brick container’,

In order to help interpret successful containers at a glance, a target line or a different colour for bricks 1 to 100 can be useful.

Speaking of bricks, let's have a look at a construction-related example. A property developer has a network of sales outlets across the country, each assigned to individual regions. Each region has a sales target for the quarter. The completion of the target means 100%.

As you can see in the chart above, three regions met their sales targets. In the southern region, sales exceeded the target by 48 percentage points, which is a very good outcome. The target was not met in the northern and western regions. For a manager, the information presented this way is a quick and clear way of finding which regions met their business goals and which did not.

[1] Brick assigned value can be modified.

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