2.14. Bullet Charts in Looker Studio
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
- Understand the purpose and benefits of using bullet charts in Looker Studio.
- Compare bullet charts to scorecards and explain their differences.
- Create and customize bullet charts to display a single value, target, and defined ranges.
- Interpret bullet charts to draw insights from the data.
- Effectively communicate the information in a bullet chart to others.
In this lesson we will learn how a Looker Studio Bullet Chart is different from a scorecard or a bar chart and when you can best use this visualization. We will also cover how a bullet chart can show the value of a metric against up to 3 preset ranges and a target number. We will also go through how we can use a bullet chart to visualize data vs. the previous period.
Bullet charts are a powerful way to visualize data compared to scorecards: while scorecards display a single number, they don't provide a comparison to a target or different ranges of expectations. Bullet charts address this limitation by allowing you to display a single value alongside defined ranges and a target.
Comparing to Targets and Ranges
Let's say a business expects to see $250,000 of revenue for the last month. With a bullet chart, you can define three ranges:
- $100,000 - considered really low, and someone might get fired.
- $200,000 - an okay-ish threshold; it's still not ideal.
- $300,000 - an ambitious target that the business is shooting for.
A bullet chart can display the actual revenue of $200,000 alongside these ranges, making it easy to see where the actual number falls versus ranges. Additionally, you can create a target line to show the goal of $250,000.
In Looker Studio, you can adjust the target and ranges under the Style and Data tabs, the actual value comes from the field in the data source.
Interpreting Bullet Charts
Once you know how to read a bullet chart, it's simple to draw insights from it. For example, consider an e-commerce conversion rate of 2.2%. This bullet chart can show that it's not only better than the target but also within the highest range we defined.
However, the chart may also indicate that the conversion rate is still lower than the previous date period. This information helps you understand that while the business is doing well, there's room for improvement.
In the example above, we're doing well with revenue, hitting the target, and performing better than the previous period. However, the e-commerce conversion rate, though good, is going down compared to the last period.
Bullet charts are an excellent way to convey lots of information in a clean and compact visualization. The key is to ensure that viewers know how to read them. With the right guidance, bullet charts can be a valuable addition to your data visualization toolkit in Looker Studio.