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Microsoft Visio 2010 : Visualizing Your Data - Creating New Data Graphics

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1/8/2014 1:08:16 AM
In the preceding exercise, you learned how flexible data graphics are and how easy it is to edit existing graphics.

In this exercise, you will create a new data graphic that contains two graphic elements and apply it to a flowchart.

Your new data graphic will automatically apply color to process shapes based on who is responsible for them, making it very easy to see who does what in the process. The graphic will also use icons to display the risk associated with each step in the process.

Important

Each process shape in this diagram contains several data fields, two of which you will use in your data graphic. One field is called Owner and identifies who is responsible for the process step. The other is called Risk and expresses the relative risk, on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), of successfully completing that step in the process.


Tip

When you open this diagram, you’ll notice that it was saved with gridlines turned off. It was saved this way because you won’t be dropping or nudging shapes. In essence, the drawing is nearly complete, so it was saved in a state suitable for using it in a presentation.

image with no caption

Data Graphics

  1. On the Data tab, in the Display Data group, click the Data Graphics button to open the Data Graphics gallery.

  2. In the Data Graphics gallery, click Create New Data Graphic. An empty version of the dialog box you used in the preceding exercise appears and is titled New Data Graphic.

  3. In the New Data Graphic dialog box, click New Item. The New Item dialog box appears.

    Set Up
  4. In the Display section of the New Item dialog box, display the Data field list, and then click Owner.

  5. In the Displayed as list, click Color by Value. Visio creates a list of all of the values for Owner on this page and assigns a color to each one.

    Set Up

    Tip

    The choice of colors Visio provides can be very suitable for some purposes but may be too bold for other purposes. In the latter case, you can display the Fill Color list for any field and change the color setting. You can also leave the Text Color of affected shapes at the default setting (as shown in the previous graphic) or you can manually change it. Finally, notice the Insert and Delete buttons to the right of the Color Assignments section. You can delete any field values or add new ones depending on what you want to highlight in the drawing.

  6. Click OK.

  7. In the New Data Graphic dialog box, click New Item.

  8. In the Display section, in the Data field list, click Risk.

  9. In the Displayed as list, click Icon Set.

  10. Click the Style arrow to display a list of icon sets. (Scroll down to see all of them.)

    Set Up
  11. Click the set of colored pennants (flags) to select that icon set. The New Item dialog box should look like the following graphic.

    Set Up
  12. Type the following values in the empty text boxes to the right of the colored flags:

    • Red flag: 5

    • Orange flag: 4

    • Yellow flag: 3

    • Green flag: 2

    • Blue flag: 1

    The center of the dialog box should look like the following graphic.

    Set Up

    Tip

    In this step, you left all five condition lists set to Equals. Realize, however, that you can create nearly any condition you would like by clicking the arrow in that field to expose the list shown on the left in the following graphic. In addition, the text box on the right side of the dialog box includes a list, shown in the following graphic on the right, that allows for more sophisticated values than just typing text or a number into the box.

    Set Up
    Set Up
  13. In the Position section of the dialog box, ensure that the Use default position check box is cleared. Then in the Vertical list, click Above shape.

  14. Click OK in the New Item and New Data Graphic dialog boxes to close them.

  15. Press Ctrl+A to select all shapes on the page.

  16. On the Data tab, in the Display Data group, click the Data Graphics button, and then click on your new data graphic.

    Tip

    You’ll notice when you rest on the thumbnail for your data graphic that it has been assigned the generic name Data Graphic. You can change the name by right-clicking on the thumbnail and selecting Rename.

    Set Up

    The process blocks in your diagram have been colored to reflect the owner of each task. In addition, each step in the process shows a colored flag that indicates the relative risk associated with that step.

Clean Up

Save your changes to the HR Process Map with data graphics but leave it open if you are continuing with the next exercise.

The display of data graphics is dynamic, which means that if the underlying data values change, the data graphics will change. You can prove this to yourself by opening the shape data window and changing the risk value for any shape. The pennant in the upper-right corner of the shape will immediately change color.

Tip

If you want to copy a data graphic from one Visio drawing to another, merely copy a shape displaying the data graphic from the first drawing and paste it into the second one. You can then delete the shape. The data graphic will remain behind.

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