Everything You Need to Know About Skyline Charts

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Skyline charts are one heck of a treasure for businesses. Excel and subsequent spreadsheet and database software can be beneficial for organizations. However, those who deal with commissioning and project management might struggle to visualize data related to the completion status of different projects, systems, etc. This is where a skyline chart could potentially come in handy.

You might benefit from using a skyline chart if you generate reports via a database and spreadsheet application. In this quick guide, we’ll break down what a skyline chart is and its benefits for reporting and analysis.

What is a Skyline Chart?

Skyline charts are ubiquitous in project management and construction projects. It is often used in the commissioning phase of the project, as well as the pre-commissioning phase.

A skyline chart is designed to show the completion status of each system and the remaining systems that need to be completed within a certain amount of time.

Skyline charts can also be used for package and system completion.

Skyline charts are used primarily in project management and construction fields. Essentially, a skyline chart will track milestones, handover, and turnover events. They make it possible to see, at a glance, how many events are planned over the timeline of a project.

From there, a skyline chart will provide metadata on various things, such as the number of open items, the percentage remaining, etc. Some data analysts compared skyline charts to stacked column charts. However, the only real similarity between the two is that they have units and items stacked in columns. Not many business intelligence tools have skyline charts as an option, but one can easily create them via a spreadsheet application like Excel.

Benefits of a Skyline Chart

There are quite a few benefits to using skyline charts.

Let’s consider an example use case. Let’s say an organization has a very high sales and profit rate. To replicate this properly in a spreadsheet, one must show a large area of the chart using a skyline chart. A skyline chart can provide measures on the x-axis (which would be “sales”) and the y-axis (the rate of profit). From there, a user can evaluate the system by the overall size of the area, divided by the y and x-axis. With a skyline chart, you can see the remaining subsystems that need to be completed.

The main benefit of skyline charts is that they visualize which systems need to be completed during the commissioning phases. When connected to a significant data source or data lake, skyline charts can greatly benefit organizations that want to save time and avoid missing important project deadlines.

Challenges of a Skyline Chart

There are a few challenges that come with using skyline charts. To start, skyline charts are only really suitable for completed vs uncompleted system overviews, and they do not have much of a use case outside of project management and construction projects. They also have few use cases outside of pre-commissioning and commissioning.

The main challenge is that Excel does not support this chart on a native level. Excel can’t automatically support skyline charts even with Microsoft Power BI implemented. However, one can manually create a skyline chart in Excel, though it can be extremely time-consuming, especially when using the very complicated vlookup formula.

That being said, many different templates are available online for free that make skyline charts much easier to implement. Do a bit of research to find the kind of skyline chart template that suits your particular needs and your BI tools and database platform of choice.

How DashboardFox Can Help You With Skyline Charts?

Here’s the good news: Skyline charts are just one of many visualization options in DashboardFox.

As with anything, DashboardFox aims to make the creation of visualizations simple, easy enough for a business user to complete without requiring a developer or technical pedigree.

Here is a high-level look at the steps to create a Skyline Chart in DashboardFox.

First create a dataset that contains all the meta-data typically needed. At a minimum:

  • period dates for the activity to be charted
  • description text
  • status categories

With that core data, in the DashboardFox skyline chart configuration wizard you can designate configuration items such as:

  • A hard-coded start and end date for the chart or to dynamically use the values in the dataset (we call it Mode 1 or 2)
  • the period of each skyline X-axis in days (ie 1 day increments, 7 days, etc)
  • the column width of each box
  • the colors associated with each status category

And voilà, you have created a Skyline chart.

Skyline charts are highly beneficial to business, for it offers them another novel method of presenting data and figures that matter to the business stakeholders. With skyline charts, you can present your data in a way that is novel and easy to understand.

DashboardFox has always been proud of its data visualization features, and skyline charts are no exception. The countless tools and features that DashboardFox has can help you come up with the best skyline charts that your stakeholders will love. Aside from that, you can also create interactive dashboards, graphs, and even heat maps for more complete coverage.

Everyone can use DashboardFox as it is designed to be helpful to all business owners, regardless of your computer programming literacy.

Add to that their one-time payment policy (read: no more subscriptions!), and you know this is great right there.

Reach out to us through a meeting or book a live demo session for free — your call; both are amazing options. We’ll be waiting!

How was our guide to Skyline Chart? Tell us how this visualization has helped you with your project in the comments below.

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