Trending data can be a great way to predict and analyze the performance of any metric. There are many ways to represent data with a chart. However, the best chart type to display trending values is the line chart. Line charts are often seen as financial charts that are only useful to display upward and downward trends involving money. Keep in mind, there are many timeframes to represent trending data: by minute, by hour, by day, by week, by month…
Based on my notes from the past year I captured several other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that benefit from a line chart but don’t involve money. Listed below, by industry/function, are a few example KPIs that work great using a line chart.
Healthcare: Number of screenings by week, ER Admits by day, Discharges by month, Satisfaction Level by month
Financial: Gross Margin % by month, Transactions by month, Number of Loans Approved by day
Human Resources: Staffing Levels (%) by percent, Regular Hours by week, Overtime Hours by week, Occupancy by month
Higher Education: Enrolled Students by year, Applications Submitted by month, Graduations by semester, Placement Rate by year
Manufacturing: On-time Delivery by month, Incoming Ordered vs. Shipped Orders by month, Number of Cuts by Department (by hour), Parts Produced by Machine (by hour)
Services: Calls Answered by day, Total Wait Time by day (in minutes), Customers Served by day, Project Status by month