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bella_gotie

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Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi All!
Do you have any idea how to display regular line chart and cumulative line chart in the difference ways to not confuse between them?

MonthSalaryCumulative salary
March120120
April50170
May110280
June100380
July50430
August20450

2017-03-18 13_48_20-waterfall-chart - Excel (הפעלת המוצר נכשלה).png 

danz

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Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #2 
Bella,

I personally find time cumulative graphs a very useful analysis technique, but not on the same graph with the time variation of the same variable. To compare two cumulative lines showing the evolution of sales for two similar products is very useful. But to compare a cumulative line against its own time variation line has no relevant meaning. While one has a positive monotony, the other shows a variation. They just show different insights, nothing to compare.

I see no analogy with Pareto graphs, where values and cumulative values share the same scale.
bella_gotie

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Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #3 
Dan,
The question is how to point out that it is acomulative line and not a regular line chart.
sfew

Moderator
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Posts: 827
Reply with quote  #4 
Bella,

If you place the cumulative line in a graph by itself as Dan suggested, you can identify it as cumulative in the title.

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Stephen Few
bella_gotie

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Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #5 
Isnt it confusing on a dashboard?
2017-03-19 11_27_19-waterfall-chart - Excel (הפעלת המוצר נכשלה).png 

sfew

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Posts: 827
Reply with quote  #6 
Why would it be confusing on a dashboard? My greater concern would be whether or not cumulative salary is the right metric.
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Stephen Few
danz

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Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #7 
Bella,

To answer to your rephrased question, a cumulative line graph requires no extra visual encoding. The cumulative operation does not apply to a graph, but to a measure.

Take another common operation applied to time series measures like the variation between consecutive in time values. Did you ever see any special representation for it?

As Stpehen said, the only way of identifying what a graph means is to choose the right label or title.
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