Easily Make Your Own Custom Visuals With Charticulator!

January 21, 2019

 

Have you ever wondered how you can get that cool circular, spikey, donut-esque looking chart that's being featured on PowerBi.com? 

 

 

I looked around for it on the Power BI custom visual market place, but I wasn't able to find it...

 

 

Charticulator

Turns out, the Power BI team developed this really neat online tool called "Charticulator". It allows you to build your own custom visuals, and is also the birthplace of this interesting chart. I was glad to see that you don't need a special version /subscription of Power BI to use it - It's all free! Check out the tool here: https://charticulator.com/gallery/index.html

 

They have several videos documenting the design process. It can be a bit daunting at first glance, but simple designs are fairly easy to make. 

 

Getting Started

Once you open the Charticulator editor, it'll prompt you to upload your own data. This is nice as it allows you to create your custom visual around the data you are actually going to be using. If you do this though, I would recommend aggregating your data set as much as possible before hand. I originally tried uploading my raw data (16,000 + rows) to Charticulator and I ended up with a frozen web page. To get around this, I created a separate csv file with grouped, summed, and averaged data to upload and it worked just fine. 

 

Alien Tip: As of this writing, Charticulator only accepts csv files. So be sure to save your worksheets appropriately. 

 

Dashboard Design

If it wasn't obvious yet, I was going for a comic book themed dashboard (in particular Spider-Man), hence all the red. In the embedded dashboard above, I created two simple charts - a modified donut and column chart. You can view the video below for my design process.

 

 

 

I had a bit of trouble getting the month labels to show up for the graphs, so I ended up cutting them from the dashboard. But I think without the labels, I achieved a more stylistic design. What do you think? I particularly like the column chart as it slightly resembles a city skyline, complimenting the comic book theme. 

 

For the donut chart, I wanted to allude to Spider-Man's eyes - how they kind of have that smooth triangle shape. 

 

I encourage you to try Charticulator out for yourself! Let me know what kind of visuals you make in the comments!

 

Data Source: Kaggle.com (https://www.kaggle.com/fivethirtyeight/fivethirtyeight-comic-characters-dataset#marvel-wikia-data.csv)

 

 

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About the Author

Brent Jones loves spending time with his wife and trying out new activities together.  They traveled as digital nomads to many countries in South America, Europe and Asia. He can also speak Japanese!

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