There are several instances where users have requested to view time series data at different levels of granularity. Most common requirement is to show Yearly, Quarterly and Monthly trends. Although there are multiple approaches to display this data, one technique that can present more data in a concise fashion is through an overlay technique. The example just gives a snapshot of how this idea will work while showing multiple time series data within the same real estate available. Such a layout is easy for user to do an eyeball check and eliminates jumping to different charts or views to view the same information.
Few things to keep in mind while using this approach
- Aesthetics play an important role i.e. Color, Font and Sizing.
- Cramped presentation style will confuse more than provide information
- Balance to be maintained between total real estate used and quantum of data presented.
- Keeping white space between overlay components is critical
- Adding too many high granular dimensions will actually spoil the layout
- Striking balance between actual data displayed versus the UI component (e.g. data labels are not shown for Quarter, but available in the tool tip when user hovers on the data point)