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Data Visualization Basics For Dashboards
Part 2

by Huzefa Johar, Content Developer, FusionChartsWednesday, May 26, 2010

LED Gauge

The LED gauge has a close ended scale (like angular gauge and linear gauge). Its appearance makes it ideal for use as a progress indicator or capacity indicator.

LED Gauge

Bullet Graph

The bullet graph has an open ended scale which makes it suitable for parameters that do not fall under a fixed value range.

Bullet Graph

Using bulb gauge to build an error alert system for dashboards

As dashboard objects, gauges help in monitoring various facets of an ongoing process. To be effective in its role as a monitoring tool, a dashboard must be designed in such a way that it triggers an alert when something abnormal occurs. One way of building an alert system is to use an extra gauge which summarizes the health of all vital parameters.

The bulb gauge is a special kind of gauge which depicts quantities in terms of qualitative signals. Essentially, the gauge exhibits a change in color to denote change of state.  The bulb gauge can be used for creating an effective alert mechanism where colors indicate the prevailing condition of the entire system.

Bulb gauge in a dashboard application

Following is a list of suggested colors which may be used for indicating some common conditions.




down, out of order, major problem


slow, inefficient, resource insufficiency


normal, working, efficient

This was all about the right way of implementing gauges on a dashboard application. Look out for the concluding article of the series which will provide all the information about the other essential dashboard component – Maps.

About the Author

"Huzefa Johar works for the marketing & content divisions of FusionCharts. He is extremely enthusiastic about BI and spends great deal of time researching on implementation of modern data visualization methods in dashboard applications. Huzefa can be reached at huzefa@fusioncharts.com"


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