Bull's Eye Chart
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While a few other charts have been called bull’s-eye charts, arrow charts, or target charts, none of these reflect the action of shooting at a target and achieving that target.
While an arrow may fly a nearly straight or truly parabolic path, it might be considered to follow a spiral path, spiraling in from the edge to hit the center – when there’s a perfect result. (Consider the shooter’s point of view, not a side or observer’s view.)
Or, an arrow might fall short of the center goal. Or, it might overshoot the center goal.
This innovative chart takes the intuitive feel of shooting an arrow and combines it with communicating real business results.
From a business perspective, falling short is bad and overshooting is bad.
For something like revenue, being under budget means profitability will likely be reduced and cash will be tight. Being over budget means that inventories will be tight and shipping experienced unexpected delivery pressures.
For costs, to be under budget means that the finance team had to arrange more cash than was needed. To be over budget, means reduced profitability and cash flow problems.
Thus, the goal is to be “on target.”
A true bull’s-eye chart (or arrow chart) shows progress to the goal as the spiral of an “arrow” toward the center. A perfect result has the arrow ending at the dead center of the target.
A shortfall has the arrow stop short of the center.
A result in excess of the goal passes through the center and ends on the other side of the target.
Background spirals on the target identify the intended “path of the arrow.” Interim results inside the spiral indicate the target is being exceeded. Interim results outside the spiral indicate the target is not being achieved.
In the sample, quarter 1 did not achieve goal, quarter 2 exceeded goal and quarter 3 (not yet complete) is exceeding goal so far. (The sample shows data through day 200 of a 365-day year.)
Using newer computer tools such as Xcelsius (a product of Business Objects, an SAP Company now called “SAP Crystal Solutions”), the bull’s-eye chart can be animated so the user can see how progress is being recorded. This sample includes both an annual and a quarterly chart so all five goals (one annual and four quarterly) can be tracked.
Static bull’s-eye charts can be built in MS Excel or other spreadsheet tools.
This chart can be modified to have different numbers of arrows on each chart. For example, 12 monthly goals could be plotted.
The starting position for the sample charts is at +90 degrees (straight up). This could be changed.
For the annual sample chart, the arrow rotates through 360 degrees. For the quarterly chart, the arrows rotate through 180 degrees. The amount of rotation can be varied.
The arrows in the sample charts spiral clockwise. This is consistent with clock-type motion since we are plotting data where each additional point is a later period (a following day in this case). The arrows could spiral in a counterclockwise direction.
A timing radius (or “day-hand”) is included in the charts so that it is easy to compare the result as of the day to it’s expected value on the pre-defined spiral.
For the quarterly chart, each quarter uses a different color for its planned spiral, the identifying text and the timing radii.
These sample charts use the traditional spacing and colors of archery targets. Different colors and/or spacing could be used.
The sample charts have been developed by translating polar coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and then using filled area charts and x-y charts to graph the elements.
Both static bull’s-eye charts and dynamic bull’s-eye charts can be used to show business progress and results.
Please send comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Michael Von der Porten 2006-2011 All Rights Reserved www.winepi.com/bullseye.htm
updated: 07/29/11 10:28:06 PM