Sunburst Chart Roadmap: What would you like to see?

This year, we saw lot of new additions to the C1Studio suite – from UWP platform support to new controls like FlexChart for WinForms, WPF and UWP; Sparkline and GanttView for WPF; FlexReport for UWP, WPF etc. While we continue our efforts in bringing in something new for you, we also constantly work on evolving the existing and new controls by adding features that can make them better. In this post, we'll look at new plans for our FlexChart control introduced this year – specifically, the Sunburst chart. Sunburst chart presents a modern approach to present hierarchical data. Since Sunburst chart is a fairly new data visualization component, we have a lot of room for growth. Here's a small wish-list for our Sunburst chart. We'd like to hear your thoughts and suggestions, along with your use cases, to help us prioritize them.

DrillDown Support For Sunburst Chart

A built-in drill down support in Sunburst charts tops this list. The ability to click and focus on one item at runtime and drill down into its details would help a lot in data analysis. Here are two approaches to drilldowns:

Basic DrillDown:

Selecting a slice in Sunburst chart drills down to its details and drills up when the chart's center is clicked. ImageSource: ImageSource:

Advanced DrillDown:

Selecting a slice additionally displays it out of the sunburst chart, expanding alongside its original position and displaying its details. Note: This approach is suggested by John Stasko and Eugene Zhang in their research on the Sunburst chart. Note: This approach is suggested by John Stasko and Eugene Zhang in their research on the Sunburst chart.

Flexible chart coloring

Sunburst chart already provides the option to customize the slice colors for a whole group using the CustomPalette property. Taking this to the next stage would be the ability to color the slices based on the level of the slice or the slice value itself. Sunburst chart with flexible coloring Sunburst chart with flexible coloring

Percentage Share

Like its predecessor, pie chart, Sunburst chart is an effective visualization tool to depict part-to-whole relationships. Making this part-to-whole relationship more evident is the ability to represent the "Part" as a percentage share. The percentage share could either be with respect to the whole chart or just the parent slice. Percentage share representation in Pie Charts Percentage share representation in Pie Charts

Circular and Radial Data Labels

The need to display data labels is more in Sunburst chart than any other chart types for the following reasons:

  • The concept of chart axis is not applicable for Sunburst chart, and so the data items cannot be identified using axis labels.
  • Similar to Pie charts, legends could be used for data item identification. However, they're only useful in identifying the first level of hierarchy and not the subsequent levels.

Given the circular nature of Sunburst chart, the presentation of DataLabels becomes an important part of rendering. Circular/Radial display of data labels would allow more flexibility to the existing feature rich DataLabels available in Sunburst chart. Circular DataLabels Circular DataLabels Radial data labels in sunburst chart Radial data labels in sunburst chart These are some of the features that we thought will add value to Sunburst chart, there may be more. Let us know your wish list in the comments below!

Read more about Sunburst charts


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