Smartsheet Charts

Today we announced the launch of Smartsheet Labs - a place to try out new, experimental features built with the Smartsheet API.  One of these new Labs app is Smartsheet Charts, an easy way to chart or graph your Smartsheet data.  

Many of you have requested this capability so that you can do things like:

  • Illustrate sales trends
  • Provide visualizations of your project status
  • Add Smartsheet data more effectively into your presentations
  • Create dashboards with visualizations of your KPIs

Using Charts

To introduce you to the basics of using this new app, we’ll show you how to create a chart to visualize your Sales Rep's performance for the year based off data in a Sales Activity Tracking sheet (grab the template if you want to step through this with us).

Start at Smartsheet Labs and click "Login with Smartsheet."

The first time you login, you’ll need to give Smartsheet Labs access to your account.  Follow the prompts and allow Smartsheet Labs access to your Smartsheet data (you can always change this later in your Smartsheet Personal Settings).   

Once you’re logged in to Smartsheet Labs, click the link for Smartsheet Charts in the top menu.  Then click the large green plus icon to create your chart in three steps:

Step 1: Select the sheet you want to chart.

Use the search bar to find the sheet you’re looking for.  By default, the new chart will inherit the name of the source sheet, but you can edit it if you’d like.

Step 2: Choose the rows and columns from your sheet to be charted.

Remove or add columns to customize your chart.  If you remove a column by accident, add it back in by clicking “Select Columns.”

Adding and removing rows is just as easy: 

You can swap the axes of your chart here, too, just click “Switch Rows and Columns.”  When you have selected the columns and rows you need for your chart, click “Next.”

Step 3: Determine the right chart type for your data.

Now, choose the type of chart that best fits your data.  You can choose from Line, Column, Bar, Pie and other various types.

Not all data sets will work with every chart type – you’ll know your selected data won’t work with a certain chart type if a red error message appears.

Use the “Advanced” link to customize the colors, scale, axis labels, etc. on your chart.

Once you click “Ok” to save your chart, you’re all set! You’ll see your new chart in thumbnail format on your main Charts page.

More about Charts:

  • Calculating your data Need to do some simple calculations on your data? Use the radio button at the top of Step 2 to use one of three available aggregation functions: COUNT, AVG or SUM.
  • Chart reports  You can use Charts to visualize information from your reports, too.  Please note that currently only the first 100 rows will appear in your chart.
  • Share your Chart  You have a couple different options to share your chart with others.  If you want to email a snapshot, click the expand button on your chart, resize the window to get the size you want, and then click the download button to save it as a PNG image. You can also share your chart via a link, similar to sharing Google photos or Google docs.  Click the Share button to turn sharing on for your chart, then distribute the link as you see fit.  Anyone with the link will be able to see your chart.  When you turn off sharing, the link is gone for good and a brand new one will be created if you enable it again.
  • Copy your Chart  If you want to use an existing chart as your starting point, you can duplicate it with the Copy button.

Smartsheet Charts is one of two new apps in Smartsheet Labs – Smartsheet Maps is also live today. We’re just getting started and can’t wait to come up with more apps like these to help boost your productivity and extend the value of Smartsheet.  

Got an idea for the next greatest app? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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Comments

SS team -- keep pushing, please please keeping working on charting; I am hopeful this turns into a product. It is a super big piece of functionality. So far, I like the charts and like the dashboard. When will it be in prod?? Super important!!!

Kelly Anthony's picture
Hi Mike, Thanks for your feedback - we're working hard to get charting into the core product and are aiming for the first half of 2015. Cheers, Kelly

Kelly Anthony's picture
Hi there, The ability to add charts to a sheet or report is something that we are actively investigating now. Our product management team is currently working with other customers and is interested in learning more about the details of how you would like to use charts within Smartsheet. Please let us know if we can contact you directly to learn more! Thanks, Kelly

I just tested it and really like it. It is very easy to use and has a nice image. Any plans to release it soon?

Kelly Anthony's picture
Hi there, Thanks for your feedback – glad to hear Charts is working for you. We're hard at work to add this type of capability into the core product and are targeting the first half of 2015. Thanks again! Kelly

Please keep developing this. It is really needed. It would be FANTASTIC if I could then feed it into a dashboard type app that will use the charts and update them regularly maybe based on alerts or updates set in the smartsheet itself.

Kelly Anthony's picture
Hi John, Thanks for your feedback -- we're hard at work to add charts and an improved dashboard to the core product very soon. Stay tuned! Thanks again, Kelly

This app has so much potential, but doesn't quite cut it. The limitation on printing your charts is really quite frustrating. I would love to see the ability to group charts together so you can arrange a dashboard of charts or data tables. It goes without saying, a print function would be a winner! It is possible to also put an arranged set of charts back into a dashboard within Smartsheet itself? The product is great, it is developing just nicely, but not quite there yet.

Emily Esposito's picture
Hi Justin -- there isn't a way to put charts back into Smartsheet itself. However, the Charts in Labs today acts like a dashboard, since you can create charts from Smartsheet data and the charts will update as the data does. I've submitted your feedback for future consideration. Best, Emily

This is a good start for developing a Dashboard kind of functionality within Smartsheets. However, I noticed when using the Charting functions that I cannot chart two columns of data on the same graph (you can only do one). I think this is a limitation.

Emily Esposito's picture
Hi Zig -- Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. I have passed this along to our Product team. If you're part of an Enterprise plan, you may want to check out our new integration with Tableau to create advanced charts and dashboarding: http://www.smartsheet.com/blog/visualize-data-customizable-dashboards-tableau-and-excel. Best, Emily

Just tried the charting app today. I counted a column of text that ranged from "Low" to "Very High". It placed the variables on the x-axis, but in alpha order: "High", "Low", "Medium", "Very High". How do I change the variable values to the correct order?

Emily Esposito's picture
Hi Ralph -- When you use the COUNT function to create a chart, the values on the x-axis will always be alphabetically sorted -- it's not possible to configure the sorting. As a work-around, you could modify data in the underlying sheet to prepend a number to each value. For example change the four values to: 1 - Low, 2 - Medium, 3 - High, 4 - Very High. Since the sort in the chart is alphabetical, this technique would result in the values being displayed in the desired sequence on the chart. Best, Emily

How can I add a title to my data tables. My graphs automatically add them, but my data tables don't. How can I name my table without a title. It will just be random data that no one will be able to understand.

Emily Esposito's picture
Hi there -- Our Charts app uses Google Charts to create/display charts (each chart gets created by our app passing data to the Google Visualization API). The fact that the title isn't displayed by a "Table" chart is a limitation of Google Charts. The Google Visualization API doesn't currently supporting specifying titles for table charts. If and/or when Google enables support for setting a title, we may look to enhance our Charts app to leverage that capability. Best, Emily

Emily Esposito's picture
Hi Rhea -- "Compare Mode" adds tooltips that show the values of all series at a given point in your chart (https://sites.google.com/a/revevol.eu/googleappsschoolex/home/help-center/leverage-your-google-apps/aguidetocustomizingandeditingcharts). For more information about compare mode, you can research Google Charts. Smartsheet Charts displays the Google Charts user interface for the Chart Editor, so all the settings within that view are actually being exposed by Google Charts. Best, Emily

Are there any plans to be able to chart more than the current 100 rows in charts? I use the report to collate data from multiple sheets, and would like to use the charts to visualize parts of that data. The 100 row cap for charts is a huge limitation.

Emily Esposito's picture
Hi Jenn -- Thank you for your feedback. This is on our roadmap, although we don't have a solid release date. In the meantime, this limitation does not apply to sheet data. So, as a workaround, you can manually "Copy Rows" from multiple sheets into a single sheet, then use that sheet as the source data for the Chart. Best, Emily

Hi, I have been trying to find the way to integrate the charts that I created in Smartsheet to my Smartsheet Dashboard. Please let me know if it is possible. Many Thanks

Emily Esposito's picture
Hi Pinar -- There is currently no way in Smartsheet to integrate your charts to the Dashboard, however I have passed this feedback to our Platform team as they continue to work on our integrations. Best, Emily

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