How to Create a Bullet Chart

What is a bullet chart?

A bullet chart is a variation of a bar chart used to display single numeric values within some quantitative context, such as a goal value. These sections can display ranges of performance without requiring extra space by using varying hues of a color.

When to use bullet chart

Bullet charts are ideal for when you have a single, primary measure and compare that to a particular goal. For example, you want to measure your quarterly revenue. You can have ranges of revenue to track whether the revenue is poor, satisfactory or good. Bullet charts are also compact, so it will not take too much space on your dashboard.

Bullet Chart Example

How to create a bullet chart

We will be working with the Chartio Demo Source data set available on Chartio dashboard.

  1. On the Chartio Explore page select Chartio Demo Source as the Data Source.
  2. Expand Subscriptions, drag Subscriptions Id into the Measures section. Click Count of distinct Subscriptions.Id. You can change the label into a name that suits you, such as ‘Subscriptions’. Click Ok and Run Query. The result will be displayed in a number format.
  3. On the right side, select the Bullet Chart chart type. You now have a simple Bullet Chart!
  4. To add quantitative levels, click Settings. Under General, you can add different thresholds for the ranges. In Chartio, you can define a maximum of 3 quantitative ranges. Insert 5000 in Level 1, 10000 in Level 2, and 15000 in Maximum. You should see charts that have different ranges. Click Done.

Best practices using a bullet chart

As with all charts, be mindful of the color scheme you’re using. You can keep the different ranges as changes in hues so you can accommodate color blind users. Also, make sure that each section covers enough range to illustrate the different classifications.

Jonathan Kurniawan

About Jonathan Kurniawan

Hi! I'm Jonathan Kurniawan. I have 4 years of experience working as a software engineer at Dolby on various different products. I'm currently pursuing my MBA from Hult International Business School and received my Bachelor in Computer Science from University of New South Wales, Australia. I'm excited to share my knowledge at the Data School by Chartio.