Overview

On this page, we'll see how combining a number of the options available in Customizing Charts and Data Series can sharpen analysis of complex report results.

If you're not yet familiar with using Customizer Scripts in your reports, read through Customizing Reports with Scripts and Customizing Charts and Data Series for some background and then return back here to get going.

Highlighting Series with Color and Order

Assigning custom colors is incredibly useful for reducing "noise" in highly granular data, or for highlighting key parts of the results by reducing the visual significance of others. 

In the following example, we created a standard Dataplane Burn Up Chart that shows project issues in every single status over a one month period:

A reasonable goal in sharing this report would be to highlight the work that still needs completion. To do this, we'll set every issue that's already Resolved or Closed to a muted color and just highlight the open work:

customizeChart {
	// color every series by default to a uniform gray
    series ANY color "gainsboro"
 
	// now apply specific colors to the key series we want to highlight
    series "Work in Progress" color "green"
    series "Open" color "blue"
    series "Reopened" color "cyan"
}

Now we can see much more clearly what's actually important to the team:

Finally, to pop all the key data series to the top of the chart, we'll use the order keyword to define a custom ordering of all the series rather than using the JIRA's natural ordering of statuses:

customizeChart {
	// color every series by default to a uniform gray
	// AND make them last in the stack and legend
    series ANY color "gainsboro" order 50

	// now apply specific colors (AND order) to the key series we want to highlight
    series "Work in Progress" color "green" order 1
    series "Open" color "blue" order 2
    series "Reopened" color "cyan" order 3
}

This gives us a JIRA report that tells a very clear story:

Applying Similar Colors to Similar Series

Another powerful strategy for making key data relationships visible is using the colorLike keyword to tell Dataplane to select similar colors for similar series. This is especially useful when working with multiple levels of series segmentation—when you select two, three or more fields for Segment By in your report configuration.

For example, here's a simple Current Issue Values Report showing a user's To Do list, segmented by both Priority and Status. Because we're applying two levels of segmentation, the data is highly granular and, by default, incorporates a wide range of colors. This makes the chart data rich, but difficult to analyze.

Adding a simple Customizer Script that uses colorLike keywords to give Dataplane some hints on color assignment, we reduce the group of colors used to just five color families and get results that are far more easy to interpret and share:

customizeChart {
	// use variations of these colors for series that start with these statuses
    series "Blocker" colorLike "red" 
    series "Critical" colorLike "orange"
    series "Normal" color "gainsboro"
    series "Minor" colorLike "green"
    series "Trivial" colorLike "blue"

    axis "range" scale "log" title "My Open Issues"
}

 

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