When you build a custom report in the Reporting Add-on, you have the option to choose a visual to display on your dashboard. There are six different visuals you can use: Line, Area, Bar, Column, Table, and Summary. Here is some information to help you choose which one to use.
Summary - This visual will give you a quick snapshot of your data by displaying exact metrics. For example, if you want to keep track of how many calls, emails, or meetings your sales reps have placed during a given time period, this is a great way to show that data.
Table - Using a table is a great way to display your data when you are dealing with less data and it is important to know the exact numbers and not just general trends. For example, if you want to show the number of contacts broken down by lifecycle stage in a defined time period, this can be a great way to display the data.
A table is also useful for more advanced cases, where you want to see different kinds of metrics all at the same time. For example, you might want to see the number of deals by owner, along with the the average deal size.
There are four different types of charts that you can use to visualize your data. These are great to use when it is more important to show the trends or relationships between the data versus specific numbers.
Line - Use a line graph when you want to show the growth of a metric over time. For example, you may want to show a line graph when displaying the growth of the number of contacts in your database over a month to see how the numbers increased or decreased.
Area - Use an area graph when you want to show multiple data sets and their relative growth over time. If you have multiple segments of your database and want to see how they grew over a period of time in comparison to each other, this is a great visual to use. Not only will you see how they individually grew, but you will see how they added to your metrics as a whole.
Bar - Use a bar graph when you want to highlight how multiple metrics compare to each other. For example, if you want to compare how multiple ebooks performed against each other, this is a great way to display it. You may want to use a bar chart instead of a column chart if you have more data as it will be easier to display on your chart.
Column - Also use a column graph when you want to highlight how multiple metrics compare to each other. For example, if you are showing how many contacts you generated from different marketing channels, you could use a column graph.
Doughnut chart - Use a doughnut chart for the same reasons as a pie chart. The benefit of using a doughnut chart over a pie chart is the focus remains on the values moreso than the area of the pie chart. You can use a doughtnut chart for the same reports as the pie chart.
Pie chart - Use a pie chart to show the components that make up a specific category over a fixed period of time. For example, if you want to understand the proportions of your database that are in each lifecycle stage, you can create a pie chart to see the breakdown.