A chart is a graphical representation of data or the relationships among sets of data. Charts display complex data in an easy-to-assimilate format. You can use a chart as a report in itself or combine a chart with other report elements to enhance or highlight related information. The BIRT Report Designer chart builder facilitates selecting a chart type, organizing the data into visual elements, and formatting the elements. Visual elements can include bars in a bar chart, points and trend lines in a line chart, and dials in a meter chart to name a few.
The guidelines for planning a chart and a report are similar. To create an effective chart, you must decide what data to display, then you select the chart type that best presents that data. For example, to show the growth of a company’s business units over time, you use a chart that tracks data along an axis, such as a line chart or a bar chart. To show scientific X-Y data, you use a scatter chart.
This section discusses the types of charts available in the BIRT Report Designer, provides a tutorial in which you use the BIRT sample database, Classic Models, and includes a tour of the design interface. As you complete the tutorial, you learn about the essential chart-building tasks.