Creating a Visio Pivot Diagram

Creating a pivot diagram in Visio 2007A Visio Pivot Diagram is a new type of drawing which was introduced to Microsoft Visio in the 2007 release.  It is only available in the Professional edition, but the big advantage in using one is that it will let you analyse business data by creating a tree structure from the data contained in an external source.  This source can be any suitable source data , for example an Access or SQL database, another type of database file or, as in this example, an Excel spreadsheet.

Connect a Data Source to make a Pivot Diagram

Unlike other types of Visio diagram, a Pivot Diagram is not created by dragging shapes from the stencil on to the drawing page.  The file menu is used to select the appropriate stencil from the business category, and when the drawing opens, the first function you are required to complete is to connect the drawing to the external source of data. Several stencils, including the pivot diagram shapes stencil, are opened automatically and a wizard is used once again to connect the diagram to the source data.

TIP: Don’t try to create a pivot diagram by dragging shapes from the stencil. You must select the diagram type from the Business category first, then use the Data Connection Wizard to connect Visio to an external source of data in order to create a new pivot diagram.

Getting Microsoft’s help with a Visio diagram

You can read more about creating a pivot diagram on the Microsoft website. This tutorial walks you through how to connect your diagram to your data by using the Data Selector Wizard.

Creating a Visio Pivot Diagram has a number of advantages:

  • It lets you look at the same data from many different aspects, much like a Pivot Table in Excel
  • Allows you to understand where the data came from and where it is going
  • Visio can make a new category from each field in your data source
  • One Pivot diagram can analyse sales for each product
  • You can show you profit margins or expenditure for each product
  • You can see your expenditure based on your overheads or ongoing costs
  • A pivot diagram lets you highlight problem areas by colour coding them
  • The diagram can be linked to an Excel workbook, so that changes are updated when the data changes
  • It shows important information about your company and gives a thorough understanding of  it’s progress

Connecting the pivot diagram to a sales pipeline spreadsheet

When the diagram has been connected to the data it will open the drawing page with a single node and a small legend that Visio inserts automatically. To the left of the drawing page a new task pane appears which contains categories, totals and actions. Each of these can be edited in the pivot diagram depending on the data you wish to analyse; the shape stencil for a pivot diagram only actually contains one shape, and that is the node shape.

Once this has been added the remaining data can be appended in the form of a tree structure where branches radiate from the central node.

This series continues with the next pivotdiagram tutorial – creating a tree structure.

Creating a pivot diagram in Visio