Adding a Tree Structure to a Pivot Diagram

Tree Structure in a Visio Pivot DiagramIn the second of the Pivot Diagram series we take the original diagram and create a tree structure based on the categories imported from the dataset contained in our Excel workbook.  Visio makes it easy to change the view of the data based on the way you want to analyse it, and in this tutorial we demonstrate just how easy it is to do this.

Adding a Tree Structure to your Pivot Diagram

The Pivot Diagram task pane includes fields for Categories, Totals and Actions. You can add categories to the pivot diagram to create what is called a tree structure; the categories you choose to display will appear underneath the Total node. Any number of categories can be added to the tree structure, depending on how you want your data to be displayed and the list of numbers in the Totals section of the task pane can be used to make Visio perform calculations on them.

Adding Breakdown shapes to the Tree Structure

When a category is added to the tree structure Visio puts another small label on the drawing page to indicate the name of the category, of field. This shape is called a breakdown” shape and is inserted by default. When another field is added to the tree structure by selecting it in the task pane Visio adds another breakdown shape automatically for it.

Adding calculations to the tree structure in a Pivot Diagram

As in Excel, Visio attempts to use a SUM function to total the fields in the Totals section of the task pane. This is the default action but it can be altered to suit your purpose. A Pivot diagram is called “pivot” for the same reason that a pivot table in Excel is given that title – it is very easy to “pivot” the data.

To put this another way, Visio makes it very easy to change the order of data fields displayed in the tree structure of a Pivot diagram and in this tutorial we demonstrate the process. The other distinction of a Pivot Diagram is the facility to change the look of the tree structure by adding data graphics to the shapes. These then change their appearance as and when the data changes in the data source, in our case a spreadsheet.

Adding Workflow shapes to the tree structure

The other feature that makes a pivot diagram superior to an Excel Pivot Table is that you can add shapes to the tree structure shapes. These are graphical representations of people and departments very similar to those found in the workflow diagram stencils, but they can add a touch of realism to a diagram and make it much easier to understand.

As the purpose of a PivotDiagram is to communicate business information in a way that is easy to understand, in the tutorial we also add a Shape to a level of shapes in the tree structure to represent the Marketing Department.

Adding a Tree Structure in Visio

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