Navigo Blog

Forget the Text, Visualize your Data using Mapped Fields

Written by Tom Wade

February 2, 2010


While text-heavy organisational charts will give you what you are after, they are often hard to analyse at a glance.

Mapped fields allow you to replace text on your org chart with images. This will increase the legibility of your chart, which makes it easy to identify employees who meet certain criteria, without having to study each box in depth.

In this example we will show you how to increase the legibility of an org chart by replacing two text fields with images. The fields are:

  • Rating Trend – This field shows whether the person has increased or decreased their rating over the last year.  The values will be replaced with images of arrows pointing up or down depending on their rating trend.

Eg. up down

  • Rating – This field shows the persons current rating which will contain values from Significantly Below target to Significantly Above target.  The values will be replaced with a meter.

Eg. Meter-1 Meter-5

Below is a text heavy chart that we are going to modify to allow users to visualize the data.

Chart - 1 Original Chart

Create the Rating Trend using Mapped Field

Starting with the above chart, we will remove the text fields and replace them with images, making the chart easier to read.  To do this we are going to replace the field Rating Trend with the following images:

up Where the rating trend has gone up from the previous year

down Where the rating trend has gone down from the previous year

same Where the rating trend remained the same from the previous year

To create a mapped field go to Data -> Define Fields and click Add Mapped Field. A new field will appear at the bottom of the list which you will be able to name and set the type to Picture.

Define Mapped Field

Next we have to create the mapping between the values in Rating Trend and the images we want to assign to them.  To do this click the field in the Options column and the Mapping screen will appear.

Choose the field you want to map the images to in the drop down box at the top of the screen called Map Using, in this case we will use the field Rating Trend.

To add mapping, click the Add button and choose the value of the field you want to map from in the Value column.  Then choose the image you want to map to by clicking in the column Maps To and browsing to where the images are saved.

Repeat this step for all the different values you have for the field.

mapping rating trend

Once you have mapped all the values for the field, simply add it to the boxes in the chart or a profile like you would any other other field and the image will appear.

Chart - 2 Trend Mapped Chart

Create the Rating Meter using Mapped Field

Instead of showing the Rating field as text, we can display it as a meter, Eg. Meter-4.  This is also done using mapped fields and the following images.
Meter-1 Where the rating is Significantly Below Target
Meter-2 Where the rating is Below Target
Meter-3 Where the rating is On Target
Meter-4 Where the rating is Above Target
Meter-5 Where the rating is Significantly Above Target

To create a meter for the rating, follow the same steps as for Rating Trend to create a mapped field except this time map using the field Rating and link to the meter images

mapping rating

Once you have mapped all the values for the field simply add it to the boxes in the chart or a profile and the meter will appear.

Chart - 3 Finished Chart


Mapped fields can be used to show anything from flags to represent country of origin, to symbols for gender, employee type, or anything else you can think of.  All that is needed is a field that has some standard values and some images to map to. OrgPlus comes standard with a whole library full of commonly-used images.

By using mapped fields rather than text fields, charts can contain more information and allow for data to be more easily identified at a glance – which ultimately makes your workforce planning faster and easier.

If you’d like help setting up mapped fields on your org chart, give us a call at Navigo in Melbourne on 03 9879 4060.


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