PDF: Spider Chart

ReportR: Spider Chart


A spider chart is a great graphic way to compare results from different questions and visualize performance, for example between school subjects or departments of a business.

You can include as many axes as you want, but the most visually appealing and clear would be between three and six axes. The example below uses five axes and personalized results from the survey to show the amount of potential savings for different household categories.

Spiderchart example

Check out our video taking you through the creation of a spider chart, or read the step-by-step guide that follows below.

This guide will cover the following sections:

  1. Setting up the widget
  2. Widget logic rules
  3. Other available widgets

1 Setting up the widget

Let's see now how you can create a spider chart yourself. The spider chart's basic components are the axes along which the data is plotted, and the lines of data which are drawn onto the axes.

Start by giving your spider chart widget a widget name and chart title. Toggle if you do not want to show data point numbers (by default, the numbers will be shown).

Next click add axis to start creating the axes for your data points.

Spider chart - add axis

The key building blocks of the spider chart are the axes (as many as you wish) and the points of data displayed on the chart. Let's see now how to set up these components.

1.1 Set the Axes

Give each axis a label and continue to add axes until you have the amount of axes that you need for your spider chart.

Spider chart axes names

Now you can choose to add your own intervals, which are the numbers marking the scale shown on the inside of the spider chart. 

ReportR Spiderchart - axis interval labels

Use the arrows to change the axis interval label and choose the number that you want to be shown at each of the intervals. Use the arrows or type in the value that you wish to set for the maximum value on axis.

1.2 Set the data points

Now it's time to start specifying how the first data series should be constructed. This is the line of points which will be plotted on the axis and connected to form a polygon with a colored line of your choice. Note that the amount of data points must correspond to the number of axes so that you'll have a data point plotted on each axis. For example in a spider chart of four subjects, there are four axes, so for each data series, there are four data points. 

Data points can be variables or numbers that you choose, and can be a mixture of both, or some lines can be variables and some numbers. In our example, the first data series named "Your score" is composed of variables taken from the survey answers, and the other two series, "class average" and "pass mark" are set numbers.

ReportR Spiderchart - data series

  1. Series Label - give a name to the line. This is the name of the line that will be shown in the key under the spider chart.
  2. Series Color - choose the line color by clicking on the pencil. Take care to choose distinctly different colors for each of the lines so it will be easy to tell the difference between them!
  3. Data Point Metrics - choose where the data for the spider chart should be taken from. You can either type in a number or click Variables to access the drop-down menu of variables which you can use. Variables take the data entered during the survey and display it in the chart. Data Point 1 Metric will correspond with Axis Label 1.
  4. Add point - click add point until you have added all the points you need to be plotted on your axes.

Tip: Always make sure you data point metrics are smaller than the maximum value on axis to make sure no points are put outside of the spider chart.

Click Add series to continue adding as many lines as you would like to be shown on the spider chart. In the example above, we created three lines.

Take a look at how data series 2 looks in our example, when set values are entered, rather than variables.

Spider chart data point metrics

Tip: To make advanced design changes to the spider chart, use custom CSS.

1.3 Widget placement and size

Choose how you would like to align your spider chart widget. You can choose to align it to one side and have explanatory text or another widget on the other side, or center it.

PDF Spiderchart widget placement

  • Left - widget will be aligned to the left side of the page, in a column layout
  • Center - widget will be presented centered across the entire page from the left to the right (full width)
  • Right - widget will be aligned to the right side of the page, in a column layout

If you would like a widget to appear side-by-side the spider chart, make sure to set the widget aligned on one side of the page, and the spider chart on the other. For example, choose to align the text widget to the left, and align a spider chart to the right.

Take a look below at some different possibilities.

Spiderchart placement examples

Use the arrows or enter a value for the chart height and width. If you choose to place the spider chart on either the left or the right side of the page, the chart will be automatically resized.

Spiderchart size

Now if you want to show a spider chart to all respondents, you're done! Just make sure to click save PDF and continue adding widgets. Check out section 3 to see all available widgets.

2 Widget logic rules

If you want to only show this widget under certain conditions, it's time to set the widget logic rules. Click add rule and now select which condition from the drop-down menu should be used to decide when to show the widget.

PDF Spiderchart logic rules

Once you've chosen the initial condition, you can specify exactly what conditions need to be met, for example the answer on question must be greater than a certain number. If you need a more complex condition, click on the white circle with a purple + sign to add criteria that will be in addition to the other criteria (AND), or instead of (OR).

ReportR spiderchart - widget logic rules

Tip: If you have set up outcomes, you can choose an outcome as the criteria for showing the widget. Choose outcome from the drop-down menu and then select what the outcome should or should not equal so that the widget will be shown. You can set the outcome as the only criteria, or as an additional criteria as shown below. In this example, we clicked the purple button and added that the widget should be shown if both the response on intro field criteria AND the outcome criteria is fulfilled.

PDF Text widget with outcome criteria

Once you've saved your logic rules, don't forget to save PDF and you're ready to add more widgets!

3 Other available widgets

Why not check out our other widget guides and learn how to add other types of content to your PDF?

  1. Text
  2. Image
  3. Table
  4. Page or Section Break
  5. Formula Ranking
  6. Custom Results by Respondent Table
  7. Question block KPI
  8. Formula KPI
  9. Column Chart
  10. Pie Chart
  11. Bar Chart
  12. Gauge Chart
  13. KPI
Vincent is the author of this solution article.

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