As someone who uses data to make informed business decisions, you are presented with so many options to analyze your data. The number of visualizations, tables, and filters can make the process of creating reports and dashboards quite overwhelming.
But have no fear, Sigma Computing is here! Teaming up with Sigma as your visualization platform of choice makes the process a breeze!
In this blog, we will narrow in on funnel charts. We will look into what they are, when to use them, and why they are important in making data-driven decisions.
What are Funnel Charts?
Funnel charts are a type of visual used to display data as a series of progressively decreasing values. Funnels are most effective when analyzing sales, marketing, or product data, with each section of the chart representing a stage in a given process.
The goal of a funnel chart is to highlight successful strategies and aid in identifying potential obstacles quickly. Emphasis on quickly. These charts are a great tool to identify areas of improvement and to follow the flow of a specific process from start to finish.
Who Uses Funnel Charts the Most?
Funnel charts are most commonly used by sales and marketing teams, and they make it easy for the user to see the progression of data as it moves through the process.
Keep in mind that funnel charts are NOT for every instance when looking at your data.
What Do Funnel Charts Look Like?
As for what they look like…you guessed it, a funnel. Or an upside-down pyramid if that’s what you thought of first. From top to bottom, the chart narrows, showing a decline as you move down the funnel. Their distinct shape makes this a pretty unique chart.
When creating your funnel charts, it should not literally look like an upside-down pyramid, but rather a clear sequence of numbers getting smaller as they pass through the funnel.
When to Use a Funnel Chart
Funnel charts are used to evaluate data when you want to understand the drop-off at different stages. For example, you may use a funnel chart to track the number of closed deals as they move through the sales process.
Use a funnel chart if your process has at least four stages and your variable being analyzed has a beginning and an end. Again, it is important to note that funnel charts are not a one size fits all approach, this type of chart is used for high-level insights and should not be used for making final decisions.
Why Create Funnel Charts in Sigma Computing?
With Sigma’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can easily build and customize your funnel chart to highlight important insights and make data-driven decisions. Remember, funnel charts are great for quick, high-level analysis, so they are helpful with making initial insights.
By identifying bottlenecks and optimizing each stage of the process, you can improve overall efficiency and ultimately make better decisions.
How To Make Funnel Charts In Sigma
First off, make sure your data is prepped and clean. I recommend putting your data into a table on its own dedicated page, then build your visual off of that. In my example, we will be using Sales Pipeline data, beginning with the largest number (Sales Prospects) and narrowing down to our final stage (Closed/Won).
This is the sequence for reference: Sales Prospects, Qualified Leads, Meetings, Proposals, Closed/Won.
1. Start out on a new sheet, go to the top left “ + “ logo, in the Elements section, under Data Elements, select Viz. When selecting your source for the viz, choose your table of data you just created.
2. Now that your blank viz is on your worksheet, click on the drop-down of viz options, scroll down until you see Funnel.
3. Now it’s time to add your fields to the value section. Here, we start with our largest field, Sales Prospects. Make note that your largest field MUST be added first, followed by your next largest, and so on.
4. Sigma will automatically name your fields “Sum of….” So now is a good time to edit those names. For simplicity, just remove “sum of” so each field is just Sales Prospects instead of Sum of Sales Prospects. Do this for each field.
5. The funnel is taking shape! However, it has too much going on. It seems crowded, doesn’t it? At this time, we can start to format.
6. Looking at the colors being used, this is passable, but it is best practice to use consistent colors, your company colors perhaps. This will not occur automatically, you will have to update the color for each field manually. Here I chose to use a single-color gradient. It’s easy to comprehend and uses color purposefully
7. Now onto formatting our funnel chart. In your elements pane on the left, select Element Format. Here we can edit the background, title, legend, and add data labels.
8. Starting with the title, I renamed it “Sales Pipeline YTD.” Use a straightforward name for ease. The legend looks good as is, so we can leave that.
9. The last step will be to add labels to our data. Click on Data Labels. We are now presented with the option to show conversion rate, select percentage style, value, and stage name. For this example, I selected all and am using % of the total as the percentage style. This section is all up to the user; play around with the options and choose what looks best!
10. Wait, actually, this is our last step. Lean back and look at your amazing funnel chart! Well done!
A funnel chart is a graphical representation of the steps in a process, where the steps are shown as decreasing in size, like a funnel. Funnels are not a tell-all chart, they should be used for high-level data analysis, not final decision-making. Before creating your chart, always take time to confirm your data is accurate, labels are clear and concise, color is used purposefully, and your design is simple in nature.
For more ways to display your data effectively, take a look at this blog on Building Better Bar Charts in Sigma Computing.