Use Google charts to add visual elements to data

As a visual learner I am always looking for different ways to represent data that is more appealing to the eye and easier for types like me to understand. The dashboards in are a great way to visualize data unfortunately they can only be displayed in limited locations within

This is where Google enters the picture with a free API that accepts any data set and returns a chart that you can embed in any webpage. It allows you to create multiple chart types (Line, Pie, Bar, Bubble, etc) as well as world and local maps. Lets walk through a scenario in which we can "mash-up" and the Google Charts API.

First we will start with something that takes place in over half of our implementations. A company wants to integrate with a back end system and pull in monthly sales data to display at the account level. The sales data is generally imported into a related list and buried somewhere at the bottom of the page like this:

Not very pretty and easily missed by most users. With Google charts you can take that sales data and mash it up with a cool looking chart and get something that looks like this:

...or this...

Once you have your chart parameters defined you can create an s-control in that queries the UnitSales__c object and feeds the account specific data elements to the Google chart. Then finally you can insert that s-control as an inline s-control on your account page layout. Turning the boring data from a related list into a visual element that is sure to catch any salesperson's attention (especially if sales are going down).


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