The radar chart (or spider web chart) is a method for displaying and comparing multiple metrics in a compact form. Each metric is plotted on its own axis, all radiating out from a central point. As the names suggest, the chart can resemble a radar display or spider web.
Radar charts can be effective for making comparisons across several measures at the same time. For example, the following chart compares Steph Curry’s ratings of popcorn at the respective arenas of the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors. You can see that the Warriors’ popcorn is rated higher for crunchiness, as the blue shape extends beyond the red shape on the Crunchiness axis. However, the Raptors’ popcorn meets or exceeds the Warriors in every other category.
Radar charts can work well for a small number of metrics (e.g. 3-6) and a small number of dimension values (e.g. 1-3). With many more metrics or dimension values, the chart can become cluttered and difficult to read. It also helps if all metrics have the same scale (e.g. in the chart above, all factors are rated from 0 to 5).
One of the biggest drawbacks to using radar charts is that the placement of metrics around the chart can be arbitrary. As a result, the shape created by joining the data points is meaningless. However, if there is a logical order or grouping given to the metrics, the “shape” of the data can provide added meaning. The following example compares the performance of three Arsenal FC players: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (forward), Granit Xhaka (midfielder), and Shkodran Mustafi (defender). The metrics have been arranged to place offensive metrics (goals and shots) to the left and defensive metrics (clearances and tackles) to the right. This produces more meaningful shapes to the radar charts:
Google Data Studio does not have a native radar chart type, however our team at ClickInsight has built a radar chart community visualization for public use. Follow the steps below and start creating your own radar charts!
How to Create a Radar Chart in Data Studio
1. Enable community visualizations
In your data source, enable Community Visualizations access.
- Edit your data source and enable the “Community Visualization access” toggle at the top of the screen.
2. Create a new chart
Add a custom Radar Chart from the community visualizations selector in the toolbar.
- From the community visualizations menu, select “+ Explore More” to open the community gallery. Select “Radar Chart by ClickInsight” from the list of partner visualizations.
3. Select dimension
Select the breakdown dimension from your data source.
4. Select metrics
Select up to 6 metrics. Each metric will create an axis (or “spoke”) of the radar chart.
5. Apply filters
Unless you want to display all dimension values at the same time, add filters to include only the desired values of the breakdown dimension.
6. Configure style and formatting
In the Style tab, adjust the chart formatting as desired. Our custom radar chart supports the following style options:
- Chart Options
- Line Width: set width of shape outline
- Fill Area: choose whether or not to fill the area of each shape
- Opacity: set fill opacity, if Fill Area is enabled
- Axis Options
- Minimum / Maximum: manually set axis range
- Maximum Number of Ticks: adjust number of tick marks and gridlines
- Tick Labels: show/hide the labels on each gridline
- Axis Labels: show/hide the metric name labels on each axis
- Axis Lines: show/hide the axis lines
- Gridlines: show/hide the gridlines
- Circular Gridlines: show circular gridlines, instead of default straight lines
- Tooltips: show/hide tooltips
- Legend: show/hide legend
- Position: change position of legend
- Colour Palette
- Manually set up to 10 colours; Report-level chart colour palette is used as default
To get a better idea of what’s possible, check out our radar chart demo report in Data Studio:
And here’s a radar chart visualization of Steph Curry’s Popcorn Rankings:
If you observe any issues or bugs with the radar chart community viz, please open an issue here.
Let us know how the radar chart works out for you!
Complete list of posts in our 2019 Data Studio series:
1. 5 More Calculated Fields for Data Studio
2. Using Drill-Down Charts in Data Studio
3. How to Schedule Email Delivery of Reports in Data Studio
4. 4 Scatterplot Hacks for Google Data Studio
5. How to Add Clickable Images in Data Studio
6. Calculating Ratios with Filtered Metrics in Data Studio
7. Using Optional Metrics in Data Studio
8. Using Conditional Formatting in Data Studio
9. Creating Ecommerce Funnels in Data Studio
10. How to Create a Slope Chart in Data Studio
11. Creating Radar Charts in Data Studio
12. Creating Stepped Line Charts in Data Studio