Optsee® Rotating 3-D Bubble Charts

See also the short video "Analyzing 3D Bubble Charts" by clicking here.

For background on 2D bubble charts, see "Optsee® Bubble Charts" by clicking here.

Three-dimensional (or "3-D") Bubble charts (or bubble graphs) in Optsee® compare the relationships between data objects in 4 data dimensions: the X-axis, the Y-axis, the Z-axis, and the bubble size. 3D bubble charts are extremely useful in project portfolio management and business investment decisions when you want to compare cost, risk, reward, and resource data simultaneously in a single chart, as illustrated in the example below.

3D Bubble Chart Example 1: This chart shows the the relationship between “Costs” (X-Axis), “Probability of Success” (Y-Axis), SMART Score (vertical or Z-axis) and “Profit” (Bubble Size). The most desirable quadrant for projects would be in the upper left rear quadrant (lower costs, lower resource requirements, and higher probability of success).

3D Bubble charts represent 3 dimensional space on a flat surface, and therefore it can be difficult to see all the bubbles in the chart space. In Optsee® you can explore the data space by rotating the chart using the buttons at the bottom of the form. This lets you explore the data in a very natural manner. The charts rotate around the axes extending orthogonally from the X-Y and Y-Z planes as illustrated in Figure 1.

3D Bubble Chart Figure 1: This illustrates the axes of rotation for a 3D bubble chart.

In the 11-second video below, you can see the full rotations of a 3D bubble chart:

3D Bubble Chart Rotation Video (silent, 11 seconds): This video shows the full rotation of an Optsee® 3D bubble chart

The chart in the video above uses "drop-lines" to help locate the bubbles in the chart space. Drop-lines are two lines that run from the center of each bubble to the chart grids. One line goes to a vertical grid and one goes to the horizontal grid. These drop-lines let you quickly locate the center of the bubble relative to the XY, XZ, or YZ graphs. You can also toggle the horizontal and vertical drop-line display on and off independently. Example 2 shows the same chart from Example 1 with horizontal and vertical drop-lines both turned on.

3D Bubble Chart Example 2: This chart has drop-lines displayed.

You can also toggle the bubble size variable on and off to help visualize the bubbles in space as shown in Example 3.

3D Bubble Chart Example 3: This chart has the bubble size variable turned off.

For crowded 3D bubble charts, you can use Optsee®'s exclusive "zoom boxes" for zooming in on areas of the chart.

3D Bubble Chart Figure 3: Illustration of a 3D bubble chart zoom box.

As shown in Figure 3, Optsee® lets you customize your bubble charts in many different ways, including colors, pictures, fonts, custom legends, etc. Plus, the bubbles are interactive so you can drill-down into the project data by double-clicking on a bubble or legend item.

3D Bubble Chart Figure 3: Examples of customized 3D bubble charts

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