Dashboards: Data Visualization Basics

Understanding data visualization is a big part of making your dashboards work for you. Beyond choosing the right chart, it isn’t always apparent to beginners which fields need to be used to get insightful data for their dashboards.

Insightly's dashboard cards are created by manipulating categories and values, which are fields that are filled with information taken from your records. You can create different combinations of categories and values to apply data to your chart.


A value is based on numerical data, like a bid amount or a record ID number. Values contain fields that can be measured or used for calculations.

A category represents qualitative data. Basically, information that can be sorted into a group, like a range of dates or the stages of a Pipeline. Categories contain text, date, or boolean (true/false) data.


After choosing a chart, you will need to use categories and values to determine the X-Axis, the Y-Axis, the Group, or the Series. These are the basic options, but they vary between charts, so don’t worry if you’re missing any or if you see different fields. A funnel chart has Funnel Section Name and Funnel Section Value, for example.

Categories and Values can also be used to filter and sort data.

Values can be further edited once they've been added to a chart.

Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled some of our user’s favorite charts and created step-by-step instructions so you can start getting comfortable with making cards.

You don't have to create any cards that aren't applicable to your business; these examples are optional and can be adjusted any way you like.

Dashboard Card Examples

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