Figure 1: A new project portfolio bubble chart with center axis.

In project portfolio management, bubble charts are commonly divided into four quadrants to study the relationships between projects. For example, the chart above (Figure 1) compares projects using SMART Values (Y-axis), Cost (X-axis), and Profitability (Bubble Size). The more desirable projects are the larger bubbles (highest profitability) in the lower cost and higher value quadrant (upper left), and the less desirable projects are in the higher-cost and lower SMART Value quadrant (lower right).

As you can see in the example above, we’ll be introducing an axes location preference in Version 6.1 so that you can locate one or both of the axes in the center of the bubble chart.

The chart above is an example of a bubble chart displaying a project portfolio with the axes in the center and the gridlines displayed. Notice how easy it is to identify the quadrants, and that placing the axes in the center of the chart makes it easier to associate each project bubble with the values displayed along each axes.

A bubble chart with center axes and gridline display turned off.

Figure 2: A bubble chart with center axes and gridline display turned off.

You can also make a simpler chart by turning the gridlines off and simply showing the two center axes (Figure 2). Note that this chart also displays the optional “Chart Corners” to add some perspective about edge location without displaying the full border.

The next chart (Figure 3) displays the project portfolio with the X-axis in the center and the Y-axis on the left side. Each axis can be moved independently to the center or edge of the chart.

A bubble chart with center x-axis and Y-axis on the left side.

Figure 3: A bubble chart with center x-axis and Y-axis on the left side.

The final chart (Figure 4) shows the same chart in a traditional bubble chart style with the X- and Y-axes at the bottom and left side of the chart, respectively.

A traditional project portfolio bubble chart with axes on the left side and bottom of the chart.

Figure 4: A traditional project portfolio bubble chart with axes on the left side and bottom of the chart.

Each of the charts shown above took just a few seconds to make in Bubble Chart Pro™ by modifying the Grids page controls in the Chart Preferences form (Figure 5). Each parameter is controlled by a check box or button, so all you need to do is select the options that you want, and click [Save]. If you want to save a set of preferences as your Default set, you simply click [Save As Default] and all your new bubble charts will open with these settings. Of course, you can then customize them, if you want.

The Grids page for changing Bubble Chart grid display preferences in Bubble Chart Pro™

Click here to see other new bubble chart grid preferences.

I expect we’ll be releasing Version 6.1 in the later this week, so anyone who purchases a Version 6 license today will be eligible for a free upgrade to Version 6.1.

You can see the other new features in version 6 by clicking here.

Click here to download your free trial today!