Data-linked diagrams: Building data graphics Blogs: Yana Terukhova is a Product Marketing Manager on the Microsoft Visio team.

Visio templates make it easy to build compelling diagrams that communicate visually. Organization charts are among the most popular templates, and you can enhance them to create a data-linked diagram that connects to key business indicators in your organization and then link your data from an external source so that the information is always up to date. In this post, we’ll look at how to display this information with data graphics.

Let’s focus on budget attainment and use a color by value data graphic. To do this, click the Data tab, then select Data Graphics, or select the shape, right-click to select Data, then click Edit Data Graphics. We’ll create a new data graphic with color by value as the type.

Now we can apply the value to all the shapes on the page. Highlight the shapes you’d like to associate with your data graphic, then select Apply to All Shapes.

Once that’s done, you’ll have the following organization chart – pretty nifty, for sure.

We need a legend to indicate what the colors represent, and Visio makes it easy to add one to your diagram. On the Data tab, select Insert Legend, and then you’ll see a key that explains what the colors mean.

You can move the legend around to where you’d like on the page, and you can also delete or modify individual elements in it.

We can quickly see how the team is tracking against budget spending, and sharing your diagram on SharePoint via Visio Services helps you to effectively communicate this simple and intuitive dashboard to others. And the best part is that as the data gets updated in the spreadsheet, we can refresh our Visio diagram. On the Data tab, click Refresh, or you can also set up an automatic refresh with up to 1 minute frequency.

Note: Data-linked diagrams are a feature of Visio Professional 2013 and Visio Pro for Office 365 and are not available in Visio Standard 2013. Although data-linked diagrams may be opened in Visio Standard 2013, they will not be updated, and diagram changes may impact data connections on the page.

Yana Terukhova, Product Marketing Manager

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