6 ways to display charts in SharePoint

This blog post is inspired by a blog post from the SharePoint Maven. I love his blog because he focuses on Microsoft 365 out-of-the-box functionality. However, as we’ll see, sometimes those options don’t always satisfy all use cases, or provide the most cost effective solution. A prime example of this is when PowerBI is deployed to build a dashboard for data which exists purely in SharePoint Lists, incurring unnecessary cost. Therefore I was inspired to do a clear tabular comparison of the different methods including commercial products.

I’ve added references to two other third party charting products for SharePoint which I believe are the closest competitors to the 365Automate Charts & Dashboards product.

See below for details of the criteria shown.

{.table .table-striped}

NameAggregationDynamicFilteringComplexityModern Web PartCostFree Tier
1Charts & DashboardsLow$
2Quick Chart web partLown/a
3PowerBIHigh$$$$
4Excel/File ViewerMediumn/a
5PlumsailHigh$
6Lightning ToolsMedium$$

Aggregation

This is a crucial aspect of any chart. It means that the chart can automatically group by categories, and apply SUM calculations to numerical values. For example, displaying the total sales per quarter, or total closed matters per lawyer.

Dynamic

Does the chart automatically update when the List data is updated? If not, you would need to perform some manual steps to refresh/update the chart before new data values are reflected.

Filtering

Does the chart package provide the ability to interactively filter/drill down into the data?

Complexity

Indicates difficulty involved in setting up/configuring the chart.

Modern Web Part

Does this charting solution provide a modern web part to allow building pages on Modern Sites?

Cost

A simple dollar symbol method is used to denote cost. No dollar signs means free.

Free Tier

Is a free tier available for usage by small teams?


Summary

If your data is in a SharePoint List and you need aggregations (totals, grouping, averages etc) then use the 365Automate Charts web part.

If you don’t require any aggregations (totals, grouping, averages etc) then you can simply use the built-in Quick Chart web part.

If you have requirements for displaying data outside of SharePoint (eg. SQL) then you can use PowerBI or the Lightning Tools data viewer.

If your data is in Excel and it doesn’t need to be frequently updated, you can use the File Viewer web part to display your excel file.


If you have needs that don’t fit any of these scenarios, contact us and we’d be happy to offer advice and recommendations.

If you’d like to get started on the Free Tier for 365Automate Charts, click here to download the solution!

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