How do you implement tooltips in your dashboard?

Dashboard Guide: Tooltips 

Tooltips are an essential component of dashboards, as they provide additional information and context to the user when they hover over a data point or element.  

Imagine you’re creating a sales dashboard for a retail store, and you want to add tooltips to the bar chart displaying monthly sales figures. The tooltip will show the sales figure, month, and percentage growth compared to the previous month. 

Step 1: Understand the data 

Before you start implementing tooltips, make sure you understand the data and what information you want to display in the tooltip. In our example, we need to display the following: 

  • Sales figure 
  • Month 
  • Percentage growth compared to the previous month

Step 2: Identify tooltip functionality in your dashboarding tool 

Most dashboarding tools have built-in tooltip functionality. Look for a “tooltip” option, “hover” functionality, or a similar feature in the tool’s documentation or settings. This might be found in the chart settings, visualization options, or under the properties of the specific element you’re working on. 

Step 3: Customize the tooltip content 

Once you’ve identified the tooltip functionality in your tool, you can start customizing the content of the tooltip. This may involve using a combination of static text and dynamic data variables. In our example, you would need to include the following: 

  • Sales figure: This can be pulled directly from your dataset or calculated field. 
  • Month: You may need to format the date field to display the month’s name or abbreviation. 
  • Percentage growth: Calculate the percentage difference between the current month’s and the previous month’s sales. 

You might need to write a simple expression or formula to display this information. Refer to your tool’s documentation for guidance on the appropriate syntax and functions to use. 

Step 4: Format the tooltip 

Dashboarding tools often allow you to format the appearance of tooltips, such as font size, colors, and alignment. To ensure the tooltip is easily readable and visually appealing, you may want to: 

  • Choose a font size and color that is easy to read. 
  • Separate lines or elements with appropriate spacing or line breaks. 
  • Highlight key data points, such as the sales figure, by making them bold or using a different color. 

Step 5: Test your tooltip 

After implementing and formatting the tooltip, it’s important to test it to ensure it works as expected. Hover over different data points on your chart to make sure the tooltip displays the correct information and is easy to read. Adjust the tooltip’s content, formatting, or settings based on your testing if necessary. 

Helpful Tips and Tricks 

  1. Keep tooltips concise: Display only the most important information to avoid overwhelming the user. 
  2. Consistency is key: If you’re using tooltips in multiple visualizations, maintain a consistent design and format to create a cohesive user experience. 
  3. Use tooltips to reveal insights: Go beyond simply displaying data values. Use tooltips to provide context, comparisons, or additional insights that help users better understand the data. 

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