Asset Intelligence and Management

AssetSonar Blogs Graphs For Custom Reports 1b2bd330bca5

Make Informed Business Decisions With Graphs For Custom Reports In AssetSonar

Make Informed Business Decisions With Graphs For Custom Reports In AssetSonar

Interpretation of large datasets and extensive reports may get painstaking. To enable quick and easy interpretation of your ITAM data, AssetSonar has introduced its new Graphs for Custom Reports functionality. You can now plot, save, and share graphs of selected information from AssetSonar and run comparative analyses or view various trends across the organization.

Our new capability enables you to make informed business decisions by getting an instant visual of your company’s IT landscape. You can also use reports with graphical representation to display data for in-house and board meetings.

This article delineates the different types of Graphs that AssetSonar supports and how you can create them for actionable insights.

Let’s get started!


  1. Use cases for different types of Graphs
    1.1. Pie and donut charts for proportionate comparison
    1.2. Bar graphs for categorization
    1.3. Line graph for ITAM trends over time
    1.4. Scatter plots for data distribution
  2. Creating a Custom Report
  3. Creating a Graph
  4. Data limits in Graphs
  5. Saving and editing Graphs

1. Use Cases for different types of Graphs

AssetSonar gives you the option to run six types of Graphs for Custom Reports, namely:

  1. Pie charts
  2. Donut charts
  3. Horizontal bar graphs
  4. Vertical bar graphs
  5. Line graphs
  6. Scatter plots

Below, we discuss the different ways you can use each of these types to represent your ITAM data.

1.1. Pie and donut charts for proportionate comparison

These Graphs come in handy when you have to compare data by ratios. For instance, if you wish to see the proportion of Available to Checked out laptops in your AssetSonar account, you can use either of the pie or donut charts to get a visual of this information. Remember to select ‘Items — State’ as the Primary Metric and apply the filter of ‘Laptops’ while creating the custom report.

Pie and donut charts for proportionate comparison

Fig. 1.1. Use case of pie chart

Use case of pie chart

Fig. 1.2. Use case of donut chart

In this case, we have a 50:50 or 1:1 ratio of Available: Checked Out IT Assets.

Pie and donut charts are useful when you have data distributed among fewer categories.

1.2. Bar graphs for categorization

Horizontal and vertical bar graphs can be used to view the number of items or quantities that fall under certain categories. For example, you can see how many IT Assets are distributed across different Locations (office branches) or how many software applications are used by each of your organization’s departments.

For bar graphs, one axis is usually categorical such as Location name and the other axis is numerical such as the quantity of items. In the example below, we’ve plotted the number of checked out IT Assets (laptops) against the Location i.e. office branches.

Bar graphs for categorization

Fig. 1.3. Use case of horizontal bar graph

Here, you can see that the Brooklyn Office has the highest count of laptops checked out by the IT department.

Vertical bar graph is similar to the horizontal bar except that its vertical axis shows the numerical data values as shown below.

Use case of horizontal bar graph

Fig. 1.4. Use case of vertical bar graph

1.3. Line graph for ITAM trends over time

Line graphs can be used to see the relationship between two numerical quantities. Since they are typically used to view trends over time, the x-axis often assumes time-based data values such as Purchase Date or Year, etc.

IT organizations can use line graphs to view their ITAM cost, productivity or utilization trends over time. In the example below, we show the Purchase cost of IT Assets over time. The y-axis has ‘Items — Total Cost Price’ as its value whereas the x-axis represents the purchase date of items. We have filtered our items by the Laptops group so our Graph only shows the trend in purchase cost of laptops over time.

Line graph for ITAM trends over time

Fig. 1.5. Use case of line graph

Here, you can see that the IT department spent the highest dollar amount on laptops between the months of July and August.

1.4. Scatter plots for data distribution

You can analyze the distribution of data points or determine the relationship between two numerical variables by running a scatter plot graph.

Below, we show a scatter plot between the Item # and Purchase Cost of laptops owned by an organization.

Scatter plots for data distribution

Fig. 1.6. Use case of scatter plot

As you can see, most values lie around $250. Hence, most laptops bought by the company cost them around $250. We do see some outliers too such as the one laptop that costs approximately $900.

2. Creating a Custom Report

Now that you’re aware of all the Graph types, let’s create one.

Before you create a Graph, you must first run a Custom Report of your preference. AssetSonar’s Graph engine uses the data from the Custom Report to generate the Graph.

To create a Custom Report, navigate to Reports → Create Custom Report from the dashboard.

Creating a Custom Report

Carry out the following steps to build your Custom Report from scratch. In the example below, we create a Custom Report for Total Purchase Cost of Laptops over time.

Step 1: Select modules

Select the primary module that you want to run the Custom Report about. The primary module in this case is ‘Items’. A list of related modules is populated based on the primary module you select. Select the related modules as needed.

Select modules

Step 2: Select columns

Based on the module selected in Step 1, you will be shown a list of columns to choose from for the Custom Report. Since we’re trying to see a trend in cost over time for our Custom Report, we’ll choose ‘Items — Cost Price/ Add Stock Price’ and ‘Items — Purchased On (date)’ to see the trend.

Select columns

You can also select columns from the related modules you picked in Step 1.

Step 3: Apply filters

You can also apply filters on the column values from Step 2 to get the results you desire. Multiple filters can be applied to the same column by changing the operator value from OR to AND, and vice versa.

In our example, we apply the filter by ‘Group — Name’ equals Laptop as we’re trying to see a trend in the cost of laptops.
Apply filters

Step 4: Group Rows

You can group similar line items together based on the columns selected in Step 2. For more flexibility, you are allowed to apply grouping up to three levels. We’re grouping the data in a report by the Purchase Date of the items in an ascending order.

Group Rows

Note: The Graph Engine picks the data field selected for grouping in Step 4 as a default value for x-axis in the Graphs. You can also select a data field of your choice to assume the x-axis.

Step 5: Apply functions

Aggregate functions such as SUM, AVERAGE, MINIMUM, MAXIMUM, and more can be applied to column values of each set of rows you’ve grouped in Step 4 for greater insight. As our Custom Graphs aims to look at the total purchase cost of laptops, we’ll apply the SUM function to ‘Items — Cost Price/Add Stock Price’.

Apply functions
AssetSonar’s Graph engine selects the aggregate function values from Step 5 as a default value for the y-axis of a Graph.

Step 6: Sort by order

You can also sort the columns in your Custom Report by ascending or descending order.

Sort by order
Once you’ve carried out all the steps, you can now run the Report and create a Graph for it.

3. Creating a Graph

The ‘Create Graph’ button becomes visible once you run a Custom Report. Click it as shown.

Creating a Graph

This directs you to the Graph Engine. Here, select the Graph Type, specify a Title for the Graph, select the Primary Metric (x-axis) and Measure (y-axis), and hit ‘Preview’. We have chosen the following values for our example.

  • Graph Type: Line graph
  • Title: Total purchase cost of laptops over time
  • Primary Metric: Items — Purchased On (from Step 4)
  • Measure: Items — Total Cost price/Add Stock Price (from Step 5)
  • X-axis label: Purchase date
  • Y-axis label: Total purchase cost of laptops

Creating a Graph 2

As you can see, the highest total cost was incurred on Aug 15 for purchasing the laptops.

A visual representation of the Custom Report just made it so much easier to glean over and interpret tones of data!

4. Data limits in Graphs

A limit of 200 data entries applies across all Graphs. In case your entries exceed this limit, the additional data points will not be plotted and you will see the following warning message.

“Graph data limit reached, displaying graph for first 200 entries.”

You can define and control the number of entries by applying relevant filters to your Custom Reports.

5. Saving and editing Graphs

Once you have created a Graph, you can save it by clicking on the ‘Save Graph’ button.

You can also edit, delete, and download your Graph as a PNG by clicking on the following highlighted icons.

Saving and editing Graphs 2

Read more: Generating Custom Reports in AssetSonar

Related FAQs

Can I use Custom Reports to determine the security compliance status of my IT Devices?

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