Improvements to graphs / charts

Are there any plans to improve the functionality of CODA’s graphs / charts? The current configuration options are quite basic and lag behind features found in other tools.

Some points for consideration…

  • Conditional formatting for bar charts… i.e. less than 0 = red, greater than 0 = green
  • Combo charts with dual axis charts… i.e. left Y axis is dollar amount, right Y axis is percent
  • Adjustable (font size, color, etc.) axis titles and values
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Hi Brock, and welcome to the community!

Sorry - I only have an opinion to console your hopes. :wink:

In early 2019, I warned Coda, SmartSuite, and Airtable to resist the temptation to add support for charts and instead, spend the entire budget on an integration framework for d3 and Vega. None of them listened. Now, all three have disenchanted customers who need data visualization features.

Had they followed my advice, their support teams would be eager to address this question because, by now, there would be an entire world of Packs and templates that offered a mind-bending array of data visualizations examples.

The reason this outcome was so easy to predict is to understand that there is no definition of “finished” for charts and data visualization features. And there never will be. Data visualization is an open-ended money-pit of development resources that, regardless of the budget, 50% of the customer base will ALWAYS be dissatisfied. As Steve Jobs once said -

“This is an intractable problem domain - profit will be elusive.”

This is my circuitous way of saying, I’m a location science consultant who does a lot of work for Yum Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell), Singapore, and McKinsey. I can build very fast and highly communicative visuals that can be driven by Coda data and integrated into Coda docs in real-time.

Happy to chat more, but I suspect you don’t need me - you just need a few commonly expected features.

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And on a tangent, the same applies to people continuing to ask for drawing (Miro), publishing and spreadsheet capabilities.

Having said that though, a more nuanced consideration is necessary.

Here are some of my ideas:
Publishing/pdf is usually geared towards paper, and Coda is the antithesis of paper documents. Yes, some people generate invoices and other doc’s. I don’t, so cannot say whether the existing PDF packs are sufficient.

Miro (or Visio) - replicating drawing capabilities would be as bad as the graphs you responded to above. I have not recently explored the Miro integration, but I can see benefits from some tighter integration. I have two use cases.

I have recently started a doc for our church on “gun violence as a system”. The system view drawing is in Miro, and each block has a corresponding topic in a table in Coda. Eg. Legislators is a block in Miro, and a topic in the table in Coda. And linked to the topic is a list of Atlanta counselors, and Georgia federal senators and representatives. Easier cross referencing between the two would be nice.

The other topic relates to SAP implementations. Often the business processes are drawn out in swimlane or other process flow diagrams in Visio. Some process steps relate to SAP tcodes which are further explained elsewhere, typically spreadsheets or word tables. My dream is to have this tightly integrated, also with the test scripts needed. Coda is ideal for this. There are other tools available for this, including from SAP, but they are difficult to implement, expensive and cumbersome.
Unfortunately SAP implementation consulting houses are not known for their innovative in house work processes.

And lastly, the old hoary chestnut - spreadsheets. My thoughts on this has greatly evolved since I was a Coda noob. Again, sheets have a wide array of uses. I believe any list processing should be done in Coda, and spreadsheets hardly considered.
Much of the financial related work that is currently done in spreadsheets, should rather be done in Coda. This applies especially to modelling. In great part because of the high error rate in spreadsheets that you posted about earlier. While not immune to no code problems, I think Coda is a more robust tool than spreadsheets.

In any case, this is just a ( tangential) ramble,
Rambling ning Pete

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Thanks @Bill_French & @Piet_Strydom for the responses and insights!

@Bill_French ~ I currently have a cursory understanding of integrating external tools into CODA like you reference above. Is that your recommended course of action for gaining access to improved data visualization options? I was looking around last night and it looks like Vega Lite is a viable path for beginners such as myself. Is that your opinion, too?

@Piet_Strydom ~ I agree with your sentiments (as I understand them) that CODA offers a great deal but that it cannot be everything to everyone. Effective integration between CODA and the external tool ecosystem (e.g. SAP, Miro, etc.) is the key and where CODA seems to offer a lot of potential. The challenge I am personally working through is learning how to develop these integrations. From what I have seen, JS and Json are key starting points. Is this assessment correct in your experience?

Thanks again for your enagement!

Kind regards,


Hey @Eckles_Brock, welcome to the Community!

I just happened to start exploring the possibility of integrating more custom charts into Coda. I’m primarily interested in Highcharts (since Coda already uses Highcharts and it’s pretty much the established de-facto standard for enterprise software) but I don’t see why I couldn’t extend this to other libraries in the future.

I’m working on a little proof of concept here. If there’s enough demand (read: if anyone’s willing to actually fund it maybe?) I’ll be happy to prioritize it, otherwise it depends on my free time and inspiration :slight_smile:

Hi Brock,

I try very hard to stay away from json and packs, and focus on no code aspects. So not a good person to ask…


Hi Paul,

Thanks for the response! I’d certainly be a paying user if you were to develop a pack… would going that route (i.e. paid pack) be an appealing enough arrangement for you, or are you looking for an up-front funding path?

This will be a paid pack anyway; even if we don’t account in the cost of labor there’s still the cost of running my own backend (because we can only embed stuff that’s hosted somewhere, plus there has to be some transport for updating chart data). Also there’s licensing fees for the library if I want to make it white label.

For prioritizing I thought of some upfront funding, i.e. a company willing to offset my cost of living for the next month or a few. I guess I will eventually make this pack anyway, it’s just that it may happen now or in a year, or maybe in the meantime I just get rich some other way :upside_down_face: and will never write another line of code again