How to Read a Sunburst Visualization

A sunburst visualization represents a hierarchical dimension by encoding a metric on each node of the hierarchy. Example : The hierarchical dimension of geography. On the first level, we can see the distribution of the metric between continents. We can then explore a continent to see the distribution between countries, etc. (If the dimension isn’t hierarchical, it equates to a Camembert (pie chart)).

Let’s say you want to check out where your visitors are located.

At a mere glance, we can see that nearly have of your visitors are in Europe, a quarter in the Americas, the remainder in Asia, and but a few in Oceania and Africa.

Captain Dash Sunburst Europe

The “Explore” button gives us a closer look at Europe, revealing that half of those visitors are in the West and the rest are split evenly between North, East, and South.

Captain dash sunburst western europe

Another “Explore” click and we see that more than half of your Western Europe visitors are in France.

Captain dash sunburst france

A look at the Americas reveals that the United States accounts for 86% of viewers on the continent.

Captain dash sunburst north america

Is that where you should open your new office?

In order to play around some more with sunburst visualizations you can head over to the visualization lair at