How do I create an Org Chart?

You can Ctrl+click the following link to watch a video about org charts: http://www.palisade.com/BigPicture/Intro/EN/OrgCharts/

Structure the data correctly

The data set should, at a minimum, include employee names and two columns that specify employee-supervisor relationships. In this example, columns B and C play this role. (This data set is from one of the example spreadsheets under BigPicture Help.) Each employee has a title and a supervisor, with the exception of the organization leader, who has no supervisor (the organization leader is the root topic in the chart). Of course, the supervisor also has a title. For example, you could search for Managing Director - West in column B to find the name of Amanda Nelson's supervisor. The data set can have other information about employees as well.

Create pictures of employees

If you want the org chart to show pictures of the employees, you can create picture files of the employees and store them in a folder of your choice. The names of these picture files should match the text in some column, almost always the employee name column. Then the name of a typical picture file is Amanda Nelson.jpg (or some other graphics file extension).

Fill in the Org Chart dialog box

Click the Org Chart item on the BigPicture ribbon to bring up the tabbed Org Chart dialog box. Then fill it in as discussed in the following steps.

Fill in the Org Chart dialog box

Definition tab

The Definition tab is the most important. Here, you specify the data range, the two columns that define the employee-supervisor relationships, and any information you want to show in each employee's topic.

Definition tab

Pictures tab

To include pictures, check the Add Pictures option, and then select the folder where the picture files are stored and the field that matches the names of the picture files.

Pictures tab

Markers and Tags tab

Markers are optional. They allow you to show extra information about each employee below the employee's topic. In this example, the employee's performance rating will be shown in a number icon, and the employee's annual review summary will be shown in a note. There are actually many marker types available, which you can choose from a dropdown list.

Markers and Tags tab

Markers and Tags tab

Markers and Tags are optional. They allow you to show extra information about each topic at a glance. In the example map below, we have added a Number Marker and a Note Marker to coincide with the Employee Performance Rank and the Annual Review Summary columns.

To have the Employee Performance Rank appear as Number markers:

  • Check the box for Add Markers or Tags to Each Employee's Topic (See #1)
  • Click on the blank box in row 1 of the Org Chart dialog box
  • Choose the name of the column that you would like BigPicture to refer to. For this example, the column name is Employee Performance Rank. (See #2)
  • Select Number from the dropdown menu in the Marker or Tag Type column. (See #3)

Now, to have the Annual Review Summary descriptions appear in a Note Marker:

  • Click on the blank box in row 2 of the Org Chart dialog box
  • Choose the name of the column that you would like BigPicture to refer to. For this example, the column name is Annual Review Summary. (See #4)
  • Select Note from the dropdown menu in the Marker or Tag Type column. (See #5)

For each employee the description that appears in the spreadsheet column under the Annual Review Summary heading will be included in a Note marker to the bottom right of the Topic along with a number icon that will reflect the Employee Performance Rank. (See #6)

We just explored 2 marker types. There are a variety of marker types available in BigPicture. In the Marker or Tag Type drop down, the first two Markers are Note markers and Hyperlink Markers, both of which can refer to a column that has customized text. When working with the other options such as All Countries, Number, Smiley, etc. the column of data that it is referring to MUST have matching names to the names that are included in those particular lists. For example, for our Number list the only options are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 - Which means that the column that we are referring to (in this example -  Employee Performance Rank) can only have those values.

To know what names are associated with what marker, when you are on a page that has a map on it, click on the Markers icon in the ribbon then choose Manage Markers.(See #7) Choose the list that you would like to use and the Manager Markers dialog will show you the Marker Names associated with that particular list (See #8). This shows you the options under the 'Number' list. If you would like to add your own markers, view the article Add your own Marker List.

Tags can be found by scrolling down the dropdown menu. (See #9) Tags behave in the same way as Markers (See #10), however instead of placing an icon to the bottom right of the Topic, you can set your markers to have specific colors and formatting associated with them that will automatically format the Topic accordingly. In addition, it can also add a small text box that is placed on top of the Topic. To learn more about Tags view the article What are Tags and how do I Use them?

Calculations tab

Calculations are also optional. They let you show rollup (summary) information about each employee who supervises other employees, either directly or indirectly. The results of the calculations appear below the employee topics in text boxes with summation signs. The keyword Headcount is used to produce counts of employees reporting to a supervisor. Numeric data from other columns can also be rolled up for each supervisor. The choices here will show the number and total salary of all employees who report directly or indirectly to a supervisor. A text box will also be included for each employee who doesn't supervise anyone, but it will just show that employee's salary.

There are actually dropdown lists next to Calc Type, Calc Depth, and Display In. For example, Calc Depth can be All Below or Direct Reports. You can experiment with the various options.

Calculations tab

Filter tab

A filter is also optional. It lets you include only a subset of all employees in the chart. For example, if a supervisor is located in New York and all of the people who report to him, directly or indirectly, are also located in New York, the resulting chart will just show his section of the organization.

To add a filter:

  • Check the Pre-filter Employees Included in Chart (See # 1)
  • Click on the dropdown arrow to see a list of available Columns to filter on.  (See #2) For this example we will choose Location. (See #3)
  • Click on the Excel Selection icon  (See #4) to select the value from your data that you would like to filter on. For this example we click on one of the New York entries. (You can add multiple Locations by SHIFT+Clicking when making your selection.)
  • Click OK on the Filter Data dialog. (See #5 ) It will automatically convert your cell selection into the actual content that you would like to filter on in the Include Employees with Values field.  (See #6)
  • Click the Create Chart button  (See #7)
  • The resulting Org Chart only has New York employees.  (See #8)
  • To remove a filter, you simply uncheck the Pre-Filter box. (See #1)
Filter tab

Display tab

The Display tab's default settings usually suffice, but you can change them to suit your taste. In this example, each level of the organization will be colored differently, the org chart will be placed on a new worksheet in the same workbook as the data, the chart orientation will be from the top down (as opposed to left-to-right), and employees that do not supervise anyone will be displayed vertically, not horizontally.

Display tab

Check Data Button

BigPicture checks your data sets to find and correct capitalization differences, spacing issues, some inadvertent misspellings, etc. that would keep your Organizational Charts from being generated properly.  BigPicture matches entries in columns used for grouped topics, markers, supervisor names etc. when creating Organizational Charts. Small differences can cause entries from not being matched properly.

When creating an Organizational Chart for the first time, it is recommended to click on the Check Data button to make sure that your data is set up properly. For any subsequent organizational charts that you make with that same data, it will not be necessary to click Check Data unless the underlying data has changed.

Check Data Button

Create org chart

When you click the Create Chart button, BigPicture creates the org chart and performs any requested calculations. By default, the chart shows the root (CEO) and the first level of supervisors.

NOTE: The example shown here does not contain a filter.

Expand (or collapse) any section of the chart

You can click any of the green expand buttons to follow the org structure beneath a supervisor. (See #1) You can then click any of the red collapse buttons to collapse any part of this. (See #2)

Expand (or collapse) any section of the chart

View calculations

You can click any of the buttons with summation signs to see results of calculations. Here are the results for Loretta Smith, for one of her subordinates, Amanda Nelson, and for an employee, Harold Cross, whom supervises no one. Note that each person's own salary is listed, along with any rollup summaries.

View calculations

View information from markers

You can click any of the other "note" markers to see extra information. Here is the annual review summary for June Peters.

View information from markers

Modifying the chart

If you would like a different org chart based on the same data set, you can go back into the Org Chart dialog and change the settings. For example, you may want to add a different Marker or display a different summary statistic, or maybe someone received a promotion and the hierarchy of you organization has changed. After you make your changes to the data and/or to the org chart settings, click on the Create Chart button (See #1), you will be asked whether you want to overwrite the current chart or create a new chart (on a new worksheet). (See #2) You can choose either option.

If you are only changing the data values associated with the chart such as a name change, salary change, etc., BigPicture does the work for you. When you make any changes to the underlying data values, there is no need to create a new chart, the data changes will be reflected in the chart instantly.