Sparkline support

I'm new to Domo and loving it so far. Apart from data exploration, I've also got a stack of mock ups of target visualizations from stakeholders. They're open to alternative designs, but I'm stumbed trying to find an alternative to "sparklines". Below is a typical example of a sparkline from



Like so many things, Ed Tufte invented/promoted this chart type. In our case, there would be a ton of uses for "tiny unadorned charts." They follow Tufte's rules for "multiple miniatures" to good result, they make the table more engaging, and they pack a lot more data into a small space than any numeric presentation can hope for.


I'd guess that the place to ask for a sparkline would be on Sumo Cards? Given that Sumo Cards can pull in Excel files directly without the Data Center, that's probably a good match for the users looking for sparklines. Trust me, I don't love Excel for graphing (I don't even like it) but, in this case, they did the right thing to popularize sparklines around 2010.


Sparklines would really help us to show change over time amongst departments and divisions. It would be great! And, unlike some more exotic chart types, business users tend to already grasp what sparklines are. 


Thank you.

5 votes

· Last Updated


  • This would be very useful. 


    I try and check the release notes every time there's a new Domo version to see what's new and improved. I was very excited to see spark lines and spark bars announced. Yes! Unfortunately, they're a total disappointment. I posted about this over on the Card Building forum:


    The new spark line and bar chart types. What's the point?


    ...and got a reply suggesting that this topic is a better fit for the Ideas forum. So I'm back here updating an existing feature request for spark line support. 


    I feel bad sounding harsh since the folks at Domo are so nice but, in this case, Domo dropped the ball. Domo still does not support spark lines or spark bars.  For review, a spark line or spark bar is a small, unadorned chart that is embedded in a larger information display. The idea is to show a trend visually without distractions. but in a context that supplies the missing details (scales, values, axis labels, etc.) The benefit of a spark line is that it highlights one thing in a larger context. Without the context, all you've got is a chart without enough information.


    Domo is getting it backwards. The benefit isn't that you're removing information from the chart, the benefit is that you're removing redundant detail from a dense information presentation. Without that larger context, all you've got is a bad chart. The little call-outs are nice, but also highlight the problem: The chart alone means nothing without mousing around over it.


    In practice, I don't think you should call these new chart types spark lines/bars. They're just less adorned variants of your existing bar and line graphs. Please add real sparks lines and bars.


    Domo normally does an excellent job of making it impossible to create garbage charts. For example, you don't allow plotting imaginary 3rd dimensions, don't go in for pointless chart adornments, and the like.


    Domo is quite powerful and is a great tool for painlessly producing attractive, accurate graphs of a wide variety. But as a graphing platform, the most fundamental missing feature is the ability to create comparative charts. You can assemble multiple charts on a page, but that's not the same as a table with sparks. Nor is it the same as real multiple miniatures. To make Domo a complete graphing platform, it needs to support linked comparative charts in a single presentation. Put another way, side-by-side charts on a card. And chart + data table in one view on a card. (Pie chart does this but, honestly, take out the pie and how much information do you lose? None.)


    Below are links to a few other suggestions for comparative chart types or modes:


    Small multiples for appropriate chart types

    Slope chart (slopegraph) support

    P.S. Is the limitation that you're using Canvas instead of SVG under the hood? Linked multiples are pretty natural with SVG and, obviously, a whole lot of rendering from scratch with Canvas.

  • Is it true that Domo is using Canvas instead of SVG?

    That would seem to be an unfortunate choice.

  • I don't want to spread bad information, so I'll emphasize that I haven't looked closely enough to know much of anything about how Domo builds charts. It's not D3, I can say that ? I asked earlier figuring someone would chime in with an answer. But, as you see, that didn't happen. I've had a quick look at what Domo generates on KPI pages, and the KPI area is within a Canvas. There's no obvious SVG generation taking place.


    Canvas and SVG both have their pros and cons, for sure. I'm more used to the merits of SVG, but Canvas has good points too. But for interactive, linked charts? SVG does seem like an easier tech to start from.

  • Look at what just hit my inbox today, some links to Custom Charts (maps):



    Upload an SVG and you can use it in Domo's mapping tools. Well, not just maps, but that's probably the most common case and the one they discuss the most. This isn't D3+TopoJSON, but still very cool!

  • I just wated the introductory video on Custom Maps and it's super impressive. As per usual, the video packs a ton of useful information into only a couple of minutes and is well worth watching. Very cool!

  • Spark charts also do not show dates on the X axis, this seems like a significant limitation since it does not support weekly/monthly reporting

This discussion has been closed.