The A-Z Guide to Data Analytics and Visualization in Confluence

Making the most out of your data doesn’t have to be complex. Learn how to do it all from the comfort of your wiki.

Why Is Data Important to Your Business?

Businesses that continue—and will continue—to survive and succeed in today’s fast-paced world are businesses that know how to work with data. These businesses are more commonly known as data-driven businesses. Each team in your organization, no matter how big or small, is sitting on volumes of data waiting to be harvested. When you find a way to not only collect data, but use data to draw intelligence and discover new insights about your operations, you can be sure that your business is more likely to succeed than your competitors. If you’re wondering what’s the best way to start, data analytics and data visualization are your answers.

  • A report by Forrester affirmed this; data-driven businesses grow at an average of more than thirty percent (30%) annually.

  • Additionally, fifty-nine percent (59%) of businesses use comprehensive data capabilities to make better decisions and improve business performance.

  • Citing McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven businesses are:

    • Twenty-three times (23x) more likely to acquire customers,
    • Six times (6x) as likely to retain customers,
    • Nineteen times (19x) as likely to be profitable as a result.

According to Project Management Institute (PMI), “Project management is the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to deliver something of value to people.”

What Is Data Analytics?

Data analytics refers to the process and the tools used for analyzing datasets in order to gain insights and intelligence, which can then be leveraged to drive business decisions.


You have collected data on your newsletter performance. Now, to make sense of how your audience is interacting with your emails, you need to analyze the data to look for behavioral patterns. So, if the data tells you that your audience is not opening your newsletters, then your next step could be improving the email subject line.

The more comprehensive the tools you use, the more in-depth the data analysis will be; consequently, the more definitive businesses can be in their decision-making. One of the most commonly trusted data analysis tools is the good ol’ Excel.

What Is Data Visualization?

Data visualization refers to the use of graphics and illustrations to represent data and information. The types of visualization include:

  • Graphs
  • Tables
  • Dashboards
  • Charts
  • Maps
  • Histograms

The tools used for data visualization help turn raw or unorganized data into comprehensible insights and intelligence. By using visualizations, your data becomes a more accessible and amiable reference point for all that consume it.

Like data analytics, one of the most basic tools used for business data visualization is Excel.


If you need a quick way to communicate the benefits your solution offers to your client’s bottom line, then an infographic can do the trick. If you want to communicate revenue growth across your organization, then a line or bar graph would be appropriate.

What Are the Differences Between Data Analysis and Visualization?

The table below shows the differences between data analysis and visualization.

Data Analytics

Data Visualization

Definition The process of analyzing data to draw insights and gain intelligence. The process of using graphical elements to represent data for greater tangibility. This can come after data analysis.
Goals To make sense of any business data and drive better decision-making processes. To help communicate business data more efficiently and capture the big picture in business story-telling.
Use case
  • Big data analytics
  • Business reporting
  • Project reporting
  • Knowledge management
  • Technical documentation
  • Big data analytics
  • Business reporting
  • Knowledge management
  • Technical documentation
  • Project management
  • Content development
  • Operational management
Capabilities in Confluence Very limited but can be expanded using the right Marketplace apps. Basic table capabilities are offered together with a number of charts that can be created using Jira issue data.

Download this free table for your reference by clicking here.

Why Should Businesses Leverage Data Analysis and Visualization Capabilities?

Having the right data analysis and visualization capabilities can help set you apart from your competitors because not only do you have the means to work with your data, but you also have the leverage to scale your operations more effectively.

Other benefits are as follows:

  • You can identify relationships between your independent data effectively to draw new insights and intelligence.

  • You can make more informed decisions about your next steps; this applies to decisions made on the organizational and departmental level.

  • You can improve your operational strategies as you know what has worked and what hasn’t.

  • You can enhance project management efficiencies as team members can turn project insights into actionable goals.

  • You can help your team members to stay aligned with project timelines using comprehensive data visuals.

  • You can improve productivity and revenue growth because your data tells stories about how your teams are doing.

  • You can be more alert to changing market conditions and buyer behavior, allowing you to respond effectively.

In the long run, you can positively impact your bottom line by enabling your teams to continuously make improvements based on first-hand insights.

While it’s important to have the right talents in your company who don’t only understand data but know how to work with data, you also need to make sure that they have the right tools to use to perform analysis and visualization.

This brings us back to Confluence.

Is Confluence Equipped with Data Analytics and Visualization Capabilities?

Yes, but mainly, no.

To say that Confluence is “equipped” with data visualization and data analytics capabilities is quite a stretch. As a highly renowned collaboration and knowledge management tool, Confluence does enable users to create and scale wikis to support various business needs. You can also store your data in Confluence easily.

Unfortunately, as you scale your business, managing volumes of data isn’t going to be that easy, considering that Confluence’s table function alone is limited.

Limitations of Confluence

While you can document and store your data in your wiki, you cannot manipulate it or perform analytics as the capabilities are nearly non-existent.

On the other hand, you can create charts and graphs from scratch in Confluence, but the process itself is pretty manual, and you have to fill up numerous fields on the sidebar just to create one type of chart.

Needless to say, in-depth reporting capabilities are out of the question here. You can, however, create visual data representations of your Jira issues and analyze them to some extent—but that’s as far as you can go.

In other words, Confluence meets the bare minimum needs when it comes to data visualization and analytics.

How to Address the Limitations of Data Analytics and Visualization Capabilities in Confluence?

Let’s go through the most common solutions that most Confluence users resort to in addressing the limitations of Confluence.

Common Solutions

  • Microsoft Excel

    • Various analytics and computing formulas available
    • Numerous analytics and visualization functions at hand
    • Enables in-depth analysis and reporting
    • Highly visual graphs and charts
  • Google Sheets

    • Slightly less variety of analytics and computing formulas available
    • Considerable analytics and visualization functions at hand
    • Enables in-depth analysis and reporting
    • Highly visual graphs and charts
  • Secondary Data Analytics and Visualization Tools

    • Plotly, Tableau, Presto, and Trifecta are among secondary tools available to try
    • Might require subscription or available at a fee
    • More automated analytics and visualization functions

The downside is that all of these tools force you to leave Confluence and to constantly switch screens to get any work done.

Not to mention all the back-and-forth needed to ensure information on Confluence and these tools are updated to reflect the latest revision. This isn’t only tedious, but also an error-prone process.

It’s also unlikely that you can give up one for the other as neither of the data visualizations and analytics tools above support knowledge management nor collaboration processes.

A more fitting—and effective—solution here is to leverage Excel capabilities directly from within Confluence.

How to Leverage Excel’s Data Analytics and Visualization Capabilities in Confluence?

Two key solutions that enable you to combine the powers of Excel with Confluence are the following:

Excel-like Tables for Confluence

This app is basically a replica of Excel, but it exists within the environment of Confluence. It can meet your data analytics and visualization needs the way Excel or Google Sheets would—except that you don’t have to sacrifice convenience, adaptability, ease of use, and single source of truth (SSoT).

Exhibit A

Access the app by inserting its macro from any page across your wiki. It has the same look and feel as Excel, so the learning curve is minimal.

Exhibit B

Use the spreadsheets to capture your data, create pivot tables, or even draw out graphs and charts.

Exhibit C

You’d have access to all Excel analytical functions and spreadsheet features at the tip of your finger. Perform simple data analytical functions like filtering and sorting your data. Meet your more complex needs by performing extensive calculations using over 450 formulas available in the app.

Exhibit D

If you plan on moving your previous datasets from Microsoft Excel, you can simply import your spreadsheets into the app.

Exhibit E

Need to share the spreadsheet with team members residing outside of Confluence instead? Simply export your file in PDF, JSON, or .xlsx format.
Excel-like Tables for Confluence

Excel-like Tables for Confluence

Key Features

  • Excel-like functions
    • 450 formulas available (include web functions)
    • Pivot table
    • Charts
    • Graphs
    • Shapes
    • Calculate
    • Filter
  • Integrated with Confluence
    • Choose from global and space templates
    • Searchable via CQL
    • Configure app interface in page view mode
  • Export / Import
    • Complete support for importing and exporting Excel files(.xlsx)
    • PDF export
    • JSON (import and export)
  • Feature update log access

Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence

If your needs are heavier on the visualization side and you’re looking for something that can support visual project planning and management in Confluence, then Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence is the app for you.

Unlike Excel-like Tables for Confluence, which is more holistic and full-featured, the Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence caters to users who need a comprehensive timeline management and work planning tool. Its functions mirror those of Microsoft Project.

Exhibit A

You can access the app by inserting its macro from any page across your wiki. Search for “Gantt” for a quicker app launch experience.

Exhibit B

Establish a timeline for your Gantt chart by setting your project start date. You also have the option to hide weekends or holidays on the Gantt.

Exhibit C

Fill up your Gantt by inserting your project tasks. Each task will be represented by a bar on the chart side which you can extend, narrow, or slide across to dictate its duration and start/end date.

Exhibit D

Easily establish your dependencies by indenting your tasks and dragging and dropping the bars on the chart. It allows you to have greater control over your planning and you use the chart as a central point of reference for project progress.

Exhibit E

Allocate resources effectively by assigning your tasks to the relevant users. You can even decide the number of units the assignee will take on.

Exhibit F

Need a more comprehensive overview of your Gantt? Configure what is shown on your Gantt chart by enabling features like resource view, critical path, progress lines, and baselines.

Exhibit G

Once you’re done editing your Gantt, simply save the chart or export it in CSV format so that you can access it in Excel, Google Sheets, Jira, and more.
Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence

Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence

Key Features

    • Work breakdown structure
    • Auto schedule calculation
    • Dependencies (4 types, lag/lead settable)
    • Resource allocation
    • Working calendar
    • Columns customization
    • Localization
    • Baseline
    • Undo/Redo
    • Copy/Paste tasks
    • Chart bar coloring
    • Task notes
    • Rollup tasks
    • Progress line
    • Critical Paths
    • Filter tasks
    • Sharable format export
    • Import MS Project file
    • CSV export to import Gantt chart into spreadsheets or Jira Version history

Mastering Data Literacy from the Comfort of Your Confluence

While the hiccups a limited Confluence can bring to a business is undeniable, there’s no reason that your team should stay limited and held back by tedious practices just to gain access to data visualization and analytics capabilities.

You have a comprehensive team workspace on one hand and teams waiting to be empowered with data. All that’s left is to take your wiki a step further by equipping it with the necessary data management tools.

Ready to supercharge your teams with data analytics and data visualization capabilities?

Excel-like Tables for Confluence
Excel-like Tables for Confluence
Try It Now
Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence
Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence
Try It Now