Parallel coordinates visualization

Parallel coordinates visualizations visualize and analyze high-dimensional data sets.

About this task

For more information about the parallel coordinates custom visualization sample on IBM Accelerator Catalog, see

Use this type of visualization to plot multivariate, numerical data. Parallel coordinates visualizations are ideal for comparing many variables together and seeing the relationships between them. For example, comparing gross sales across different years.

To view the source code and packed bundle (.zip file) for the population sample custom visualization, go to this public GitHub repository. To download the files, navigate to the root of this directory and click Clone or download.

Parallel coordinates visualizations are supported as of IBM® Cognos® Analytics with Watson 11.1.7

Note: This example was created for advanced custom visualization developers. It is a code sample with specific requirements and does not include all the features, interactivity, and properties of an out-of-the-box Cognos visualization. It is intended to provide a baseline for developers to extend their visualizations. If you are not an advanced visualization developer, Cognos Analytics already delivers a full set of fully-featured and powerful visualizations that are ready to use.

For more information about custom visualizations, see Developing custom visualizations. For an excellent tutorial to get you started, see Custom visualizations - tutorial.

There are two ways to use the custom visualization:
  • You can download the packed bundle (.zip file) and upload it directly into IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson.
  • You can download the source code to create your own version of it to pack and upload into Cognos Analytics.

The following steps demonstrate how to use the parallel coordinates visualization and populate it with data.


  1. Create a dashboard and click the Visualization Change visualization icon icon in the toolbar.
  2. Click the Custom tab.
    If there are no custom visuals available, then you can add a custom visual by clicking the Add a custom visual Add a custom visual icon on the Custom tab.
  3. From the Custom visuals, select the parallel coordinates visualization.
  4. Create the parallel coordinates visualization by dragging the following data items from Samples > By industry > Retail > Data > Coffee sales and marketing in the Sources pane Data icon:
    • From the Sales Receipts table, drag Quantity, Sales, and Staff Count by Store onto the Value field.
    • Drag the measure group from the Color field onto the Coordinates field.
    • From the Sales Outlet table, drag Store onto the Color field.
    Parallel coordinates custom visualization