How to Visualize External Data on SharePoint Charts and Lists?

How to Visualize External Data on SharePoint Charts and Lists?

The data visualization market is expected to reach a value of nearly $20 billion by 2031.

  • Allied Market Research

Viewing and understanding data is more critical in an increasingly data-driven business world than ever. Visualizing voluminous data enables organizations to make better business decisions and catalyze growth. Not too long ago, data visualization was a nice asset for organizations, but not anymore! The present-day shift for organizations, wherein organizational decision-making is increasingly reliant on vital data, has made data visualization an essential aspect of organizations’ operations. Before delving deeper into the matter, let us discuss some basics.

What is Data Visualization, and why is it important?

Data visualization refers to the graphical representation of information and data. This technique enables users to classify and organize data in different categories and sub-categories, making it easier for them to break down voluminous data and make it understandable for even non-technical audiences. Visual elements such as graphs, charts, maps, etc., enable users to understand patterns in the data and identify market trends. Some other significant reasons why organizations should visualize data are:

  • Data Democratization: Ensures that every employee, regardless of their technical background, can access and work around the data whenever required.
  • Revealing Fundamental Values: Helps organizations glean valuable insights from scattered, voluminous data. Data visualization helps the management understand the fundamental values of data. 
  • Identify Patterns: Enables business users to recognize relationships and patterns between historical data, giving it greater meaning. 
  • Faster Decision-making: Empowers the stakeholders to glean analytical insights, act on them and accelerate decision-making.

Why Visualize Data on SharePoint?

Data visualization tools enable organizations to visualize data and reap maximum benefits from their data. They are versatile, easy to use, and allow users to visualize data in various ways according to their business needs. While many Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software (COTS) data visualization tools are available in the market, not each one is suitable for every business. Organizations leveraging SharePoint as their document management and collaboration engine can leverage the platform to visualize their SharePoint and external data. Such an approach enables the maximization of SharePoint ROI and reduces costs.

However, the only challenge with visualizing data on SharePoint is the time-consuming and cost-intensive process involved in creating SharePoint custom apps and dashboards. Customizing and developing SharePoint apps, when done the traditional way, requires long hours of complex coding and the expertise of SharePoint developers. In most projects, there is a considerable gap between the expectations of business users and what the SharePoint developer delivers. This mismatch in expectations leads to further delays in custom app creation. This is one of the major reasons organizations cannot leverage SharePoint sufficiently as their data visualization platform. However, the rise of No-code solutions has delivered a feasible way for organizations. 

No-code Solutions to Visualize Data on SharePoint

In the past few years, No-code solutions have penetrated the realm of SharePoint app development and altered the existing edifice. This development approach has mitigated the roadblocks organizations faced with the traditional SharePoint development approach.

No-code solutions allow business users to leverage their knowledge to build impactful SharePoint solutions and visualize data on SharePoint without coding or IT dependence. This has significantly reduced the costs and complexities involved in a SharePoint custom app development project. No-code tools enable users to build solutions rapidly with point-and-click configuration and pre-built templates. As a result, solution development timelines can be reduced by up to 80%, allowing an organization to keep up with the dizzying pace of technology development.

Visualize Data from SharePoint Lists and External Sources with QuickApps (On-premise)

QuickApps (on-premise) is an innovative No-code platform that enables business users to customize their SharePoint environment and visualize data seamlessly. It comes with a suite of 21 powerful web apps that make it easier for users to aggregate data from multiple sources and present it in an impactful format without needing custom coding. Some of its popular web apps that help in data aggregation and visualization are:


qListView web app empowers SharePoint users to classify, filter, and view SharePoint data in relevant and meaningful ways without writing a single line of code. Users can roll up information from multiple SharePoint lists, sites, site collections, and web applications. Features include:

  • Helps customize the look and feel using pre-packaged skins or creating a custom skin.
  • Exports aggregated data into Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PDF, or CSV formats.
  • Configures parent-child relationships in a two-level hierarchical list view.
  • Creates complex filters and sort list view data in meaningful ways.
  • Delivers unlimited grouping capabilities.
  • Enables point-and-click roll-up of data in multiple lists.

qChartView allows users to quickly create visually compelling SharePoint charts and dashboards with dynamic filtering, drill-down reporting, and a rich user experience. Given that there is no native chart web app in SharePoint, QuickApps’ chart solution is ideal for BI and dashboard scenarios. Its features include:

  • Aggregates chart data from multiple SharePoint lists, sites, site collections, and web applications.
  • Customizes chart elements, such as fonts, labels, backgrounds, canvas, logos, and tool tips.
  • Delivers an assortment of 40-plus chart types to satisfy a wide range of visual, BI, and dashboard requirements.
  • Filters values from other QuickApps web apps that allow for powerful dashboard capabilities.

qSIListView enables business users to aggregate organizational data stored in third-party databases and display it on SharePoint dashboards as SharePoint lists.


qSIChartView enables business users to aggregate organizational data stored in third-party databases such as Oracle or Salesforce and display it on SharePoint dashboards as compelling 3-D charts.

QuickApps, when integrated with SharePoint, immensely improve the capability of business users and other knowledge workers to represent data with impactful visualizations. Take QuickApps (on-premise) 30-day free trial to visualize external data on SharePoint and realize the actual value of data.