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5 Ways Heatmaps Can Answer Your Business Questions

Heatmaps make it easy to spot patterns in large datasets. The use of colors can quickly highlight areas of high or low values, allowing you to identify trends and outliers in your data.

Heatmap charts are highly flexible and can be used to display a wide variety of data types. They can be used for anything from tracking sales data, to visualizing website traffic! This versatility means that heatmap charts can support many different kinds of teams to monitor a wide variety of projects. 

In this blog, we provide a quick guide to the different kinds of heatmaps in no particular order, and provide an example business question and answer to illustrate how it could be used. 

Standard heatmaps

The standard heatmap can display a measure over two categorical variables. Advanced heatmaps, like the one below, can also show another measure through size. 

Standard heat map built in Astrato

    1. Business question: What brand/product combinations generate the most revenue?
    2. Answer: We can quickly spot the brand/product combinations that bring in the most revenue (bright pink color) and even which sell the most quantity (largest size).

Cohort retention chart

A cohort retention chart is a powerful tool to measure customer retention over time. By dividing customers into cohorts based on their sign-up date or another relevant event, you can track their retention rate over time and identify trends.

For instance, if you observe a decline in retention rate for a particular cohort, you may need to investigate the root cause and take corrective actions to improve customer satisfaction.

Cohort heat map built in Astrato

      1. Business question: Which cohorts have lost the most customers? 
      2. Answer: The August and December cohorts seem to be having trouble. We should investigate those cohorts further.

Scatterplot Heatmaps

A heatmap chart that displays information from a scatterplot can help identify patterns, especially in cases where a traditional scatterplot has ‘overplotting’, which means there are so many data points that the plot is obscured.

You can use the heatmap to identify the areas in the scatterplot where most of the data points are concentrated and how the distribution changes across different ranges of the variables.

Scatter heat map built in Astrato

        1. Business question: What trends are in my data?
        2. Answer: There is a positive relationship between these measures, and there are a couple of clusters in the data. 


A correlogram is a chart that displays the correlation between different variables. It is useful when you want to identify the strength and direction of the relationship between variables. In this example, the size displays the strength and the color displays the direction of the relationship. 

Correlogram heat map built in Astrato

          1. Business question: How are the recent survey questions related to each other?
          2. Answer: I can quickly spot strong correlations between Questions 1, 2, and 3. Asking all three may give redundant information. 

Time-Parting Heatmaps

A Time-Parting Heatmap shows the distribution of data over time and is divided into different time segments. Each segment represents a specific time period, such as an hour of the day, a day of the week, or a month of the year.

By dividing the data into time segments, it helps to identify patterns and trends in the data.

Time light heat map built in Astrato

            1. Business question: When is web traffic the highest?
            2. Answer: We can spot an increase in web traffic in the morning and evening, with Sunday being an outlier. 

Use Heatmaps to Answer Your Business Questions

In summary, heatmaps can be used to support business answer a wide range of business questions because they make it easy to spot patterns in large datasets. Astrato is a low-code framework that enables users to build powerful data visualisations that actively drive better business decisions. To try Astrato for free, sign up here