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Creating KPI dashboards by connecting Visio to a SharePoint List

This is a great way to visually represent data in SharePoint 2013 list for both On Prem and On Line.  To begin, open Visio 2013.  Go to the Data tab and click Link Data to Shapes button.  In the Data Selector dialog, select Microsoft SharePoint Foundation List.   Click Next and specify the site that contains the list.  Click Next and select the list, click Next, then Finish.
You now have an External Data list at the bottom of the Visio drawing.


Place objects on the drawing surface to represent items in the list.  Enter the name that will correspond to the name in the list.  For instance, enter a value in the Network Name of the object’s Shape Data.  The name should correspond to the Network Name in the External Data list.  This provides the metadata that will be used to link the object to the list.

We can now automatically link the objects to the list items.  Click the Automatically Link button in the Data tab.  In the Automatically Link dialog, select All Shapes on this page, then click Next.  To automatically link the row to the shape, select Network Name in both the Data Column and the Shape Field.


Click Next, then Finish.  Your objects in the diagram are now linked to the External Data Rows.

To display meaningful KPIs for the objects, define a graphic by selecting the Data Graphic button, on the Data tab.  In the dialog that pops up, click on the New Item button.  In the New Item dialog, select the appropriate data field that the KPI is based on, and select an icon that will represent the KPI.  Enter the value for each of the icon styles that will be used.

Click OK.  Returning back to the diagram, you’ll see the icons displayed on each object.

You can now save the Visio diagram to a SharePoint document library and render it in a Visio Web Access web part on a SharePoint page.