Visualizing Jira Data in Confluence

March 15, 2016
11 min

Using Atlassian Confluence in junction with Jira has become a norm that more and more companies follow while doing their business every day. This is determined by the integration capabilities available between JIRA and Confluence.

Jira is equipped with a robust reporting engine that allows you to generate different charts and graphs visualizing overall progress on the project, perform of individual developers and the team as a whole. But is it possible to do in Confluence? When you need to show this information to your boss you will ask this question to yourself?

Two Solutions… Different Approaches

You have two solutions, which one to choose you will determine for yourself after reading this blog post. So stop talking, let’s rock.

By default, Jira is bundled with the Jira Issues macro that allows you to output the table with Jira issues on the basis of the manually specified JQL query or by using the saved JIRA filter. But getting the table with entries is not so convenient as to get a chart showing this information in this maximally simplified view. So what you can do with this? No worry, there are two solutions that will help you get what you need.

The first solution, is Jira Chart macro which allows you to output charts and graphs onto Confluence pages. It is pretty simple and works on the basis of JQL queries or saved filters.

The other solution is the bundle of macros within Table Filter and Charts for Confluence add-on. It works with the Jira Issues macro and allows you to filter issues, summarize or aggregate against the specific parameter and then generate a chart on the basis of this data.

So, let’s see what capabilities they can offer to you.

Mastering Jira Chart Macro

So, what are your first steps with this macro? You need to insert it on the page. This can be done through entry of the {Jira Charts} query in the appropriate place on the page or by manual insertion through the Insert menu.

Once it done, you need to edit the macro and select the type of chart you want to display on the page.

Pie Chart allows you to view the correlation of Jira issues by some parameter. You can select the appropriate parameter among the available ones. So, you can view the ratio of issues by assignee, project, component, reporter, resolution, sprint, priority and a set of other parameters. Optionally, you can set the width of the chart, enable the border or enable display of the chart information.

Created vs Resolved chart allows you to trace the correlation between created and resolved issues aggregated by the appropriate period of time. Additionally, you can enable the cumulative data reporting to see the entire project evolvement or view individual tasks by period. You can also enable the trend of unresolved issues, include all versions or only major versions.

Two Dimensional chart provides you with the table data grouped by two parameters. You can set the appropriate parameter for X and Y axes.

Once you save the page with the macros, you will get the charts that are automatically updated upon each reload of the page.

Management of the Jira Issues macro is pretty simple and does not require any special skills. Meanwhile this macro is not flexible and provides a limited set of capabilities that may not be enough for efficient work with JIRA issues.

Manipulating Table Filter and Charts Add-on

Our second candidate is Table Filter and Charts add-on comprised of the three macros, as follows:

  • Table Filter – you can use it to filter table data created manually in Confluence or outputted by other macros or add-ons. It supports the Jira Issues macro, so we will be able to filter Jira issues by some parameter without the continuous editing the macro body.
  • Pivot Table – this macro will help us to summarize issues or aggregate them against some parameter. We will use it to calculate issues grouped by some parameter and get a table data that we will further visualize with the chart.
  • Chart from Table – this macro can be applied for generating charts and graphs on the basis of table data.

Just to reveal the full potential of the add-on, we will combine all these three macros into a single mechanism and will see what it can offer to its end users.

So what do we start with?

First of all, you need to add the Jira issues macro on the page and put it within the junction of the Chart from Table, Pivot Table and Table Filter macros. For correct processing of the dates, you need to define the appropriate date format in the settings of the Chart from Table macro, and that’s done.

When you save the page, you will get a page similar to the one displayed. Now you can proceed to visualization of your Jira issues with the available tools.

For example, you want to view the distribution of created tasks that were resolved within the specific time for the project Table Filter and Charts. What we do?

We add the dropdown filter by project, date range filters by creation and resolution dates. For the pivot table, we switch to the Created column containing dates and switch our chart to the Time Area type. And that’s done!

You can quickly and easily switch the parameters for all the macros, add new filters or apply new filtration parameters to your data. For example, you can find out the most active issue reporters for a specific project within some period of time and show their number of issues in the form of the bar chart.

Optionally, you can manage the look of the outputted chart, set the range of minimal or maximal values for showing in the chart, set the alignment, add the labels and other augmentations.

This combination of macros allows you to manipulate your Jira issues in the way you want it. You can quickly and easily apply filtration, switch to the required data set and perform all these actions in the page view mode. You can quickly and easily save all the changes in the macro bodies without a necessity to switch the page to the edit mode.

This significantly reduces your time on routine tasks and allows you to increase your efficiency.

Which Solution to Choose?

The choice is up to you. It mainly depends on the frequency you switch to different data sets of your Jira issues. If you configure it once and preserve the same settings, so the native Jira Issues macro will be enough for you. If you continuously switch between different data types, need filtration by specific parameters and want to do this in the page view mode to see all the updates, so, Table Filter and Charts add-on will be your choice.