Tag Archives: continuousscale

Visualizing customer profitability with a whale curve

Do you know if your customers are profitable? All of them? Performing Customer Profitability Analysis can answer these questions and give you some amazing, and sometimes counter-intuitive, insights into your customers’ contribution to your bottom line.

This post describes one of the visualizations that you can create once you possess accurate data* on the profitability of your customers: the whale curve.

In a whale curve, customers are ranked by profitability, from highest to lowest, on the X-axis while their accumulated profit is plotted on the Y-axis. The curve that results can, with some imagination, be said to look like a whale coming out of the water. An example of a whale curve chart is shown below.

Whale curve example

When you look at this chart, you may notice that the top 200 customers generate the bulk of the profit.  You may also notice that the you are losing serious money on the bottom 100 customers and that the customers in the middle are more or less break-even.

Read on to learn how to create a whale curve in QlikView. Even if you’re not interested in creating a whale curve, you might still want to read on to learn more about the rank function and the continuous x-axis. read more »