Visualize Elements on the Matrix Visualization

Use the matrix visualization in Explorer to visualize your innovation portfolio of Technologies, Ideas, or Projects.

🎓 Matrix Visualizations in Portfolio Management

Scatter and bubble charts use a simple two-axis-layout to position items such as investments or projects in a portfolio along important dimensions for evaluation. Matrix visualizations add the idea of defining areas on the canvas that represent an important categorization or recommended actions.

One of the best known examples is the growth-share-matrix that shows products or product lines according to their market growth rate and their market share, and categorizes them into Stars, Question Marks, Cash Cows and Dogs, indicating to the portfolio manager which products should be kept, monitored or discontinued.

For innovation ideas or opportunities, a common configuration plots the potential of an idea against its risk or the challenge of implementation, giving a rough indication whether an idea is Questionable, a Quick Win, Gold Mine, or Moon Shot.

How to Read the Matrix Visualization

On the matrix visualization, each bubble represents one or more pieces of content or knowledge. These are called Elements within the ITONICS software (1). For Technology or Idea Portfolios, the bubbles represent Technologies or Ideas, respectively.

If several Elements fall into the same categorization, they are grouped together and the number of Elements is displayed (2), e.g., 15 Technologies have a medium Complexity and a high Potential Impact. Clicking on such a grouping will show you all the Elements within.


Elements’ positions and visual appearance are based on how you and your colleagues categorize and rate them. ITONICS provides Technologies that have been carefully evaluated by the ITONICS analysts as part of the standard software package. While this is a great starting point, it is extremely important that you evaluate all Elements with respect to your own company’s context. Similarly, you and your colleagues would rate Ideas that you add to the software.

Selecting different Properties for the axes (3), will automatically re-arrange the Elements. Areas of the matrix visualization can be toggled using the controls in the toolbar (4). The positioning of an Element provides guidance on how to appropriately respond, for example, whether to ignore a Technology, observe it, or actively start to research it.

Working with the Matrix Visualization

In addition to the two axes, you can configure the matrix visualization to visually represent other relevant information using the Color and Halo dimensions. Note that groups of Elements will be ringed by a colorful donut chart that is representative of the Elements within.

💡 Pro-tip: To keep the chart readable and allow your colleagues to concentrate on the most important information, consider using only one of the secondary dimensions at any time, e.g., use the Color dimension if you want to show a secondary categorization, such as the Technology Readiness Level, or utilize the Halo dimension to represent a rating criterion, such as Scope or Risk.

Once you have found a configuration of the matrix that suits your needs and conveys an insightful message, save it as a matrix Preset for you and your colleagues to continuously monitor.

If you want to add custom dropdowns and rating criteria that fit your use case better, consider the Element Configuration from the ITONICS Professional tier.

💡 Pro-tip: If you and your colleagues have added a lot of Elements to a Workspace, the matrix visualization can become quite difficult to read, as there will be more groups of Elements. Thus, consider narrowing down the content using filters to really focus on a subset of relevant Elements.

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