How to Create an Organizational Chart From a Database


An organizational chart is an important tool to exhibit the structure and hierarchy of an organization. Creating one used to be a difficult task that no assistant wanted to undertake, but that's no longer the case. Microsoft Visio is a leading diagramming program. Using Visio's Organization Chart Wizard, you can easily convert an employee database into a fully formatted organizational chart.

  • Use an Open Database Connectivity-compliant database such as Microsoft Access. The University of Houston indicates that Microsoft Visio requires this file format. Your database should contain a unique employee identifier such as an employee number. The file should also list the first and last name of each employee, along with the name of her supervisor. Close the database file once you have confirmed that it contains this information.

  • Start Microsoft Visio. Once the program loads, you will see the Visio start-up screen. To launch the Organization Chart Wizard, click "File > New > Business > Organization Chart Wizard."

  • Choose how the wizard will obtain your chart information. Press the radio button labeled "Information that's already stored in a file or database" and press "Next." On the following screen, pick "An ODBC-compliant data source" and click "Next" again. Then choose "MS Access Database" and click "Browse" to navigate to your database file. Press "Open" and then "Next."

  • Select the appropriate table. Match the column headings of your database to the "Name" and "Reports T" fields for your organizational chart. From the "Name" menu, select the column that contains the employee names. From the "Reports To" menu, choose the column that lists each employee's supervisor.

  • Choose the fields for "Employee Name" and "Reports to." Click "Next" to view the "Data file columns" and "Displayed fields" scroll boxes. Here you can pick the data to show in your chart. To add information to display, select the fields you want and click "Add." To remove information, choose the fields you do not want and click "Remove."

  • Rearrange the order in which the information will display. Choose the fields you want to move and click "Up" or "Down." Then indicate whether you want to link or copy the data. Once you are done, click "Next" and select "Finish" to see your completed organizational chart.


  • Photo Credit process flow image by Christopher Hall from
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