Excel Charts, Graphs and Templates

Tutorials, Examples and explanations on Excel charting. You can learn how to create almost any chart type in this section. Also learn how to create effective charts, make them interactive and add automation thru VBA

How to create dynamic sparklines for latest 30 days [video]

How to create dynamic sparklines for latest 30 days [video]

Sparklines are fun and very insightful. They are easy to create, easy to maintain and fit into any dashboard.

But there is one tiny problem with them. Usually we have a lot of data, but we don’t to visualize all of it. We just want to visualize latest 30 days trend or last 12 months trend or QTD or something similar. What then?

In this video, learn a powerful and very simple way to create dynamic sparklines using Excel.



Shading an area chart with different colors for up & down movements [case study]

Shading an area chart with different colors for up & down movements [case study]

We all know that area charts are great for understanding how a list of values have changed over time. Today, let’s learn how to create an area chart that shows different colors for upward & downward movements.

The inspiration for this came from a recent chart published in Wall Street Journal about Chinese stock markets.

We will try to create a similar chart using Excel. We are going to create the above chart in Excel.

Looks interesting? Read on…



Please join 50 ways to analyze data course to become an awesome analyst

Please join 50 ways to analyze data course to become an awesome analyst

Hi friends & readers of Chandoo.org

I am very happy to invite you to our newest online class, 50 ways to analyze your data. This program is aimed to make you an awesome analyst, training you on vital skills like data analysis, data science, visualization of outputs, modeling business problems and finding best solutions.

Please click here to know more about this program & enroll.

What is this course?

50 Ways to analyze your data - an online course from Chandoo.org to make you a better analyst

It is the age of big data. Alas, what we need is big insights. But finding even small insights buried in our data is a hard task. To find the stories hidden in your data, you need to follow a process like this:

  1. Collect & clean data
  2. Structure the data
  3. Model business problems
  4. Analyze the data (or solve the problem)
  5. Visualize results
  6. Find conclusions
  7. Add layers of complexity to the problem
  8. Build what-if scenarios
  9. Reach conclusions
  10. Take action

This is where the 50 ways to analyze your data course. In this program, we analyze 50 familiar, important and diverse business situations using several of the above steps.

My goal is to make you say “YES” every-time your boss asks “Can you analyze this data and tell me what is going on?”



CP038: Data to Ink Ratio – What is it, How to optimize it, Techniques & Discussion

CP038: Data to Ink Ratio – What is it, How to optimize it, Techniques & Discussion

In the 38th session of Chandoo.org podcast, Let’s optimize data to ink ratio of your charts.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Announcements
  • What is Data to Ink Ratio?
  • Obvious ways to optimize Data to Ink Ratio
  • More ways to optimize Data to Ink ratio
  • Highlighting what is important
  • Conclusions


15 Quick & powerful ways to analyze business data

15 Quick & powerful ways to analyze business data

Here is a situation all too familiar.

You are looking at a spreadsheet full of data. You need to analyze and tell a story about it. You have little time. You don’t know where to start.

Today let me share 15 quick, simple & very powerful ways to analyze business data. Ready? Let’s get started.



CP036: How to do trend analysis using Excel?

CP036: How to do trend analysis using Excel?

In the 36th session of Chandoo.org podcast, Let’s follow the trend.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • A quick trip to down under
  • What is trend analysis
  • 4 types of common trends
    • linear
    • curve
    • cyclical
    • strange
  • Doing trend analysis in Excel – the process
  • How to use trend analysis results
  • Conclusions


Changing stubborn opinions with visualizations [case study]

Changing stubborn opinions with visualizations [case study]

We, analysts take pride in the fact that we tell stories. But what if you have a boss, client or colleague who wouldn’t buy the story?

This is a problem we face often. Let’s say your boss has stubborn opinion about something, like more advertising leads to more sales. You know the data doesn’t support this theory. But how do you change your boss’ mind?

Here is an interesting way, showcased in NY Times recently.



Narrating the story of change using Excel charts – case study

Narrating the story of change using Excel charts – case study

market-share-changes-over-time

Here are three questions you often hear from your boss:

  1. What changes are happening in our business and how do they look?
  2. Do you know how to operate this new coffee machine?
  3. Why does every list has 3 items?

Jokes aside, our urge to find change in environment predates cave drawing, slice bread and Tommy Lee Jones. So, today let’s examine a very effective chart that tells the story of change and re-create it in Excel.



Use arrow keys to select small, unreachable chart series [quick tip]

Use arrow keys to select small, unreachable chart series [quick tip]

Here is a fairly annoying problem.

Imagine a chart showing both sales & customer data. Sales numbers are large and customer numbers are small. So when you make a chart with both of these, selecting the smaller series (customers) becomes very difficult.

In such cases, you can use arrow keys – as shown above.



CP032: Rules for making legendary column charts

CP032: Rules for making legendary column charts

In the 32nd session of Chandoo.org podcast, let’s make legendary column charts.

What is in this session?

Column charts are everywhere. As analysts, we are expected to create flawless, strikingly beautiful & insightful column charts all the time. Do you know the simple rules that can help you create legendary column charts?

That is our topic for this podcast session.

In this podcast, you will learn

  • Few personal announcements
  • Rule 0: Start at zero
  • Rule 1: Sort the chart
  • Rule 2: Slap a title on it
  • Rule 3: Axis + grid-lines vs. Lables
  • Rule 4: Moderate formatting
  • Conclusions


Conditionally Format Chart Backgrounds

Conditionally Format Chart Backgrounds

Learn two techniques to conditionally format the background of a chart based on some external value.



Formatting shortcuts for keyboard junkies

Formatting shortcuts for keyboard junkies

A lot of analysts swear strong allegiance to keyboard shortcuts. But when it comes to formatting a spreadsheet, these shortcuts go for a toss as formatting is a mouse-heavy activity.

But we can use a few simple & effective shortcuts to zip through various day to day formatting tasks. Let me share my favorite formatting shortcuts.



Celebrate Holi with this colorful Excel file

Celebrate Holi with this colorful Excel file

Today is Holi, the festival of colors in India. It is a fun festival where people smear each other with colors, water balloons, tomatoes and sometimes rotten eggs. This year we wanted to play with only water guns, but kids vetoed that idea vehemently. So we ended up driving to my sister-in-law’s place to play with colors (there were no rotten eggs or tomatoes, thankfully).

Let me smear a few colors on you

I would love to splash a jug full of color water on you and say Happy Holi. But the internets have not advanced thus far. So I am going to give you the next best option.

An Excel workbook to play holi



Revenue vs. Commission growth – Getting the message across [BYOD]

Revenue vs. Commission growth – Getting the message across [BYOD]

Situation: Our commissions are growing way faster than revenues
Let’s say you are looking revenues & sales commissions of your company for last few years. The data looks like this:

revenue-growth-vs-commission-growth-data

And you want to highlight the fact that commissions are growing faster than revenues.

So you plot YoY growth rates for revenues & commissions.

Problem: The chart of YoY growth rates is not convincing

Take a look at the chart. It doesn’t convey the message that we want. At best it says “revenue growth is less than commission growth”

revenue-growth-vs-commission-growth-problem

How to convey the message “Commission growth is a problem for us”?



Please join 50 ways to analyze data course to become an awesome analyst

Please join 50 ways to analyze data course to become an awesome analyst

Hi friends & readers of Chandoo.org

I am very happy to invite you to our newest online class, 50 ways to analyze your data. This program is aimed to make you an awesome analyst, training you on vital skills like data analysis, visualization of outputs, modeling business problems and finding best solutions.

Please click here to know more about this program & enroll.

 

What is this course?

50 Ways to analyze your data - an online course from Chandoo.org to make you a better analyst

It is the age of big data. Alas, we need big insights. But finding even small insights buried in our data is a hard task. To find the stories hidden in your data, you need to follow a process like this:

  1. Collect & clean data
  2. Structure the data
  3. Model business problems
  4. Analyze the data (or solve the problem)
  5. Visualize results
  6. Find conclusions
  7. Add layers of complexity to the problem
  8. Build what-if scenarios
  9. Reach conclusions
  10. Take action

This is where the 50 ways to analyze your data course. In this program, we analyze 50 familiar, important and diverse business situations using several of the above steps.

My goal is to make you say “YES” every-time your boss asks “Can you analyze this data and tell me what is going on?”



CP029: Impress your boss with Excel charts – 6 step road map for you

CP029: Impress your boss with Excel charts – 6 step road map for you

In the 29th session of Chandoo.org podcast, let’s impress the boss with Excel charts.

What is in this session?

Many Excel charts live a short life. They spawn in an ambitious analyst’s spreadsheet. They go to boss with literally flying colors. The boss frowns, they disappear in to recycle bin.

Don’t curse your Excel charts with short life span.

Here is a 6 step road map to help you create awesome Excel charts, everytime.

That is our topic for this podcast session.

In this podcast, you will learn

  • Quick announcements about 50 ways & Einstein
  • 6 step road map for charting success
  • ONE: Dig your data
  • TWO: Validate insights
  • THREE: Pick charts that go well
  • FOUR: Add title & message
  • FIVE: Remove clutter
  • SIX: Prompt action
  • A real life example with road map in action
  • Resources for creating awesome charts


Doing Cost Benefit Analysis in Excel – a case study

Doing Cost Benefit Analysis in Excel – a case study

Imagine you are the in-charge of finance department at Hogwarts. So one fine day, while you are practicing the spells, Dumbledore walks in to your office and says, “Our electricity bills are way too high. As the muggles don’t accept wizard money, we have to find a way to reduce our power consumption.”

So you summoned the previous 12 month utility bills to examine energy consumption patterns, and pretty soon you realized that most of the electricity consumption is due to the light bulbs. You suddenly have a brilliant idea. Why not replace the light bulbs with a variety that consumes low power? A light bulb moment indeed.

Your next step is to figure out what varieties of light bulbs are out there. Fortunately this is easier than catching a snitch in a game of quidditch. A quick search revealed that there are 3 types of light bulbs:

  • Regular incandescent bulbs (the kind Hogwarts currently uses)
  • Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL)
  • Light Emitting Diode bulbs (LED)

Now your job is to do a cost benefit analysis of these options and pick one.



Creating In-cell charts with markers for average (or target) values

Creating In-cell charts with markers for average (or target) values

Today, lets talk about an interesting extension to the idea of in-cell charts. Adding average or target markers to the chart.

Adding a marker (like average or target or last year value) can enhance your charts greatly and provide more context. Lets understand how to add marker symbols to in-cell charts.



Download today – Introducing Excel Dashboard Templates from Chandoo.org

Download today – Introducing Excel Dashboard Templates from Chandoo.org

Friends and readers of Chandoo.org, my newest download, Excel Dashboard Templates are available for your consideration. Click here if you are ready to get them. Read on to know more.

What are Excel Dashboard Templates?

As the name suggests, these are ready to use Excel templates for creating awesome, informative, easy to understand & quick dashboards with your data. You just enter your data, set up few calculation options, decide how your dashboard should look & bingo, a beautiful & insightful dashboard will be created for you. These dashboards are optimized to look great, convey key information & prompt correct action.

Who should buy these templates?

Analysts, managers, reporting professionals, business owners & executives. These templates are designed to help anyone preparing Excel based dashboards, scorecards or KPI reports.

Benefits for you

  • Design awesome dashboards in minutes, not months: Don’t waste hours trying to figure out formulas, chart settings and layouts. Instead focus on what your users want, how your business works and use those insights to tell the ‘Excel Dashboard Template’ what you want. Save time and look awesome.
  • Accommodate change elegantly: People change. Businesses change. What your boss wanted last month is no longer what she wants today. So when someone asks you, “hmm, can you show me YTD data instead of last 13 months”, or “Can I see top 10 KPIs instead of all”, you just smile and tap a few clicks and bingo, the new dashboard will be ready. These templates are designed to handle change (data, requirements, design preferences and insights).
  • Beautiful & Informative: These templates are designed with a delicate balance of beauty & insight. Everything is seamlessly designed, perfectly aligned and precisely calculated so that you & your boss can focus on the insights & decisions. Time tested and well honored visualization principles & guidelines are observed thru-out the reports.
  • Built for starters, built for pros: Whether you are just starting with Excel or a seasoned pro, you can find the templates right up your alley. For advanced users, we have many customizations to whet your appetite. Want to build a custom calculation or include another type of sorting, you can do it by tinkering with ‘calculations’ sheet.


Ready to use Excel Dashboard Templates – Official Trailer

Ready to use Excel Dashboard Templates – Official Trailer

Hello folks,

Its almost ready. Our ready to use Excel dashboard templates are coming to a spreadsheet near you on November 13th.

Here is a teaser preview of the dashboards. Our own official trailer, rated A for awesome.

Watch it below:

http://youtu.be/2-TvjpEKf-o

(see it on our YouTube Channel, alternative link)

Excel Dashboard Templates – What are they?

As the name suggests, these a set of workbooks where you can key in your data, set up how you want the looks & bam, a beautiful, insightful, fun, easy to use dashboard pops right out. All in few minutes.

Here is how these templates can help you:

  • Design awesome dashboards in minutes, not months: Don’t waste hours trying to figure out formulas, chart settings and layouts. Instead focus on what your users want, how your business works and use those insights to tell the ‘Excel Dashboard Template’ what you want. Save time and look awesome.
  • Accommodate change elegantly: People change. Businesses change. What your boss wanted last month is no longer what she wants today. So when someone asks you, “hmm, can you show me YTD data instead of last 13 months”, or “Can I see top 10 KPIs instead of all”, you just smile and tap a few clicks and bingo, the new dashboard will be ready. These templates are designed to handle change (data, requirements, design preferences and insights).
  • Customize everything: Unlike a template set in stone, these are designed to let you customize almost every little aspect of the output, calculations and behavior.
  • Beautiful & Informative: These templates are designed with a delicate balance of beauty & insight. Everything is seamlessly designed, perfectly aligned and precisely calculated so that you & your boss can focus on the insights & decisions. Time tested and well honored visualization principles & guidelines are observed thru-out the reports.
  • Built for starters, built for pros: Whether you are just starting with Excel or a seasoned pro, you can find the templates right up your alley. For advanced users, we have many customizations to whet your appetite. Want to build a custom calculation or include another type of sorting, you can do it by tinkering with ‘calculations’ sheet.