All articles with 'charting principles' Tag

Display Alerts in Dashboards to Grab User Attention [Quick Tip]

Published on May 25, 2010 in Charts and Graphs
Display Alerts in Dashboards to Grab User Attention [Quick Tip]

Dashboards can be overwhelming with lots of details and context. A simple way to drag user’s attention to important stuff in the dashboard is to use alerts. See this example to understand what alerts mean. How to display alerts in Excel Dashboards? The easiest way to display alerts is to use Excel 2007’s Conditional Formatting […]

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Excel Links – Project Management Edition

Published on May 3, 2010 in excel links

It has been quite a while since we had an excel links post. It doesn’t mean that I am not reading anything new on excel or charting. I have been reading lots of awesome articles and useful content and sharing it on my google reader recommendation list. But it is just that I have been […]

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What are your favorite colors for charts?

Published on Apr 23, 2010 in Charts and Graphs
What are your favorite colors for charts?

Ok, it is Friday again. That means poll time. I would like to know what color choices you prefer for your charts?
My Favorite Colors for Charting are,

These are the colors I use when making charts in Excel 2007 (it has capability to set any color for chart elements).

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How to Select Right Chart for your Data

Published on Apr 19, 2010 in Charts and Graphs
How to Select Right Chart for your Data

Bar chart or Line? Scatter plot or box plot? These are the questions we ask ourselves when we set out to make a chart. Because, “Selecting right chart for our data” is very important to tell our story.

In this article, we will learn how to “select the right chart” based on our data and situation.

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Speaking at TechEd 2010 on “How to Select the Right Chart for your Data”

Published on Apr 13, 2010 in blogging, Charts and Graphs
Speaking at TechEd 2010 on “How to Select the Right Chart for your Data”

I have come to Bangalore to attend the TechEd 2010 conference by Microsoft. Today (April 13th), I will be speaking on “How to select the right chart for your data”. A short talk telling people how to choose the correct chart based on the message they want to convey. [You can see the schedule and […]

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Make your Chart Legends Legendary

Published on Apr 8, 2010 in Charts and Graphs
Make your Chart Legends Legendary

We all know that legend can be added to a chart to provide useful information, color codes etc.

Today we will learn how to make the chart legends smarter so that they provide more meaning and context to the chart, like this:

This type of legend can be more useful than a plain legend as this provides more useful information without taking up too much space.

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How to Visualize Survey Results using Incell Panel Charts [case study]

Published on Apr 1, 2010 in Charts and Graphs, Featured, Learn Excel
How to Visualize Survey Results using Incell Panel Charts [case study]

A panel chart (often called as trellis display or small-multiples) shows data for multiple variables in an easy to digest format. It lets users compare in any way and draw conclusions with ease.

Today, I want to discuss how the principles of panel chart can be applied to visualize a complex set of survey results. For this we will use the recent survey conducted by Gartner on how various customers use BI (Business Intelligence) tools.

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Best Month Ever (and a charting tip inside)

Published on Feb 5, 2010 in blogging, Charts and Graphs
Best Month Ever (and a charting tip inside)

Let us take a minute and bask in some glory, for, our little community at PHD had the most fantastic month ever. That is right, January 2010 is so far the best month since I started blogging. We have broken all sorts of previous records on content, conversations, connections, traffic and revenue. In January, we […]

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Flu Trends in a City chart from Google is Awesome!

Published on Jan 15, 2010 in Cool Infographics & Data Visualizations
Flu Trends in a City chart from Google is Awesome!

There is nothing awesome about flu. In fact, it is anti-awesome if you have flu. I have been fortunate enough not to get it ever (it is another story that I have cold almost 364 days of an year).

Don’t worry if you are afraid of it, Folks at Google are not letting you down. They are using google search terms to predict flu trends and present the information in a beautiful chart.

Today I want to tell you why this particular chart on flu trends made by Google is awesome…

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Group Smaller Slices in Pie Charts to Improve Readability

Published on Dec 2, 2009 in Charts and Graphs
Group Smaller Slices in Pie Charts to Improve Readability

Jon Peltier can stand on his roof and shout in to a megaphone “Use Bar Charts, Not Pies”, but the fact remains that most of us use pie charts sometime or other. In fact I will go ahead and say that pie charts are actually the most widely used charts in business contexts.

Today I want to teach you a simple pie chart hack that can improve readability of the chart while retaining most of the critical information intact.

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Excel Links of the Week [Excel Dashboards Edition]

Published on Nov 16, 2009 in excel links

Over the weekend I spent some time to update the Excel Dashboards page. It now features more articles, downloads and resources for those of you making Excel Dashboards. Go ahead and check out the page here and let me know your feedback.

Moving on to this weeks excel and charting links worth checking.

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What is the most embarrassing charting mistake you made? [weekend poll]

Published on Nov 13, 2009 in Charts and Graphs
What is the most embarrassing charting mistake you made? [weekend poll]

This week’s poll is very simple. What is the the most embarrassing charting mistake your made?

For me it has to be that one time when I made a sports dashboard using excel. I have adjusted the axis scale of a bar chart so that my favorite cricket player (Sachin Tendulkar, who else?)’s records are emphasized. In a matter of minutes I have received several comments from all over world pointing out the mistake. Even though, the intention was to highlight the achievements of master blaster, the axis adjustment was obviously a mistake.

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Top X chart – Show Top X values of a chart Interactively

Published on Nov 12, 2009 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel
Top X chart – Show Top X values of a chart Interactively

Two charting principles we hear all the time are,

  • Sort your data in a meaningful order before plotting it.
  • Show only relevant information, not everything – because un-necessary information clutters the chart.

Today we will learn a dynamic charting technique that will mix these two ideas in a useful way. I call this a Top X chart.

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Dashboard Best Practice – Google Analytics Intelligence Report

Dashboard Best Practice – Google Analytics Intelligence Report

Yesterday while checking my website analytics reports on Google analytics site, I have noticed a new beta feature called “Intelligence”. Out of curiosity I clicked on it. It took me to a an intelligence alert dashboard. Ok, lets just back up for a minute and understand what “intelligence dashboard” is before moving on. In the […]

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Making Interaction Plots using Excel

Published on Oct 29, 2009 in Charts and Graphs
Making Interaction Plots using Excel

Yesterday I read about interaction plots on junk charts where he points out the merits of an interaction plot. Interaction plots show interaction effects between 2 factors. For eg. you can show how your product sales have changed between year 1 and year 2 using an interaction plot like the one shown aside.

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