All articles with 'charting' Tag

Learn Top 10 Excel Features

Published on Apr 16, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel, Power Pivot, VBA Macros
Learn Top 10 Excel Features

Last week, we had a lovely poll on what are your favorite features of Excel? More than 120 people responded to it with various answers. So I did what any data analyst worth his salt would do,

I analyzed the data and here are the top 10 features in Excel according to you.

Read on to learn more.

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Some charts try to make you an April fool all the time (or why 3d pie charts are evil)

Published on Apr 12, 2013 in Charts and Graphs
Some charts try to make you an April fool all the time (or why 3d pie charts are evil)

Recently I saw a big screaming ad that said “the chartbuster rules”. Of course, I know that chartbusters rule. Not just because I was one of them :)

So I got curious and read on. And I realized the ‘chartbuster’ is actually a car, not some cool, spreadsheet waving, goatee sporting dude like Jon Peltier. What a bummer!

And then to my horror of horrors, I saw the exploding 3d pie chart, with reflection effects & glossy colors. And the sole purpose of the chart is to create an impression that Verna sells better than any car in India.

Today, lets talk about this chart and alternatives for it. Read on.

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10 things that wowed me in Excel 2013

Published on Apr 3, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel
10 things that wowed me in Excel 2013

As you may new, the newest version of Excel is out for a while. I have been using it since last 6 months and enjoying it. Today, lets understand 10 things in 2013 that wowed me (and probably you too).

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There is an Easter egg in this chart!

Published on Mar 27, 2013 in Charts and Graphs
There is an Easter egg in this chart!

Do not worry, you are not time traveling or seeing things. Its just that, this year I have decided to publish our Easter Egg a few days early.

And oh, I have 3 reasons for it:

  1. 2 of my favorite festivals – Easter & Holi (a festival of colors, celebrated in India) are this week. Holi is today (Wednesday) & Easter on Sunday.
  2. My kids are super excited about Holi as this is the first time they will be playing it. So we have family time from today until Wednesday and I do not feel like writing a blog entry on Friday :)
  3. I like to have 3 reasons for everything.

Hence the Easter Egg is advanced a few days. But it is just as fun (or may be better) as previous Easter eggs.

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Use Advances vs. Declines chart to understand change in values

Published on Feb 21, 2013 in Charts and Graphs
Use Advances vs. Declines chart to understand change in values

Lets say you are responsible for sales of 100s of products (which belong to handful of categories). You are looking at sales of each product in last month & this month. And you want to understand whether sales are improving or declining by category. How would you do it?

Turns out, this is not a difficult problem. In fact, this question is asked every day & answered using Advances vs. Declines chart.

You may have seen this chart in financial newspapers or websites. Shown above, Advances vs. Declines chart tells us how many items have advanced & how many have declined.

Read on to learn how to create this chart using Excel.

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Shading above or below a line in Excel charts [tutorial]

Published on Feb 13, 2013 in Charts and Graphs
Shading above or below a line in Excel charts [tutorial]

When comparing 2 sets of data, one question we always ask is,

  • How is first set of numbers different from second set?

A classic example of this is, lets say you are comparing productivity figures of your company with industry averages. Merely seeing both your series as lines (or columns etc.) is not going to tell you the full story. But if we can shade our productivity line in red or green when it is under or above industry average… now that would be awesome! Something like above.

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Monitoring Monthly Service Levels using Excel Charts [Example]

Published on Dec 20, 2012 in Charts and Graphs
Monitoring Monthly Service Levels using Excel Charts [Example]

Recently, I wrote a tutorial on tax burden in USA chart.

Jared, One of our readers liked this chart very much. Jared works as a workforce scheduler and has data similar to our chart. So he applied the same technique to analyze monthly service levels for last 7 years & sent me the file so that I can share it with all of you.

First take a look at the demo of Jared’s chart. And read on to know how this works.

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Highlight best week & month in a trend chart [tutorials]

Published on Dec 12, 2012 in Charts and Graphs
Highlight best week & month in a trend chart [tutorials]

When analyzing business data like sales, shop visits or productivity, one of the questions managers always ask is,

What is the best month / week for this data?

To answer this question, we need to make a chart that looks like above. Today, lets learn how to highlight portions of such charts that correspond to best week or best month.

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How the tax burden has changed over the years – Excellent chart by NYTimes & Redoing it in Excel

Published on Dec 6, 2012 in Charts and Graphs

If I need some charting inspiration, I always visit New York Times. Their interactive visualizations are some of the best you can find anywhere. Clear, beautifully crafted and powerful. Long time readers of Chandoo.org knew that I like to learn from visualizations in NY Times & redo them using Excel.

Today let me present you one such chart. This is based on an interactive visualization prepared by NY Times explaining how the tax burden has changed over years for various income groups.

Take a look at tax burden chart – Excel implementation
Tax burden over years chart - recreated in Excel

Read on to learn how to create this chart using Excel.

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Project Portfolio Dashboard in Excel [Part 2 of 2]

Published on Nov 19, 2012 in products, Project Management, VBA Macros
Project Portfolio Dashboard in Excel [Part 2 of 2]

In this 2 part tutorial, we will learn how to design a project portfolio dashboard. Part 1 discussed user needs & design. Part 2 will show you Excel implementation.

Project Portfolio Dashboard Pack is now available.
Click here to get your copy.

Final Implementation – Project Portfolio Dashboard

First lets take a look at the finalized dashboard implementation. Continue reading to learn more & download this dashboard.

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Happy Diwali [Animated Chart inside]

Published on Nov 13, 2012 in Charts and Graphs, VBA Macros
Happy Diwali [Animated Chart inside]

My heartiest Diwali wishes to all our readers.

The spirit of Diwali is to encourage people to spread joy, celebrate good things and throw away darkness (evil). These ideas are universal. So let me wish you a very happy Diwali.

Diwali, festival of lights, is celebrated in the month of October / November. It is one of my favorite festivals since childhood. A time when all family members get together, celebrate all the good in their life, laugh and light a few fire crackers (fire works).

This year, our kids (Nishanth & Nakshatra) too are excited about the festival. They are eager to light diyas (small lamps), watch the fire works and enjoy. Naturally I do not feel like opening Excel.

But then…,

Sometime during my morning coffee, I thought “hey, why not create a small Diwali greeting using Excel?

So here we go.

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Pie of a Pie of a Pie chart [Good or Bad?]

Published on Nov 9, 2012 in Charts and Graphs
Pie of a Pie of a Pie chart [Good or Bad?]

There are some charts that look so stunning and yet confusing. You cant make up your mind whether it tells a compelling story or it is just plain wrong.

Today, let me present you one such chart. I call this Pie of a Pie of a Pie chart.

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Journey of Hurricane Sandy – Animated Excel Chart

Published on Oct 31, 2012 in Charts and Graphs, VBA Macros
Journey of Hurricane Sandy – Animated Excel Chart

Hurricane Sandy has taken front seat in all major news channels, papers, websites even in far off places like India. I hope & pray that our readers in US East coast are safe.

Today, lets understand the journey of Hurricane Sandy in this animated chart, prepared by Chris from Excel365.

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Designing a Project Portfolio Dashboard [Part 1 of 2]

Published on Oct 25, 2012 in Project Management
Designing a Project Portfolio Dashboard [Part 1 of 2]

In this 2 part tutorial, we will learn how to design a project portfolio dashboard. Part 1 will focus on user needs & design. Part 2 on Excel implementation.

Background
As you may know, we sell a set of Excel Project Management templates. These templates help plan, track, manage & report a project right from Excel.

While these templates good, they have one limitation. They work for one project at a time. Many customers have asked me if I come up with a project portfolio dashboard that can tell what is going on in a set of projects in one view.

And that is where we begin.

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Use Indexed charts when understanding change [Charting Techniques]

Published on Oct 9, 2012 in Charts and Graphs, Excel Howtos
Use Indexed charts when understanding change [Charting Techniques]

Today, lets talk about indexing, a technique used to compare changes in values over time.

What is indexing?
Lets say you want to compare prices of Gold & Coffee over last few years. Gold price in 2011 (oct) is $1,655 per ounce. And now (sept 2012) it is $1,744. Like wise, Silver price in 2011 is $32.06 and in 2012 it is $33.61. How do we compare such diverse numbers?

Enter indexing.

First we need to calculate price of Gold and Silver in 2012 assuming their starting price is 100. This can be done with simple arithmetic.

Now, we can easily compare the prices. Looking at the indexed prices, we can conclude that both Gold & Silver prices have gone up by similar percentage (~5%).

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