All articles with 'charting' Tag

Create a line chart with bands [tutorial]

Published on May 5, 2014 in Charts and Graphs
Create a line chart with bands [tutorial]

Here is an interesting scenario.

Imagine you are responsible for customer satisfaction at ACME Inc. Every month you track customer satisfaction rate for the 3 products you sell which are conveniently named Product A, B & C.

You also have bands for the satisfaction rating.

  • Rating of 85% or below is Average
  • Rating between 85% & 95% is OK
  • Rating above 95% is good

At the end of the year, you want to visualize the ratings for last 12 months for 3 products along with bands.

Something like above.

Unfortunately, there is no “Insert Banded line chart” button in Excel. So what to do?

That is what we will learn today. Ready?

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CP004: Can I Pie Chart in Public? Discussion about Pie charts, their merits and drawbacks, when to use & when to avoid them

Published on Apr 3, 2014 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions, Charts and Graphs
CP004: Can I Pie Chart in Public? Discussion about Pie charts, their merits and drawbacks, when to use & when to avoid them

In the 4th session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets talk about Pie charts.

Pie charts evoke strong opinions among analysts & managers. Some people love them and can’t have enough of them in reports. Others despise them and go to any lengths to avoid them. And that is why we are going to talk about them in this session.

You will learn,

  • Special, secret transmission from guest stars
  • What is a pie chart?
  • Why they work? 2 reasons
  • Why they don’t work ? 4 reasons
  • Cousins & siblings of Pie charts
    • Donut charts
    • Gauge charts (speedometer)
    • 3D pies
    • Area charts
    • Bubble charts
  • 4 Situations when making a pie chart is ok
  • Alternatives to Pie charts
  • Mistakes you should avoid
  • About the resources
  • Conclusions
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6 Best charts to show % progress against goal

Published on Mar 10, 2014 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel
6 Best charts to show % progress against goal

Back when I was working as a project lead, everyday my project manager would ask me the same question.

“Chandoo, whats the progress?”

He was so punctual about it, even on days when our coffee machine wasn’t working.

As you can see, tracking progress is an obsession we all have. At this very moment, if you pay close attention, you can hear mouse clicks of thousands of analysts and managers all over the world making project progress charts.

So today, lets talk about best charts to show % progress against a goal.

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Excel links – What is your next Excel book edition?

Published on Mar 5, 2014 in excel links
Excel links – What is your next Excel book edition?

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

We don’t have a dog (yet), but we have a lot of books. Anytime I am in a bookshop, I feel like a mosquito in fat-camp. So you can imagine me smacking my lips when I saw your suggestions for favorite Excel books recently. There were more than 50 different books recommended by our readers. Of course I cannot buy all the 50 in one go. That would make Jo (my wife) angry. So I bought one that most of you recommended.

Ctrl + Shift + Enter by Mike Girvin

It is a book about array formulas, advanced formulas and data analysis techniques. I am eagerly waiting for the delivery to devour it. Once I am done with it, I will post a review here.

What about you? What Excel book are you reading now? Please share in comments.

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I won’t eat donut with a thread inside, but lets make one anyway!

Published on Feb 20, 2014 in Charts and Graphs
I won’t eat donut with a thread inside, but lets make one anyway!

Today lets take a stroll outside what Excel can do and make something fancy, fun and may be useful.

Nowadays, many newspapers, websites and magazines are featuring info-graphics. An info-graphic is a collection of shiny, colorful & data-full charts (or often pieces of text.) In many of these info-graphics, you can see threaded-donut charts. Not sure what that is..? It is not same as the blasphemy of spoiling a soft, sweet, supple donut with a piece of string. No one should be excused for an offense like that.

What I am talking about is shown above

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Combine pie and xy scatter charts – World Polls chart revisited

Combine pie and xy scatter charts – World Polls chart revisited

Few days ago, we learned how to create a pie+donut combination chart to visualize polls around the world in 2014. It generated quite a bit of interesting discussion (47 comments so far). One of the comments was from Roberto, who along with Kris & Gábor runs The FrankensTeam an online library of advanced Excel tricks, charts and other mind-boggling spreadsheet wizardry.

I really liked Roberto’s comments on the original post and a charting solution he presented. So I asked him if he can do a guest post explaining the technique to our audience. He obliged and here we go.

Over to FrankensTeam.

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42% of the world goes to polls around a pie chart – Like it or hate it?

Published on Jan 10, 2014 in Charts and Graphs
42% of the world goes to polls around a pie chart – Like it or hate it?

Today lets have a poll. Lets debate if this pie chart about world elections in 2014 is good or bad.

First lets take a look at the chart

This chart, published by The Economist talks about how 42% of the world population is going to vote this year. Take a look and read on to learn how you can re-create this in Excel.

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Bar chart with lower & upper bounds [tutorial]

Published on Jan 8, 2014 in Charts and Graphs, Learn Excel
Bar chart with lower & upper bounds [tutorial]

Bar & Column charts are very useful for comparison. Here is a little trick that can enhance them even more.

Lets say you are looking at sales of various products in a column chart. And you want to know how sales of a given product compare with a lower bound (last year sales) and an upper bound (competition benchmark). By adding these boundary markers, your chart instantly becomes even more meaningful.

Lets learn how to create a column chart with lower & upper bounds in this tutorial.

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5 simple rules for making awesome column charts

Published on Aug 29, 2013 in Charts and Graphs
5 simple rules for making awesome column charts

For every column chart that is done right, there are a dozen that get messed up. That is why lets talk about 5 simple rules for making awesome column charts.

Tip: Same rules apply for bar charts too.

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How to create a Then vs. Now interactive chart in Excel?

Published on Aug 6, 2013 in Charts and Graphs
How to create a Then vs. Now interactive chart in Excel?

You have been there before.

Trying to compare last year numbers with this year, or last quarter with this quarter.

Today, let us learn how to create an interactive to chart to understand then vs. now.

Demo of Then vs. Now interactive chart

First, take a look the completed chart below. This is what you will be creating.

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Are you ready for 2,000 miles, 15 days & 10 Excel tips road trip?

Published on Jun 24, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, personal
Are you ready for 2,000 miles, 15 days & 10 Excel tips road trip?

Finally my Excel classes in USA are over. It was a lot of fun traveling to new cities, teaching Excel & dashboards to enthusiastic crowds and making new friends. As if that is not fun enough, we (Jo, kids & I) are going on a 2,000 mile, 2 week road trip starting today.

Although I am enjoying all this, I also feel bad for not taking enough time to share new tricks, ideas & techniques with you here. So, I have a wacky, wild & awesome plan for you. Join us on our road trip.

That is right. You can join me on our road trip and see what I see, learn some pretty cool Excel tricks, all while sipping coffee and stretching legs in the comfort of your office cubicle.

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How to create a column chart with background image in Excel ?

Published on May 6, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, Excel Howtos
How to create a column chart with background image in Excel ?

Tony sends this chart and asks if it can be done in Excel.

It sounded like a good challenge for a lazy Sunday morning. So here we go. (Posting it on Monday).

Now I could not get an oil rig photo or that data. So I made up few numbers and used a photo of Flinders street station I took when I was in Melbourne last year.

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How to create an Interactive Chart in Excel? [Tutorial]

Published on Apr 23, 2013 in Charts and Graphs, Excel Howtos
How to create an Interactive Chart in Excel? [Tutorial]

Imagine you have a worksheet with lots of charts. And you want to make it look awesome & clean.

Solution?

Simple, create an interactive chart so that your users can pick one of many charts and see them.

Today let us understand how to create an interactive chart using Excel.

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Chart for wall hygrometric physic (or how to create a chart with custom x axis intervals?)

Published on Apr 18, 2013 in Charts and Graphs
Chart for wall hygrometric physic (or how to create a chart with custom x axis intervals?)

Livio, one of our readers from Italy sent me this interesting problem in email.

I would like to prepare an xy linear graphic as representation of the variation of temperature trough a wall between two different bulk temperature i.e. outside and inside a house. This graphic should show the temperature gradient trough the wall thickness. The wall is normally made by different construction materials (different layers, as bricks, insulation, …..) and so the temperature change but not as a straight line with only one slope, instead as few lines with different slopes (see below figure) Calculations are not difficult, and also prepare the graphic also not difficult.

But, I am looking a beautiful solution for x-axis. X-axis should be divided not with constant interval, instead with different length between each sub-division exactly as the different thickness of the wall. This is a correct graphic, because you can show the correct slope of each straight line though each layer of the wall.

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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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