All articles with 'visualization principles' Tag

CP041: 6 charts you’ll see in hell – v2.0

Published on Aug 6, 2015 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions, Charts and Graphs
CP041: 6 charts you’ll see in hell – v2.0

In the 41st session of Chandoo.org podcast, Let’s take a trip to data hell and meet 6 ugly, clumsy, confusing charts. I am revisiting a classic Chandoo.org article – 6 Charts you will see in hell.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Quick announcement about Awesome August
  • 6 charts you should avoid
  • 3D charts
  • Pie / donut charts with too many slices
  • Too much data
  • Over formatting
  • Complex charts
  • Charts that don’t tell a story
  • Conclusions
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Shading an area chart with different colors for up & down movements [case study]

Published on Jul 29, 2015 in Charts and Graphs
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…

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Changing stubborn opinions with visualizations [case study]

Published on May 29, 2015 in Charts and Graphs
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.

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CP032: Rules for making legendary column charts

Published on Apr 2, 2015 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions, Charts and Graphs
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
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Revenue vs. Commission growth – Getting the message across [BYOD]

Published on Feb 17, 2015 in Analytics, Charts and Graphs

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”?

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CP013: Is this a FIFA worldcup of late goals, lets ask Excel [How to analyze data to answer questions like these…]

Published on Jul 3, 2014 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions, Charts and Graphs
CP013: Is this a FIFA worldcup of late goals, lets ask Excel [How to analyze data to answer questions like these…]

In the 13th session of Chandoo.org podcast, lets turn our attention to on-going FIFA worldcup and ask an important question.

What is in this session?
A week ago, we discussed “Has it been a late goal FIFA worldcup?” and used various charts & analysis techniques to answer the question. In podcast, lets tackle the same problem, understand various approaches to answer questions like these & shares some lessons for all the analysts.

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Show Top 10 Values in Dashboards using Pivot Tables

Published on Dec 1, 2010 in Charts and Graphs, Pivot Tables & Charts
Show Top 10 Values in Dashboards using Pivot Tables

A good dashboard must show important information at a glance and provide option to drill down for details.

Showing Top 10 (or bottom 10) lists in a dashboard is a good way to achieve this (see aside). Today we will learn an interesting technique to do this in Excel.

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Show Months & Years in Charts without Cluttering

Published on Nov 17, 2010 in Charts and Graphs
Show Months & Years in Charts without Cluttering

We make charts with date axis all the time. So, today we will learn how to set up axis settings in Excel so that Months & Years are shown neatly structured without cluttering your chart. See the example next to understand.

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Excel Links – Happy Birthday Edition

Published on Oct 20, 2010 in excel links

First some personal matters. Today I am celebrating my 28th birthday. The last one year has been very good for us. We have been very busy parenting 2 hilarious and naughty twins, I moved back to India, quit my job and started a company. My business became a mild success crossing $100k revenues in 12 […]

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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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Introduction to Panel Charts using Excel – Tutorial & Template

Published on May 12, 2010 in Charts and Graphs, Featured
Introduction to Panel Charts using Excel – Tutorial & Template

In this article we will learn what a Panel Chart is and how you can construct a panel chart in Excel.
What is a Panel Chart?

A panel chart is a set of similar charts neatly aligned in panels to help us understand some data which has multiple variables in it. Panel charts are also called by names “trellis displays” or “small multiples”. They are an effective way to display multi-variable data.

Here is an example panel chart showing the total defects per module over the last 4 weeks.

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Survey Results in Dot Plot Panel Chart [followup on Incell Panel Chart]

Published on Apr 9, 2010 in Charts and Graphs
Survey Results in Dot Plot Panel Chart [followup on Incell Panel Chart]

In a follow up to last week’s how to visualize survey data in excel, we will explore how you can create an incell dot plot panel chart. Please follow the links in the article to get more commentary and insights from established persona in the visualization world (including Stephen Few, Naomi, Jon etc.)

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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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Flu Trends Chart in Excel [Yes, we can edition]

Published on Jan 22, 2010 in Charts and Graphs, Featured
Flu Trends Chart in Excel [Yes, we can edition]

Last week I have reviewed Google’s flu trends chart and told you that is it is very well made. Out of curiosity I made a similar chart in Excel. In this post, I am going to share the experience and results with you. Interested? Read on…

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Visualization Lessons from Eiffel Tower [Chartbusters in Paris]

Visualization Lessons from Eiffel Tower [Chartbusters in Paris]

Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by Paris (and Eiffel Tower). Recently, I had opportunity to visit Paris, albeit for just a few hours (I had a 12 hour lay-over in Paris between flights). I went to see the Eiffel Tower and it looked just as beautiful and majestic as it did in my imaginations.

During my visit to Eiffel tower, I took the stairs to 2nd floor and along the way they have a handful of visualizations explaining the tower. I found them quite interesting and well made. Here, I have listed down 4 simple, yet very effective visualization lessons for all of us.

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