Narrating the story of change using Excel charts – case study
Here are three questions you often hear from your boss:
- What changes are happening in our business and how do they look?
- Do you know how to operate this new coffee machine?
- 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.
How fast America changes its mind – Example chart
Here is a recent chart from Bloomberg, depicting how America has changed its mind about various social & political issues between 1787 & 2015. (Read the full article on Bloomberg)
Applying these concepts to sample business data
Of course, our business data won’t span two and half centuries. So let’s look at something more realistic, like market share changes for 7 product categories over the last 15 years.
Here is a chart we will create in Excel.
Narrating change over time story with Excel charts – Video tutorial
If you like the above chart, watch below video to learn how to create it. As the process is somewhat elaborate, I made a video explaining various steps and techniques. Watch it below (or click here to see it on our YouTube channel)
Download the Change over Time Excel Chart:
Examine the chart, formulas & formats to learn more.
How do you tell the story of change?
My favourite methods for narrating the story of change are,
- Waterfall charts
- Scatter plots – case study
- Conditional formatting – usage in Dashboards
- Animated charts – Hurricane Sandy trajectory
- Interactive charts – Grammy bump chart
What about you? What charts & techniques do you use to narrate the story of change using Excel? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments area.
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