How to visualize multiple variables over several years? [Contest]

Posted on June 24th, 2016 in Charts and Graphs , Excel Challenges - 15 comments

Kaushik, one of our forum members has an interesting problem.

Need to quickly visualize 3 variables ( Company, years, Financials) in a single […] chart.

Multiple variables over several years – How to chart?

Let’s take a look at the data first.


Ways to visualize such data…

Whenever you want to visualize business data, the first thing to ask is,

  • What is the purpose of this visualization?

Related: How to create right chart from your data?

Since we don’t know why Kaushik wanted to visualize all 100 numbers in a single chart, let’s define some goals for the chart.

  • Yearly trends of financial metrics
  • How one company compares with another over years
  • How individual metrics contribute to overall revenue (all the 5 metrics add up to 100)
  • What are the most interesting numbers, drastic changes or alarming trends

One way to answer these questions is thru a panel chart. It shows massive data in a concise chart and allows for exploration of inter-relationships.

See below.

Absolute trends:

Made with sparklines.


Indexed Trends:

And of course you can use indexed charts technique to explore the numbers better.


Your challenge – How would you visualize this data?

So here is something fun for you. Visualize this multiple variable data and share your charts.

What’s in it for you?

This is a contest. The two most awesome charts will $100 Amazon Gift Cards.

How to submit your entries:

  • Simple. Download the data workbook.
  • Create your chart in a new tab.
  • Email your files to with the subject “Multiple variable challenge”
  • Send in your entries before July 4th, 2016 (Monday).
  • We will showcase all the entries and pick winners by July 11th.

Fine print:

  • You may submit multiple entries, but you can maximum of one gift card.
  • No VBA based solutions. Excel or Power BI charts are ok.
  • If you cannot accept Amazon gift card (because of where you live), you can opt for $100 cash thru PayPal.

Get busy charting…

Written by Chandoo
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15 Responses to “How to visualize multiple variables over several years? [Contest]”

  1. Chirayu says:

    I was the first to reply to the thread on the forum 🙂 Downloaded your workbook & thought it was a cool concept but 2007 can't see sparklines. Wondering if I can just submit the one I already answered in the forum. I'll probably add a bit more flashiness to it though

  2. Chandeep says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    For Ultratech Cement all values are not adding up-to 100. Check the total of the values in
    2011 (102)
    2013 (90)
    2014 (95)
    2015 (96)

  3. Blaz says:

    Cannot wait to see your attempts! :=)

  4. Santosh says:

    Looking forward for the results.

  5. Marcel says:

    Yeah... any news on this?

  6. Paul says:

    Chandoo, how about results ?

  7. Santosh Chaube says:

    Any updates , when we can get to see the contest results

  8. Blaz says:

    Chandoo, did you mean to publish results on July 11th 2017? 🙂

  9. Tobias says:

    I think a lot of people are keen to see the results that will be "showcased by July 11th".

  10. Arnaud says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Can you give us a feedback about expected date to communicate the results of the contest ?
    Thank you Chandoo.


  11. DME says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Hope all is well. Will the contest winners ever be announced? I know we're all looking for an update, so hoping to hear something soon.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  12. Danish boy says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Hope all is well also. I am sure you red the comments ; we are all looking for the results ... Or just an answer from you, in a first time. Almost 2 months and no word from your side.

    Enjoy NZ.

    • Chandoo says:

      Hi Danish Boy and other participants. I am deeply sorry for the delay in publishing the results. The move to NZ has thrown a wrench to my work and I am slowly getting back to regular schedule. I will be publishing the results next week as everything is already compiled and ready to go.

  13. Kelly says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    I'm keen to check out the results from this, has anything been published yet...?


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