There are beautiful, powerful & awesome charting examples all around us. Today, I want to show you how we can harness the power of Excel to create Analytical Charts.
To be frank, I do not know what to call these charts, so I choose the term Analytical Charts. But this is what I have in mind (see below) when I say Analytical charts:
A chart is analytical chart,
- If it is interactive
- It it can answer different questions by re-structuring same data differently
What is the inspiration for Analytical Charts?
Google Analytics. I use Google Analytics, a web-app that tells me about the visitors and traffic flowing in to my site. It gathers millions of data points every day and presents all this information in rich, easy to read views. One of the powerful features of Google Analytics is that, you can tell it to show the same information in different views so that you can answer different questions.
On top of every report in Google Analytics, we have these buttons:
When you click the button, the report is instantly restructured to answer a different question.
So how to make such charts in Excel?
The basic technique behind this is similar to the one we discussed in show one chart from many article. Since, It would be 1800 word long if I describe the process, I decided to make a short video (18 minutes) explaining how the charts are constructed. Watch the video tutorial below:
Excel Analytical Charts – Video Tutorial:
The Process for creating Analytical Charts:
- Make individual views of the data in different cell ranges.
- Name each range uniquely, like chtRng1 for tabular view and chtRng2 for percentage comparison view etc.
- Insert radio buttons (option buttons) from developer ribbon > forms, one each for a different view.
- Now, link all the radio buttons to same cell. That way, when select a view the linked cell would show corresponding number.
- Create a named range called chtSel and point it to a CHOOSE formula that would select the corresponding named range defined in (2)
- Now, select any few cells, press CTRL+C and paste them as a picture link. (tutorial on picture links).
- Select the picture link, go to formula bar and type =chtSel
- That is all. Now, you have made an analytical chart that makes your boss love you.
Download Excel Analytical Chart Example Workbook
Click here to download the example workbook. This should work in Excel 2007 or above.
Do you use Analytical Charts?
As I mention in the video, I find the “views” option in Google Analytics quite useful. It hides answers for questions that are not yet asked. But with just a click, I could visualize information in a different way.
What about you? Do you find analytical charts useful or as clutter? How would you implement them? Please share your ideas and techniques using comments.