Chris, who wrote the article said,
The first tool we tried, simply on principle, was Excel 2003. As expected, making a … quality bubble chart in Excel 2003 is a hard problem. Here’s a draft of how far I got before giving in to label fatigue.
The bubbles themselves aren’t tough, but getting the labels right is hard. I’d love to see a solution, so if any reader wants to tackle it eternal fame can be yours.
Well, not that I would get eternal fame, but I wanted to give it a try, just for fun. Ever since I saw the NY Times Bubble chart on “how many times each political candidate used certain terms”, I have been itching to recreate it somewhere.
Here is the version I could create in Excel 2007
How I made this?
- I started with travel patterns data Chris shared
- Then I used Excel formulas OFFSET() and ROW() and COLUMN() to rearrange the data in a tabular format (the original format is a matrix)
- Then I sorted the table on bubble size
- Now I made a bubble chart with 3 data series, one with bubble sizes >50%, one with 25-50% and the rest
- I formatted each series and added labels to the first two series
- Finally made some alignment and bingo
(excel 2003 compatible, so you wont exactly see the above image, but one with slightly muffled colors)
How would you have designed the chart ?