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:
Please click here to download the workbook for this chart (Excel 2013 Version).
Please click here to download the workbook for this chart (Excel 2007/10 Version).
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.
13 Responses to “Narrating the story of change using Excel charts – case study”
I get "[CELLRANGE]" all over the graph in the demo workbook. Is this a setting I have an excel or something related to how the graph was built?
Chandoo has used Excel 2013 to add the Charts Labels
I have remade the chart using 2010 and it should be ok now
Try this link: Download 2010 Version
I have also added a seperate link in the post
Thanks Hui. I forgot to mention the 2013 part.
Are you still in Australia ?
Are you calling into Perth ?
Not this time. Let's hope we get to meet in Seattle for the MVP summit or in my next trip to down under.
"Of course, our business data won’t span two and half decades. "
Should that be 2 and a half centuries? makes it sound much grander ...
You are right. I changed the post 🙂
The market share changes was a good example to share.. Thanks. I believe Flash is an excellent technology for dealing with data visualization, and now there are tools online that can help you to create flash charts online for free.. try this http://askwiki.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-to-create-quality-charts-using.html
I urgently need a template for Debtor Age Analysis with possible predictions / forecasts.
Can you please assist?
It is an excellent Graphical Analysis. No doubt Excel is " EXCEL ". We got imputes for data analysis by reading this blog.
Have sharing !
I think the formular could be simplified to =VLOOKUP(999,OFFSET(C$23,0,0,INT($K23/2+1.5)),1,TRUE)
Awesome tools are available. Love it 🙂
I think the formula is not totally correct, or I did not quite understand the reading of this type of chart, like this:
If in "Category 1" in "July-02" I put for example "1.5%", cell "C24", in cell "M23", corresponding to "January-02", should not appear the value of "0 , 0% ", and only in" July-02 "would it be" 1,5% "?