All articles with 'charting principles' Tag
Back when I was working as a project lead, everyday my project manager would ask me the same question.
“Chandoo, whats the progress?”
He was so punctual about it, even on days when our coffee machine wasn’t working.
As you can see, tracking progress is an obsession we all have. At this very moment, if you pay close attention, you can hear mouse clicks of thousands of analysts and managers all over the world making project progress charts.
So today, lets talk about best charts to show % progress against a goal.Continue »
Slope line is very useful for spotting which values have changed from two sets. You can add a slope line to XY chart (scatter plot) using simple techniques. In this post, learn how to add them.Continue »
For every column chart that is done right, there are a dozen that get messed up. That is why lets talk about 5 simple rules for making awesome column charts.
Tip: Same rules apply for bar charts too.Continue »
If you want to tell the story of how your business / project / charity / thing is going on, then making a dashboard is the best way to go about it. Dashboards can combine heaps of data, insights and messages in to one concise format that fits on to a desktop or table or mobile screen.
But let’s be honest. Creating them in Excel is a lot of work. Even after spending hours on them, they might still look meh. So, let me share a trick to make your dashboards look snazzy (without compromising on insights per inch).
Create dashboard tiles, something like above.Continue »
Charts are great way to tell story about what is going on in your business. But they also feel a bit too impersonal and meh. How about adding your personality to them? I don’t mean making them tall, dark and pretty. I mean using hand-drawing style to make them pop out. Something like above example of hand-drawn chart.
The best thing is, You don’t need to actually draw these charts by hand. We can use a powerful charting trick to get these charts automatically generated (and linked) to your data. Interested? Read on to learn how to create hand-drawn charts in Excel.Continue »
On twitter I follow many charting and visualization related accounts. One of them is @Andy Kriebel, who runs Makeover Monday. The idea is simple. Every Monday they publish a data-set and ask the community to visualize. Last Monday (7th May, 2018), they have published about toughest sport by skill data. This categorizes 60 sports by 10 skill categories to find out which sport is the toughest. Over the weekend, Andy posted a summary of all toughest sport viz entries. Many of the entries are made in Tableau. I thought it would be a fun challenge to re-create some of these charts in Excel. The result is this post. 60 sports in 6 charts. Check out the charts and download workbook to learn more.
First four charts are re-creations of Tableau designs. Last two are mine.Continue »
Here is a simple but vital charting rule.
Start your bar (or column) charts from zero.
To illustrate why you should do this, let me share a personal example.
Over the weekend, the Jon Peltier visited Wellington. He is staying with Jeff (who occasionally guest blogs on Chandoo.org). On Sunday, we all decided to hike up a small mountain near my house for a leisurely family picnic.
While on the top of the mountain, Jo (my wife) took a few pics of us three Excel geeks. As we were standing on a sloping mountain face this is how the pictures look.
Looking at the picture on left, you would confidently say that I am way shorter than other two. But picture on right tells a different story.Continue »
Here is a trap that is easy to fall in to. Confusing correlation as causation. As analysts, it is our job to see the data as it is rather than imply causation that doesn’t exist.
Let’s sample a chart, recently featured in Economist’s graphic detail under the title Measuring well-being.Continue »
Here is an interesting chart from Economist, ironically titled The weight of the world. Can you tell what is wrong with it?Continue »
In the 49th session of Chandoo.org podcast, let’s talk about data dumps!
What is in this session?
In this podcast,
- What is a data dump
- Examples of data dump
- Why we dump
- Ways to avoid data dumps
- Go for information dumps
- Sort the dump
- Filter the dump
- Give a table
- Resources for you
Econimist’s daily chart is a one of my daily data porn stops. They take interesting data sets and visualize in compelling ways. While the daily chart page is insightful, sometimes they make poor charting choices. For example, this recent chart visualizing how countries spend their money uses a variation of notorious bubble chart. Click on the chart to enlarge.
What is wrong with this chart?
Bubble charts force us to measure and compare areas of circles. Unless you have a measuring tape somehow embedded in your eyes and you are a walking human scientific calculator, you would find this task impossible.
So when you look at the chart and want to find out what percentage Japanese spend on restaurants or how much Americans pay for housing, your guesses will have large error margins.
Not only bubble charts are difficult to read, they are very hard to align. So when you have a bunch of bubbles, no matter how hard you try, your chart looks clumsy (see how the Russian food bubble eats in to Mexico’s bubble, as if it is too hungry 😉 )
Let’s check out a few alternatives to this chart. Read on…Continue »
We know that column charts are excellent for presenting information. But what if some of the columns are too tall and hijacking the rest. In a previous article, we discussed few of the approaches. Today let’s learn how to build a cropped chart (broken y-axis chart) using Excel, something like above.
Looks interesting? Read on.Continue »
Here is a simple & effective tip on charting.
Give your charts descriptive & bold titles.
How to set up title that are smart & descriptive?
Simple, follow below steps.
- Create the title you want in a cell
- Select the chart title
- Go to formula bar, press = and point to the cell with title
- Press enter.
To make friends in a new town hit the bars – Old saying.
To make sense of a new data-set, make bar charts – New saying.
Bar charts (or column charts if you like your data straight up) are vital in data analysis. They are easy to make. But one problem. By default, a bar chart show the original data in reverse order.
See the above example.
Unfortunately, we humans read from top to bottom, not the other way around.Continue »
Here is a simple way to enhance your Excel charts – use shapes & pictures in your charts.
We will learn how to create something like above.
Looks interesting? Read on…Continue »