Occasionally, I’ll see an Excel chart that tells such a fascinating story that I want to frame it.
A great businessperson can often take an entire slide deck and turn it into one dual-axis Excel chart.
Can it be possible to summarize an entire story into one simple chart?
Yes. The basic motivation behind data visualization is to take a large amount of information and transform it into something you can understand in just a few seconds.
And you’d think that incredible charts would be difficult to build, but like most things in Excel, you can pick the skill up in about 20 minutes with some instruction.
By the end of this blog post you’ll be able to easily visualize Excel data into intuitive charts and tables.
Below is a link to download some Excel sample data to play around with.
The data set is 2,350 rows, and 10 columns wide, for a total of 23,500 records. Here is a screenshot of the data in the file.
The data set is entirely made up, but mirrors the type of data that reflects the operations of a normal company. We have geographic data, product data, shipping data, and financial data.
In the file, there are 10 different columns of sample data:
Four years ago I was reading a business plan and I saw something called a sensitivity analysis table that baffled me.
It was a beautiful table that showed the profitability of a music festival at different numbers of attendees and price points.
The data table showed dozens of profit possibilities in one table, with the different price and attendee numbers laid out across the horizontal and vertical axes.
I thought to myself, “that looks complicated, maybe one day after working in Excel for years I’ll be able to do that.”
However, the reality is that these tables are quite easy to set up. By the end of this blog post you’ll be able to easily perform what-if-analysis.