Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Representing Binary Values with Sparklines
Representing Binary Values with Sparklines
Sparklines come in only three chart types:
line, column, and what’s called the
win/loss type (see Figure 6–61).
Figure 6–61. Sparkline chart types
We’ve been working with the line type, and clicking the column button generates, well,
columns of data. But what if you wanted to capture a strictly binary, one-or-the-other
data relationship, such as whether each of a series of transactions yields a profit or a
loss, or whether each of the games a team plays across a season results in a win or
loss? That’s where the win/loss sparkline comes in.
Win/loss represents all positive values as columns above a virtual horizontal axis, and all
negative values as below-the-axis columns. Thus, values such as these:
5, –6, 9, 11 –3
would be translated by the win/loss chart as shown in Figure 6–62.
Figure 6–62. Can’t win ’em all: How the win/loss chart captures data
There’s no proportion here either; all the positive and negative values are characterized
by identically sized columns.
So when would you use win/loss? You could turn to win/loss when you need to depict
data in up/down or yes/no terms—say, for profit/loss data comparisons, or pass/fail test
scores; you could enter a 1 for every passed exam, and a –1 for a failure, for example.
This chart type is called “win/loss” because it was inspired by sporting outcomes. With
win/loss you could chart a team’s fortunes across a season by entering 1 (or really any
positive value) for every victory, and –1 (or any negative value) for every loss. After all,
wins and losses are either/or.
NOTE: You can delete one sparkline by clicking its cell, clicking the Clear drop-down arrow in
the Group button group, and clicking Clear Selected Sparklines. To delete the entire sparkline
group, just click Clear Selected Sparkline Groups instead.

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