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.