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5) She makes fewer expenditures near the end of the week because she is generally
exhausted by her school work. Sunday dinner is a form of self-reward that she
has established as a start to a new week. Of course, she wants to share her reward
with her friends Dave and Suzanne.
6) Friday food expenditures, she explains to Dad, are due to grocery shopping.
Once Dad has obtained this information, he negotiates several money saving con-
cessions. First, she agrees to not treat Dave and Suzanne to dinner every Sunday;
every other Sunday is sufficiently generous. She also agrees to reduce her manicure
visits to every other week, and she also agrees that cooking for her friends is equally
entertaining as eating out.
We have not gone into great detail on the preparation of data to produce Exhibits
2.15, 2.16, 2.17, and 2.18, other than the sorting exercise we performed. Later in
Chap. 4 we will learn to use the Filter and Advanced Filter capabilities of Excel.
This will provide a simple method for preparing our data for graphical presentation.
2.6 Some Final Practical Graphical Presentation Advice
This chapter has presented a number of topics related to graphical presentation of
quantitative data. Many of the topics are an introduction to data analysis which we
will visit in far greater depth in later chapters. Before we move on, let me leave you
with a set of suggestions that might guide you in your presentation choices. Over
time you will develop a sense of your own presentation style and preferences for
presenting data in effective formats. Don’t be afraid to experiment as you explore
your own style and taste.
1. Some charts and graphs deserve their own worksheet —Often a graph fits nicely
on a worksheet that contains the data series that generate the graph. But also, it
is quite acceptable to dedicate a separate worksheet to the graph if the data series
make viewing the graph difficult or distracting. This is particularly true when
the graph represents the important results presentation of a worksheet. (Later
we will discuss static versus dynamic graphs, which make the choice relatively
straightforward.)
2. Axis labels are essential —Some creators of graphs are lax in the identification of
graph axes, both the units associated with the axis scale and the verbal descrip-
tion of the axis dimension. Because they are intimately acquainted with the data
generating the graph, they forget that the viewer may not be similarly acquainted.
Always provide clear and concise identification of axes, and remember that you
are not the only one who will view the graph.
3. Scale differences in values can be confusing —Often graphs are used as tools for
visual comparison. Sometimes this is done by plotting multiple series of interest
on a single graph or by comparing individual series on separate graphs. In doing
so, we may not be able to note series behavior due to scale differences for the
graphs. This suggests that we may want to use multiple scales on a single graph
to compare several series. For Excel 2003 see Custom Types in Step 1 of the
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