Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chart Wizard; for Excel 2007 select the series, right click and select Format Data
series where a Secondary Axis is available. Additionally, if we display series on
separate graphs, we can impose similar scales on the multiple graphs to facilitate
equitable comparison. Being alert to these differences can change our assessment
of results.
4. Fit the Chart Type by considering the graph’s purpose —The choice of the chart
type should invariably be guided by one principle— keep it simple . There are
often many ways to display data, whether the data are cross-sectional or time
series. Consider the following ideas and questions relating to chart type selection.
Time Series Data (data related to a time axis)
a. Will the data be displayed over a chronological time horizon? If so, it is
considered time series data.
b. In business or economics, time series data are invariably displayed with time on
the horizontal axis.
c. With time series we can either display data discretely (bars) or continuously
(lines and area). If the flow or continuity of data is important then Line and Area
graphs are preferred. Be careful that viewers not assume that they can locate
values between time increments, if these intermediate values are not meaningful.
Cross-sectional Data Time Snap-shot or (time dimension is not of primary
a. For data that is a single snap-shot of time or time is not our focus, column or bar
graphs are used most frequently. If you use column or bar graphs, it is important
to have category titles on axes (horizontal or vertical). If you do not use a column
or bar graph, then a Pie, Doughnut, Cone, or Pyramid graph may be appropriate.
Line graphs are usually not advisable for cross-sectional data.
b. Flat Pie graphs are far easier to read and interpret than 3-D Pie graphs. Also,
when data result in several very small pie segments, relative to others, then
precise comparisons can be difficult.
c. Is the categorical order of the data important? There may be a natural order in
categories that should be preserved in the data presentation—e.g. the application
of chronologically successive marketing promotions in a sales campaign.
d. Displaying multiple series in a Doughnut graph can be confusing. The creation
of Doughnuts within Doughnuts can lead to implied proportional relationships
which do not exit.
Co-related Data
a. Scatter diagrams are excellent tools for viewing the co-relationship (correlation
statistical jargon) of one variable to another. They represent two associated data
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