Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Interpretation: We've been solidly in
the green until December. Then we
crashed. Perhaps we have a problem
with the data. Or perhaps our recent
changes were a mistake. Whatever
the problem, we need answers now!
Interpretation: We’re performing as
we always do. But expectations keep
rising. What's driving that trend? Are
expectations too high? Eventually,
we need to research this issue.
Again, December performance is identical for each of these three
Excel charts, and about the same as the gauge. But each chart tells
a different story. And each chart suggests that different responses
As the note for the last chart mentions, gauges also fail to show the
trend in our opinions about the levels of acceptable performance.
To illustrate, a score of 4 was borderline green performance in
January; but by September, that same performance had become
borderline red. Are these opinions appropriate? The gauge doesn't
provide enough information to even suggest this question.
In short, the charts reveal information; the gauge conceals it.
Excel, Gauges, and Charts
If you search ExcelUser.com for "gauge" you'll see that Andy Pope
shows how to emulate gauges in Excel using an XY Scatter chart.
Even so, Excel doesn't support gauges directly. This gives other
companies an opportunity to sell software to fill this gap.