Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Handling Missing Data
1. Select your chart.
2. Choose Tools
Options to display the Options dialog box.
3. Click the Chart tab (see Figure 3-17).
4. Choose the appropriate option.
Figure 3-17: Use the Chart tab of the Options dialog
box to specify how to handle missing data.
The setting that you choose applies only to the active chart and applies to all
series in the chart. In other words, you can’t specify a different missing data option
for different series in the same chart. If a chart is not active when you open the
Options dialog box, the missing data options are not available.
It’s important to understand that these settings are applicable only for line
charts, XY charts, and radar charts. For all other chart types, missing data is
simply not plotted.
Figure 3-18 shows three charts that depict the three missing data options. The
chart shows temperature readings at one-hour intervals, and three data points are
missing. The “correct” missing data option depends on the message that you want
to convey. In the top chart, the missing data is obvious because of the gaps in the
line. In the middle chart, the missing data is shown as zero — which is clearly
misleading. In the bottom chart, the missing data is interpolated. Because of the
timebased and relatively “smooth” nature of the data, interpolating the missing data
may be an appropriate choice.
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