Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Other Trending Techniques
Figure 8-29: Start with a table that places your actual data and your forecasts in separate columns.
When you have the appropriately structured dataset, you can create a line chart. At this point, you
can apply special formatting to the 2013 forecast data series. Follow these steps:
1. Click the data series that represents the 2013 forecast.
This places dots on all the data points in the series.
2. Right-click and select Format Data Series.
This opens the Format Data Series dialog box. When the Format Data Series dialog box
opens, you can adjust the properties to format the series color, thickness, and style.
Other Trending Techniques
In this section, you explore a few techniques that go beyond the basic concepts covered so far.
Avoiding overload with directional trending
Do you work with a manager who is crazy for data? Are you getting headaches from trying to
squeeze three years of monthly data into a single chart? Although it’s understandable to want to see
a three-year trend, placing too much information on a single chart can make for a convoluted
trending component that tells you almost nothing.
When you’re faced with the need to display impossible amounts of data, step back and think about
the true purpose of the analysis. When your manager asks for a three-year sales trend by month,
what’s he really looking for? It could be that he’s really asking whether current monthly sales are
declining when compared to historical data. Do you really need to show each and every month or
can you show the directional trend?
A directional trend is one that uses simple analysis to imply a relative direction of performance. The
key attribute of a directional trend is that the data used is often a set of calculated values as opposed
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