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Beyond Boring Bar Charts: How to Fool Excel into Making (Pretty Much) Any Type of Chart You Want
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Beyond Boring Bar Charts: How to Fool Excel into Making (Pretty Much) Any Type of Chart You Want

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Tired of using the same old pie charts, bar charts, and line charts to tell your nonprofit’s story? Don’t have expensive data visualization software? Can’t afford to hire a graphic designer to ...

Tired of using the same old pie charts, bar charts, and line charts to tell your nonprofit’s story? Don’t have expensive data visualization software? Can’t afford to hire a graphic designer to transform your default Excel charts into polished masterpieces? In this presentation, Ann Emery showed nonprofit leaders how to transform their default Excel charts by leveraging a little Excel elbow grease.

These slides are from Ann Emery's 5-minute Ignite presentation given at the Nonprofit Technology Network's (NTEN) Nonprofit Technology Conference (#13NTC) on April 11, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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  • Are you tired of using the same old pie charts, bar charts, and line charts to tell your nonprofit’s story? Do you need a better way to communicate results internally? Do you need a better way to share progress with your funders?
  • Can’t afford to purchase expensive data visualization software to make better charts and graphs? Can’t afford to hire graphic designers to turn your default charts into polished masterpieces?
  • Hi, I’m Ann Emery from Innovation Network. We’re going to go beyond boring bar charts. I’m going to show you how to fool Excel into making (pretty much) any type of chart you want. All you need is a little Excel elbow grease.
  • I’m going to show you how to make four modern and streamlined charts in Excel – the basic bar chart, the up and down bar chart, the side by side bar chart, and the back to back bar chart.
  • First, let’s start with the basic bar chart. It shows how many youth were served by a nonprofit as it’s been growing over the past 6 six years. This is the default chart in Excel.
  • We need to use our Excel elbow grease. We need to get rid of the axis labels, border, grid lines. We need add data labels. We need to adjust the color scheme and increase the font size.
  • Here’s a better bar chart. I removed the border, the grid lines, and the key. I added data labels, which means I could remove the axis label too.
  • Here’s the best bar chart. It’s clean and streamlined. In this version, I increased the font size. I used a custom color palette, drawing attention to the last bar by using a darker color. This one’s ready to be shown off in a final report to the funders or the Board.
  • But what about comparisons? Sometimes you want to compare two categories. In this example, I want to show how many people were served in the Virginia branch of the nonprofit compared to the Maryland branch of the nonprofit.
  • Here’s one option. We’ve got the bar chart for Virginia on the top, and the bar chart for Maryland on the bottom.
  • Behind the scenes: I just used two charts on top of each other. I made sure they have the same formatting, the same shape and size. When I paste them into Word, you can’t even tell it was two charts. It looks like one seamless chart.
  • Here’s another option, the side by side bar chart. We’ve got the bar chart for Virginia on one side, and the bar chart for Maryland on the other side.

Beyond Boring Bar Charts: How to Fool Excel into Making (Pretty Much) Any Type of Chart You Want Beyond Boring Bar Charts: How to Fool Excel into Making (Pretty Much) Any Type of Chart You Want Presentation Transcript

  • Beyond Boring Bar Charts:How to Fool Excel into MakingAny Type of Chart You WantAnn K. EmeryInnovation Networkaemery@innonet.org@annkemery
  • 0.0%5.0%10.0%15.0%20.0%25.0%30.0%35.0%40.0%45.0%Under5yearsold5-9yearsold10-14yearsold15-18yearsold19-24yearsold25-30yearsold31-40yearsold41-50yearsold51 andoverFY07FY08FY09FY10FY11FY07African AmericanAfrican DescentArabic DescentAsian / Pacific IslanderCaucasianLatinoMultiracialNative American-2004006008001,0001,2001,4001,6001,8002,000FY07 FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11EnglishSpanishChartsDefault & Boring@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 2
  • Can’t afford…@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 3…expensive software?…graphic designers?
  • @annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 4Beyond Boring Bar ChartsHow to fool Excel into makingany chart you wantAnn EmeryInnovation Networkwww.innonet.org
  • @annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 5Bar ChartsModern & Streamlined1324Basic Bar ChartUp and DownBar ChartSide by SideBar ChartBack to BackBar Chart
  • Bar ChartBoring@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 605010015020025030035040045050007 08 09 10 11 12Number of Youth Served by YearNumber of Youth Served1
  • Bar ChartBoring@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 705010015020025030035040045050007 08 09 10 11 12Number of Youth Served by YearNumber of Youth Served1
  • Bar ChartBetter@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 8202278410 41645047007 08 09 10 11 12Number of Youth Served by Year1
  • Bar ChartBest@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 9202278410 416450 47007 08 09 10 11 12Number of Youth Served by Year1
  • comparisons?But what about05010015020025030035040045050007 08 09 10 11 12Number of Youth Served by YearVirginia Maryland@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 10
  • Bar ChartUp and Down@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 11VirginiaMaryland202278410 416450 470Number of Youth Served by Year240 235 267 274 270 27807 08 09 10 11 122
  • Bar ChartUp and Down@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 122
  • Bar ChartSide by Side@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 13Virginia202278410416450470070809101112240235267274270278MarylandNumber of Youth Served by Year3
  • Bar ChartSide by Side@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 143
  • Bar ChartBack to Back@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 15Virginia MarylandNumber of Youth Served by Year2022784104164504702402352672742702780708091011124
  • Bar ChartBack to Back@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 164
  • Bar ChartBack to Back@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 174
  • @annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 18ChartsModern & Streamlined1324Basic Bar ChartUp and DownBar ChartSide by SideBar ChartBack to BackBar Chart
  • @annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 19in ExcelMore dataviz options
  • in TweetsTakeaways@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 20Dataviz is do-able in Excel!You don’t need expensive software…… just a little #ExcelElbowGrease!
  • annkemeryaemery@innonet.orgThank You!Ann EmeryInnovation Networkwww.innonet.org@annkemery @Innonet_Eval Slide 21