Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Slide Makeover #88: Showing a trend and comparing current value to last Quarter and last Year

5,306 views

Published on

Analyzing performance requires looking at the current value in context. The context often includes the trend in past values and the comparison to the last value and the value for the same period in the previous year. . This makeover shows how you can use a line graph instead of a column graph to show both the trend and comparisons.

Published in: Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Slide Makeover #88: Showing a trend and comparing current value to last Quarter and last Year

  1. 1. Slide Makeover #88: Showing a trend and comparing current value to last Q and last Y Based on Dave Paradi’s ideas at www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com
  2. 2. Analyzing performance requires looking at the current value in context. The context often includes the trend in past values and the comparison to the last value and the value for the same period in the previous year. Here is an example from a recent U.S. Census Bureau report …
  3. 3. The accompanying text on the page with this graph in the report points out the key messages: the difference in values from the current quarter to the previous quarter and the same quarter in the previous year. Since this data is seasonal, comparing to the same period in the previous year is important.
  4. 4. The challenge with using columns to show a trend is that it forces the audience to draw the trend line in their mind, which may not be easy. The graph also has some elements that should be cleaned up to make the important messages clearer.
  5. 5. A line graph works much better than a column graph for trends. By adding comparison lines for the values in the past and callouts to point out the important messages, we can create this visual …
  6. 6. 21.7 28.3 20.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Q1 2013 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2014 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2015 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2016 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2017 U.S Retail Trade Corporations Quarterly After-Tax Profits (Billions of dollars) Data adjusted for seasonality but not price changes. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Quarterly Financial Report, June 6, 2017  $6.6B from Q4 2016  $1.7B from Q1 2016
  7. 7. The trend is much easier to see as a line compared to a series of columns. The dashed lines extending from the last quarter and last year values make the comparison easier than the audience having to do it by looking at the data points on the line.
  8. 8. I also added data labels to the three important points only. Don’t add labels to every data point when only a few are relevant to the message. The text box callouts include indicator symbols (the triangle characters) to make the message clearer. Here is the visual again …
  9. 9. 21.7 28.3 20.0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Q1 2013 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2014 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2015 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2016 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 2017 U.S Retail Trade Corporations Quarterly After-Tax Profits (Billions of dollars) Data adjusted for seasonality but not price changes. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Quarterly Financial Report, June 6, 2017  $6.6B from Q4 2016  $1.7B from Q1 2016
  10. 10. This graph is created in PowerPoint 2010, not even the latest version. PowerPoint graphs have all the same features as Excel graphs, and make updating and adding text boxes easy. You have the tools you need to create effective visuals already on your computer.
  11. 11. So the next time you have to show a current value in context with a trend of past values and comparing it specifically to the values in the last time period and the same time period in the previous year, consider a line graph with added elements that make the message clear for the audience.
  12. 12. Before After Lessons: 1. Use line graphs to show trends. 2. Make comparisons between values easy for the audience to see. 3. Explore the tools you already have. You can create effective visuals with what you already use. Quick recap: More makeovers available at www.SlideMakeoverVideos.com
  13. 13. If you would like me to help your team create presentations that have a clear message with focused content and effective visuals, get in touch: P: 905-510-4911 E: Dave@ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com W: www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com

×