Software

Office challenge: Improve this Excel chart anyway you want

This week, impress your colleagues with your Excel charting skills! Improve this Excel chart based on default settings.

This week, the challenge is just for fun. The chart shown below is based on Excel chart default settings, and we all know that the default settings leave a bit to be desired. Your challenge is to improve the chart in any way you like. The only restriction is that you must work with the provided source values and you need to reflect all four series - but you can do so any way you please! For your convenience, you can download the sample worksheet.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

3 comments
ssharkins
ssharkins

You can also send stuff to me privately and I can include with my responses. The response to this challenge has already been published and my changes are very similar to yours.

jpglasgow1
jpglasgow1

Since very few people actually bother printing these type of charts these days I would second fledis suggestion above but I would go for a black background and light bar chart colours. I would also change the axis values to show a $ in millions which gives a less cluttered chart, eg starting with $20m next value would be $40m etc, due to the large total value I would show the the value in $m on the Totals bar which means the total series for Jones would read $145m rather than the full number $144,958,147 (this is achieve by using a custom numbering as follows "$"#"m". Hope this helps, by TSJ. Was hoping to be able to attach the finished article to show you all but there is no feature to allow me to do so? Come on guys at least provide an area to dump in a screen shot?

fledis
fledis

Point one. The type of this chart can't be "line". It's a big mistake because data on the X axis are discontinuous. I'd use "column". Point two. I'd take off grey background from the Plot area; especially if I'm going to print this chart. Point three. In case it could be "line" chart (for example, with some hronological values on X axis- month, year, etc.) lines should be thicker.

Editor's Picks