The Axis: Actual Maximum Value or Potential Maximum Value?

The Axis: Actual Maximum Value or Potential Maximum Value?

Fine-tune your graphs by discussing this question with your colleagues: should our graph’s axes extend to the dataset’s actual maximum value or to the potential maximum value? Option A: Axis stretches just past the actual maximum value (30% in this example) The biggest number is 26%, and…

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The Data Visualization Checklist, 2016 Edition

The Data Visualization Checklist, 2016 Edition

Back in 2014, we launched the Data Visualization Checklist. Today, we bring you the updated version! Download your revised Data Visualization Checklist. What’s included in the updated Data Visualization Checklist? Stephanie and I tweaked five items: Text size is hierarchical and readable Labels are used…

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Removing the Double Y Axis

Removing the Double Y Axis

My least favorite charts of all time include clustered bar charts, 3D exploding pie charts, and line charts with two y axes. By now, hopefully you know my style. I’m not just going to complain about a graph without offering an alternative. Sometimes we need…

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Saving Time and Energy with Pivot Tables

Saving Time and Energy with Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are the fastest, easiest way to make sense of your data, and they’re easier than you think. In this post, I’ll show you how to insert a pivot table and then drag and drop variables to find patterns in your spreadsheet. Step 1:…

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The Simplest Excel Hack You’ll See Today

The Simplest Excel Hack You’ll See Today

In my prior post, I sketched a few options for a performing arts organization’s fictional ticket sales data:   I intentionally separated the year-by-year bars from the total bar with a little extra space. I don’t want all the bars mushed together. Easy to sketch…

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