Category Archives: visualization

Quality Management 4: Histogram (any version of Excel)

Histogram is used to visualize the frequency with which data occurs. This is a good way of understanding data more than just sum and average. It is a good idea to look at each data set you get as a histogram. Here is how you do it in Excel.

Quality Management: Histogram in Excel

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In-depth: Excel Recommended Charts

Now that we know about Excel Recommended Charts, let us explore it in-depth. This is an implementation of artificial intelligence or machine learning at your fingertips. Don’t underestimate it… exploit it.

Excel recommended charts

Photo credit: Elsie esq. / Foter / CC BY and salendron / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Caution: Visual Interpretation Error in Data Analytics

We have seen how to put data bars in Excel (Bar charts with a difference). These help us compare any value with any other value visually. This helps us understand patterns in the data.

example for Visual Interpretation Error

If not used properly, this great feature can lead to confusion and misinterpretation as well. Here are common scenarios and the solutions.

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Quick Analysis should NOT be done quickly!

Read the previous article to understand the context of this article. Quick Analysis gives you many types of data visualizations instantly. But that is NOT the real benefit. The real benefit – as usual – is elusive and difficult to grasp in this “instant” mode of living life.

Quick Analysis

Read on to find out what you are missing – even if you know how to use Quick Analysis!

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Which type of chart to use when? No worries. Excel will help you!

Lot has been written about it. With Excel 2013, Microsoft did the smartest thing. They added a chart type called Recommended Chart. Now Excel is smart enough to look at what data you have selected and choose the most appropriate chart types for you.

recommended chart

It shows the preview of those charts using YOUR data.

Final decision, of course, is yours. So you choose the one which depicts the information in the most relevant way. Also notice a feature called Recommended Pivot Tables.


The most important thing is to STOP using the habitually familiar chart and explore what recommendations are given by Excel. It is not about making the chart which someone is asking for.

It is about finding out every piece of useful information from available data and to use it to your advantage. By the way, that THOUGHT PROCESS is called Business Intelligence!

It is also a part of Quick Analysis feature (which we will cover in the next article).

3D Map with Date/Time based animation: In-depth

Power Map series article 3. We will explore how to plot and interpret date/time type of information visually on the 3D map. This type of visualization is new to most of us.Therefore, this article clarifies the core concepts by taking a very simple example.

3d map date time animated map

Read on to sharpen your analytical skills.

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