Animated Business Chart #2

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FreshBooks is a fantastic online invoicing and time tracking service. I use it and love it. In just over the first four months of this year they reached $1 billion US in invoices run through their system, and to celebrate they published a very interesting chart. The chart was originally designed by I thought I would recreate it in Excel with a twist - animation.

It's pretty faithful to the original, with the added ability to sort the chart by countries with the most or least average invoice amounts; or with the most or least average time-to-pay on the invoices; or simply alpha or reverse alpha. You do this by clicking the legend to the left of the chart, as demonstrated in the above animated GIF.

This is a very advanced Excel chart, sporting bezier curves, bubble chart overlay with VBA rendered proportional font sizing, combination stacked bar chart and XY scatter chart, all series fed by named formulas with the original data in a data sheet with no supporting (cluttering) columns, two-dimensional dynamic range as the foundation of virtually all formulas, essentially no use of the IF function, animation with easing, VBA rendered font color fading, data sorting via the Sort method of the Range object, and liberal use of shortcut range references in the VBA. This is an instructional goldmine so please be sure to download the workbook.

I think it all came together quite nicely.

I placed the map behind the transparent charts in order to avoid the speed penalty of using a graphic as the back fill of a chart. I used this map from I lightened it up in Adobe Illustrator and used a circle vector mask to blow-up Europe, as was done in the original. It's the only way to separate the bubbles of Europe enough so that their labels don't overlap.

So what are your thoughts on this bad boy?

Here's the chart.

And here's a list of other animated charts on Excel Hero:

 - Excel, A Presentation Platform (Number Spiral)
 - Lilac Chaser (Optical Illusion)
 - Stereokinetic (Optical Illusion)
 - Illusory Contours (Optical Illusion)
 - Breathing Square (Optical Illusion)
 - Enigma (Optical Illusion)
 - Two Sinusoids (Optical Illusion)
 - Perpetual Collisions (Optical Illusion)
 - Freezing Rotation (Optical Illusion)
 - Reverse Spoke Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 - Stepping Feet Radial Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 - Swimming Fish (Optical Illusion)
 - Mutually Interfering Shapes (Optical Illusion)
 - Kaleidoscope Motion (Optical Illusion)
 - Curry's Paradox (Optical Illusion)
 - The Haze Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 - The Koffka Ring (Optical Illusion)

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Wow... this is wicked !
How long did it take to do it ?

Nice looking graph and I'm sure there are some good tricks in the excel sheet to learn from.

No offence, but I'm not sure what the point of the bubbles are. They just seem to make it look pretty and replicate data in the bar charts.

Maybe I missed something?!

Pretty amazing and impressive, thanks for sharing. I think it would be interesting if you blogged about your thought/work process as you create these charts.

Unbelievable. Can't wait to dl and explore the file...

That's really neat... so far understood about 85% of it. I need to dig in more tonight!

The Bubbles are located ontop of a Map of the World
Hence they are showing you the relative size and location of what is being charted

Steve | July 22, 2010 6:46 AM | Reply

Pretty amazing and impressive, thanks for sharing. I think it would be interesting if you blogged about your thought/work process as you create these charts.

I also would love to know how you create it this chart. Amazing stuff indeed.

A new style of bubble chart? I can't get it done as shown in Excel 2003.

This is pretty awesome….some of the nicest and most complex chart design I’ve seen!

@Fabrice -
Thanks for that. It took a couple of hours.

@Andrew -
The post was not about chart design, but replicating an existing design. But I do agree with Hui as to their purpose.

@Steve & Oliver Montero -
I understand what you are saying. I think with this chart in particular I will do a follow-up on how I did it.

@Tom Quist -
How did you get along exploring the chart?

@Moulay -
Did you get to 100%?

@minjiwei -
It is not a new chart type per se. I did not try to do it in a previous version to 2007, but what problem are you having?

@Alex O'Connell -
Thanks for the compliment!

Regards to all,
Daniel Ferry

Is it possible to download in Excel 2003 format please

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel Ferry published on July 21, 2010 9:20 PM.

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