Excel Data Visualization

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This is going to be a short post because I'm hard at work on the Excel Hero Academy and need to spend my time on it in order to be ready for next month!

This visualization, originally by axiis.org, caught my attention some time ago. Here is my version of it in Excel 2007.


The animated GIF looks terrible. The Excel chart is much better.

I arbitrarily picked a date range for the chart that was different than the original as a means of dealing with Excel's nutty limitation of 255 series in a chart. So there are exactly 255 series in the above chart, and yes I know that Safari and Opera were shorted on the outer ring, but it is easy to see that their data did not change much in that month. The date range that I chose from the available data (all of which is on the data sheet) tells the best story in 255 series, I believe.

I chose not to use two charts on top of each other as I did on the Smith Chart since this visualization called for mouse interactivity with the series and doing so would have left only the top chart's series interactive. Compromises.

Additionally, this chart suffers the same limitation of the HTML 5 Readiness visualization in that line End Caps must stay rounded instead of flat as there is no VBA access to that part of the object model! And if you change the lines manually with the format dialog, they will revert to rounded when changing the line color with VBA!!!

Another challenge was that Excel draws circles counter clockwise starting at 3:00. Getting all the arcs to start at 12:00 and rotate clockwise took some doing! And I should add that they don't - they just look like they do...

Tough chart and although it is functional, I'm not convinced I like how it turned out. But it remains extremely instructive. What do you think?

I do like how in the most abstract way, it looks like the Firefox logo.

Here's the file.

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i realise you might not get exactly the same effect but wouldn't a donut chart be a bit simpler here?

Also, maybe a possibility for getting around the 255 series limit would be to use the same series for each color and insert breaks between circles. This could either be done by

i) Repeating endpoints and setting the border.linestyle property of points that join the circles to xlnone. Or

ii) Referring to ranges on the sheet and inserting blank cells between ranges.

And to overcome the 255 char length restriction of defined names in arrays or multiple ranges use code to set names:

names.add x, selection
names("y").RefersTo = [row(1:999)]

These are mere suggestions, and imho the work here continues to be unsurpassed.

I was going to suggest the same two approaches, but LHM has beaten me to it. I would think the donut approach would be easiest, especially if you want to use events to highlight moused-over segments.

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel Ferry published on September 16, 2010 11:12 AM.

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