Animated Business Chart #4 - Body Mass Index

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Recently I stumbled across a very interesting Flash based Body Mass Index chart at The Washington Post. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to emulate the chart in Excel. I think it really captures the essence of the original.



This Animated GIF cannot display all the colors properly and shrinking it to fit this blog, destroys the sharpness - but the animation still looks decent.

The Excel workbook demonstrates advanced Excel techniques to dynamically slice through gobs of data. The data sheet has nearly 6,000 records and watching the animation, I find myself wishing there were more years of data so that the animation would last longer!

Not only is the world getting fatter and this includes virtually every country, but women are leading the way. That's not comforting!

With the slider you can choose which country to highlight. You can choose to watch the animation at this normal speed or in slow motion.

All in all, this Excel animated business chart works well, and the Excel implementation is very instructive.

Here is the workbook:

Get Trained!

Sophisticated chart animation is just one of literally dozens of advanced methods that my students in the inaugural class of the Excel Hero Academy are learning. 

I've received dozens of messages from students telling me that the academy is the best Excel training they have ever found at any price and that it is possibly the best investment they've ever made. Wow.

This Spring I will be offering the course again. There's already 200 people on the interest list for the next class. Why not join us? Just fill the form below and I'll send you more information as we get closer!

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)
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Daniel, this is insanely cool. I love the Excel animations - not something you see too often ;) While animations aren't something that typical users would use in "normal" Excel applications, you have identified a few great applications and executed them superbly. Your work is truly one of a kind!


This is both cool and very informative - and quite a disturbing trend we're witnessing in terms of BMI!

The chart instantly reminded me of the stuff Gapminder is doing (with heavier tools):
So it really is amazing what you can do in Excel.

Just thinking out loud... it could be interesting to allow the user to select multiple countries to compare their trends over time. Also, a droplist for easy selection of country might work better than the slider.

Thanks for sharing & inspiring!

Hi! I think your posts are amazing!
I would like to make a question to you: I have a table with only two columns, in one I have months and in the other I have numbers which are scores. I would like to make an animated chart with the Line chart type. I am thinking that when clicking a button you can see the progression and how the line grows and becomes a curve. I do not know if I have explained myself good. Do you think this is possible?

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel Ferry published on March 4, 2011 8:24 AM.

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