Saturday, July 20, 2019

How to Make Beautiful Visuals (MS-Excel)

I am aware that this subject matter may be considered to be very basic. However, as a data scientist, it is not entirely uncommon that the end result of many of your research endeavors, will somehow or another, require the creation of a presentation of findings.

This of course, inevitably, will lead to the utilization of Power Point. Which will, almost as a prerequisite, require the utilization of Excel.

Therefore, in today’s article, we will review instructions as it relates to the creation of visual outputs as enabled by MS-Excel.

To illustrate this concept, I have created an example worksheet.

This worksheet can be found within this website’s GitHub Repository.

Basic Column Chart

For our scenario, we’ll assume that your goal is to create an attractive column chart as it relates to the above data. Utilizing the “Insert” ribbon option, after highlighting the data,

and subsequently selecting of the top leftmost menu selection button,

presents us with a rather uninspiring graphical depiction of the underlying data.

Let’s make this graphic look a bit better visually.

First, we’ll make the columns more attractive by changing their texture.

This can be achieved by clicking on the column portion of the graphic.

Next, click on the “Format” option within the ribbon menu.

From the many sub-menu selections, click “Shape Effects”, followed by “Bevel”, subsequently followed by “Circle”.

The result should resemble the following:

Next, I would advise adding data labels. To achieve this, left click on any of the columns within the chart.

From the drop down menu, select “Add Data Labels”, followed by “Add Data Labels”.

The result is a much more informative graphic.

However, for the sake of our example, we’ll assume that the axis needs to be modified so that the scale depicted measures from 0.00 – 4.00.

Select the graph’s axis by first right clicking the axis potion of the graphic.

Next, to modify the axis, left click on the selected axis. From the menu which appears, select “Format Axis”.

From the grey menu which appears on the right side of the screen, enter the axis values which you feel are most appropriate for the graphic.

Finally, to make our graph extra eye-catching, we will copy it from the Excel workbook where it is currently located, and paste it into our Power Point template.

However, when pasting, we will be sure to select, from the options available upon left clicking the slide, “Use Destination Theme & Embed Workbook (H)”.

In the case of our example, the final product resembles the following:

Basic 2-D Line Chart

To create a 2-D line chart from the same data, we will again highlight the data, click on the "Insert" ribbon, and select the left topmost option.

This will present a rather uninspiring graphical depiction of the underlying data.

Let’s add some points to our graph to increase its descriptive capacity. This can be achieved by clicking on the line itself, then right clicking to display the following menu. From this menu select “Format Data Series”.

With the “Marker” option selected, you are granted the ability to select the type of point, and the size of the point, which you would prefer to be implemented.

The end result should resemble:

I already adjusted the axis. However, if you would prefer data labels and a templated format, please follow the prior portion of instructions within the previous example.

That’s all for now. Stay studious, Data Heads!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.