Make Reports and Presentations Sparky!

TinyGraphs Excel 2008

Picture: Sparklines Used In A Spreadsheet

A sparkline is a ‘type of information graphics characterized by its small size and data density. Sparklines present trends and variations associated with some measurement, such as average temperature or stock market activity, in a simple and condensed way’.

An example of sparkline use is given by the mini-chart column in the spreadsheet above. This approach to visualising data can sometimes be more effective that a separate listing of larger graphics (which can easily break the flow when either reading or presenting).

There are various tools available for producing sparklines, both open source and commercial (see link above).

I run two blogs (this and Fleet Pond Blog) and I’m going to play around with analysing them using sparklines to see how effective they are in discovering and communicating trends.

Picture: Screenshot of sparklines procduced with a Tiny Graph sample using Excel 2008 (Office for Mac 2008).

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One Response to Make Reports and Presentations Sparky!

  1. […] sparklines (discussed in an earlier post) will be a new feature in Excel 2010. This will presumably significantly increase their popularity […]

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