Friday, July 1, 2022

Add Low-Overwhelm Context to Your Line Charts

The data you display in charts often takes on new meaning when you display it in the context of other data. One way to add...
When you're refinancing, this chart allows you to use the tip of your finger trade off your monthly payments and your total payments as you consider the term of your loan.

Calculate Mortgage Payments and Your ROA with an Excel CalcPlot Chart

An Excel CalcPlot Chart allows you to plot values in three dimensions, not merely two. Here are two examples. Mortgage Paments Mortgage interest rates are at...
The two Excel dashboard-like charts with May data show that consumer confidence has dropped like a rock since March. But Asia's data isn't available yet.

Dashboard-Like Excel Charts of International Consumer Confidence

The following Excel figure displays its charts in a dashboard-like format. At least, it's in a format that dashboards should use! When you use simple...
To improve forecasting, you can use Excel charts to track how quickly new products, stores, sales people, and so on ramp up their performance compared with similar launches in the past.

Use Common-Age Excel Charts to Compare and Forecast Performance for the Same Number of...

In the early lives of new products or new stores, managers often are anxious to track and improve sales performance. To do so, it's...
Should You Raise Prices? Should You Lower Them? These Excel Charts Can Help You Answer Those Questions

Should You Raise Prices? Should You Lower Them? These Excel Charts Can Help You...

In the early 1980s I was the CFO of a company owned by a man whose first instinct was to cut prices. When business was...
In finance, breakeven charts illustrate how your fixed and variable costs vary with your monthly sales. Here's how to set up break-even charts in Excel.

Map Costs and Sales in Excel with a Classic Breakeven Chart

When I worked as a CFO, my monthly reports always included a breakeven chart. It was one of the most popular reports I produced. But...
Excel can be the key component of a powerful and inexpensive Business Intelligence (BI) system. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Excel Is Great for Business Intelligence!

With the right access to data, Excel can become an outstanding Business Intelligence (BI) system. Business Intelligence (BI) is the systematic use of information about...
An article in the Wall Street Journal about babies born during the winter months offers some great advice about charts for Excel users in business.

Excel Charts, Seasonality, & Analysis: Five Lessons from the WSJ

A 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal offered some great advice for Excel users in business. The article, New Light on the Plight of...
Using gauges in your management dashboard reports is a big mistake. Gauges hide information that managers need and waste space in management reports.

Down With Gauges!

It's possible to carry an analogy too far. Dashboards for managers are logically similar to dashboards for cars. Both types of dashboards provide key information...
In your Excel reports and analyses, there's a huge difference between documenting performance and communicating it. Do you know that difference?

Do Your Excel Reports Document Performance? Or Communicate It?

When you report or analyze performance in Excel, you need to ask yourself a key question... Am I documenting results, or communicating them? There’s a huge...

Latest Articles

How to Smooth Data by Using the TREND Function

Years ago, I read that Prof. William S. Cleveland had suggested that data could be smoothed by calculating a centered trendline through adjacent data—a...
Two economists have introduced a new leading indicator, which predicts a recession soon. These Excel charts illustrate their insight. If they're correct, Excel users will be very busy in the months ahead.

Consumer Sentiment Suggests a 2022 Recession

In recent months, business websites have speculated about recessions and stagflation in 2022. These predictions could affect your Excel work significantly in the next few...
Your data can contain many important, hidden patterns. But simple transformations in Excel can help to reveal them—as this example illustrates.

Simple Transformations Can Reveal Hidden Patterns in Your Data

Excel users have at least two significant advantages over business professionals who rely on other analytical and reporting tools. First advantage: We Excel users can...
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