A Chart That Works

I love playing with Charts in Excel. But I have always been surprised at how seldom my clients have requested any in my apps – actually they NEVER have. Sometimes I throw them in anyway and they like them but don’t get a big thril out of them (??) 

This despite the fact that there is lots of cool data that they could view graphically that I would think would help their analysis of their business facts and trends. It’s odd and frustrating.

The other thing that has always alluded me (probably because if people aren’t willing to pay me for earning something I don’t waste a lot of time on it) and that’s how and where one would use some of the new chart-types in the Excel arsenal.

Then today I happened to glance at what I think is the best use of a “Bubble” Chart I personally have ever seen. It’s not in Excel and it is VERY high quality (probably higher than I could produce in Excel) but it sure smacked me upside the head over how and why one would use a “Bubble” Chart (click on it to Zoom bigger) :

I am not talking about what it says (it is only of passing interest to me) but the big thing is that it is possible very quickly to understand what this chart is trying to say and it is amazingly good at displaying what it is trying to say in a way that makes sense to the viewer.  This in a way that just numbers could never do justice, unless you were an accountant or statistician or Harlan or somebody like that (I mean that with the greatest affection Harlan 🙂 – really) .

Just thought this was worth showing.


About Biggus Dickus

Dick is a consultant in London, ON Canada who specializes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Development.
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4 Responses to A Chart That Works

  1. Harlan Grove says:

    Where the heck is China?

    Could Excel charts use data within a particular series instead of different series? In the chart different colors are used for different largest religion in each country.

  2. Harlan Grove says:

    Just noticed the chart has Canada categorized as a Catholic country. Is that the case?

    • Biggus Dickus says:

      Not really …. but I suppose the largest single group are Catholics so that’s what they chose. Frankly my unscientific analysis says the vast majority of Canadians are either Agnostic, Skeptics or outright Atheists if you could get them to tell the truth when asked 🙂 …


  3. Richard says:

    Great chart Dick – have you seen the work of Hans Rosling – he demos is amazing charting software at
    Let my dataset change your mindset

    His software is free and availible at
    Charts at this level of sophistication ( with time disaplays) are incredible – but excel ????

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