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Chart Templates in Excel

The following article provides an outline for Chart templates in Excel. Pictures can communicate more than you do with words. This increases the visibility of the data that you want to present. This is the reason we use a chart or graph template with Excel. Instead of showing complicated data, a precise form of a chart is preferred. Excel provides a variety of options to deal with charts. The challenge is opting for the appropriate style, which perfectly matches the data you want to showcase.

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How to Create a Chart or Graph Templates in Excel?

With the available styles, you can create a chart or graph, and if you want to make it as a template for further use, you can save the created graph as a template in Excel. This will help you to process the same kind of data further.

You can download this Chart Excel Template here – Chart Excel Template

Below is an example of making a customized chart and save it as a template in Excel.

It is given sales done for a year in different months. The sales are made in Kg, and the price is given.

By using this table, we need to create a graph. Here it contains the variables or components as Month, Unit sold, and Price. And we expect these three in the same graph.

Here you will get the customizable charts according to the data you want to represent.

You will get two different tabs. Select All Charts from the pop-up window.

Go to the Combo option.

You can select the pre-defined graphs to start quickly. You can see the built-in styles at the top of the dialog box.

The final chart will be as below.

The X-axis shows the months and Y as sales, and the secondary axis shows the month and sales price. This makes a perfect match for the data given in the table.

The final view will be as below.

You will get the dialog box to select the location where you want to save the chart Excel template. But to get it within Excel, I have saved the file in AppDataMicrosoftTemplatesCharts, the default location for templates.

How to Use the Saved Chart Template in Excel?

Whenever you use the same type of data, you can use the saved templates to generate the chart in Excel.

Once you select the column of data that you want to make as a graph, go to the Insert menu, then Recommended Charts.

You can see the below-listed. Select the Templates folder.

You will get the same saved chart templates for your desired data.

How to Set a Default Chart Template in Excel?

The default chart type is a two-dimensional column chart in Excel. It is possible to set a saved template as your default chart.

Select the data which you want to make as a graph. Go to the Insert menu, then Recommended Charts option.

Now the template has been set as the default template.

How to Delete a Chart Template in Excel?

If you no longer use a chart template, you can delete the template using Manage Templates.

Select the Insert menu go to the Recommended Charts option.

The default location of the saved templates will be opened. You can see the saved templates here.

Now the chart template will be deleted from the saved templates.

Things to Remember 

Graph templates help to represent your data in a pre-designed graph in Excel.

If you use and generate the same chart type with different data sets daily, you can use the chart or graph templates in Excel.

Any generated chart or graph can be saved as a template and used in Excel.

Once you save the templates within the default location, it is possible to use them as a template with any other data.

It is easy to manage the template; if you are no longer using it, you can delete it.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Chart Templates in Excel. Here we discussed How to Create, Use, Delete, and Set a Default Chart or Graph Template in Excel, practical examples, and a downloadable Excel template. You may also look at these suggested articles –

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How To Use Instagram Reels To Create Or View Videos

Instagram has finally extended the availability of Instagram Reels to more global markets including India. What is Instagram Reels, you may ask? Well, Instagram Reels is Facebook’s answer to TikTok, a short-video app. Now that we have access to Reels, we will discuss everything you want to know about Instagram’s foray into short video space.

In this article, we will guide you on how to get started with Instagram Reels, in addition to discovering Reels content and creating Reels to share with your followers.

What is Instagram Reels

Are you an Instagram influencer? If your answer is yes, Instagram Reels is simply made for you.

Three words Short, crisp, and entertaining explain Reels. If you love watching or short, crisp, and entertaining videos from your Favorite ‘social media celebrity,’ then Reels is a perfect place for you. Not just watching, you can also create your own videos, add effects, filters, music from a huge library of songs on Instagram, among other things. That’s what Reels is all about.

If I still have to describe Instagram Reels in one sentence, Instagram Reels is to TikTok what Instagram Stories is to Snapchat.

Instagram Reels is also Facebook and Instagram’s attempt to challenge TikTok’s legacy and dominance in the short-video space. Facebook continues to feel threatened by the way TikTok has emerged as one of the most-popular non-gaming apps worldwide in such a short span. For whatever reasons Reels exists, let’s see how you can get started with it.

How to use Instagram Reels

Getting started with Instagram Reels involves a two-step approach: Content creation and content consumption

How to discover and watch Instagram Reels

Many people struggle at finding ways to watch Instagram Reels in the first place. This article will help you discover Reels, in addition to several ways to interact with it. Getting started with Reels is fairly simple.

Make sure your Instagram app is up-to-date. Android and iOS users can go to Google Play and App Store, respectively. See if your Instagram app has received an update. Even if you haven’t received an update, you should still see Reels. Keeping the app updated is a good practice, to begin with.

Now that you are all set, just go to Instagram. There are a couple of ways you can find Reels. First up, the Explore Tab. You can navigate to the Explore tab by tapping the ‘Search’ option at the bottom of your Instagram app. Remember, you don’t have to search for anything. Just tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom.

The first video you see in the Explore tab is Reels. You will also find a small watermark for ‘Reels’ at the bottom left corner of the video. That’s how you know you are looking at Reels. Once you tap the video, you will be taken into a whole new world of Instagram Reels. All you need to do is swipe up to watch more Reels.

Unlike stories, Reels won’t disappear after 24-hours of their creation and they have a permanent place in your Reels tab unless you specifically choose to delete them.

How to create with Instagram Reels

Are you looking to post to Instagram Reels? Believe me, it’s a fairly simple process. All you need to do is tap the camera icon. Then, discover and select Reels at the bottom. You will come across a page that says ‘Create With Reels. Record and edit short videos and share them to Explore, where anyone may discover them.’ Sounds fairly simple, right?

Now, tap the ‘Get Started’ option at the bottom. But before you get started, remember that anyone can create Reels using your original audio if your account is public. Hence, be sure about what you are getting into. If you are privacy conscious, make sure that Instagram profile is set to ‘Private’ under settings.

Once you tap ‘Get Started,’ you will be taken right into Instagram’s camera viewfinder. There, you can switch between the front and rear camera, depending on what you want to record in your short video. On the left-hand side, you will find different options to edit your video. First things first, hit the record button at the bottom. Once you are done recording a video, you can always edit it the way you want.

On the left-hand side, you can add music to your videos, select speed, set timer up to 5 seconds, among other things. You can also add several effects and filters to your videos before posting them as Reels.

Once you have created a Reel, the next task is to share it with your followers. Similar to posts and IGTV videos, you can add a caption and hashtags to Instagram Reels. You can also check the option if you wish to share your Reel to feed. Interestingly enough, Instagram also provides creators with an option to set a custom thumbnail cover to their Reel.

Ways to interact with Instagram Reels

What if I don’t see Instagram Reels?

There are a few reasons why you may not be able to find Reels in your Instagram. First of all, Instagram Reels is currently not available for everyone.

At the time of writing this article, Instagram Reels is limited to select regions including India, Brazil, France, and Germany. If you are located in a region where Instagram hasn’t launched Reels yet, you won’t be able to access Reels.

How To Make A Bar Graph In Google Sheets

Bar graphs can be extremely helpful when it comes to visualizing data. They can display one set of data or compare multiple data sets. 

In this article, we’ll go over how to make various types of bar graphs in Google Sheets.

Table of Contents

How to Create a Bar Graph in Google Sheets

Add at least one column of data. Enter a label in the first cell of the second column, and add the data in the cells beneath it.

Next, follow these steps to insert a bar graph to represent your data.

Whichever method you choose, Google will insert a bar graph into your sheet. (Google calls it a column chart. This is the same thing.)

Making a Bar Graph with Multiple Data in Google Sheets

To make a bar graph that includes multiple sets of data, just add more columns of data.

Follow the same steps as above to insert a bar graph representation of your data.

In this case, Google uses the categories in the first row of data as the chart title. 

Making a Stacked Bar Graph in Google Sheets

When you use multiple data sets, you can show the part-to-whole relationships in your data by opting for what’s called a stacked bar chart. In our example above, the chart showed how many books each person read in a particular month. If we switch the bar graph to a stacked bar chart, we’ll see how many books each person read that month compared to the total number of books everyone read that month. 

There are a couple different flavors of stacked bar charts. First we’ll look at the Standard stacked bar chart.

Under Stacking, choose Standard. 

Now you’ll see the values of each category stacked into single bars. 

Alternatively, instead of Standard, you can choose 100% to make a stacked bar chart that depicts the ratio of individual data to the whole. Use this when the cumulative total isn’t important. 

So for our example, we might not care how many books were read in total each month—only how many books each person read relative to other people.

Notice that in the 100% Stacked Bar Chart above, the labels along the x axis are now percentages.

How to Swap Columns & Rows in a Chart

Using our example, let’s say you want to make it easy to visualize how each person’s reading habits changed from month to month. Google Sheets makes it easy to turn your columns into rows and vice versa. 

Our regular bar graph now looks like this:

If we switch rows and columns on our stacked bar chart, it will look like this:

You can see that each of these different options is ideal for telling a particular story about our data. Think about what story you want to tell, and determine which kind of bar graph most clearly makes your point.

Customizing Bar Graphs in Google Sheets

You may have noticed the Customize tab in the Chart Editor.

Select that tab to change the look and feel of your chart. Next we’ll go through each section of the Customize tab.

Chart style allows you to choose the background color, border color, and font for your chart. If you don’t like the changes you made, you can always select the Reset layout button to start over. 

Checking the Maximize box will decrease the white space in your chart. Try it and see if you like what you see.

Selecting the 3D box will make your bars three-dimensional, like this:

Compare mode will highlight comparable data when you hover your mouse over different elements of your chart. In the chart below, notice how the November data (the top-most section of each stacked bar) is highlighted.

The Chart & axis titles section is another place you can change the chart title as well as its font, font size, format (italics, bold, etc.), and text color.

In the Series section, you can change the appearance of your series labels. In our case, that’s the months and their corresponding parts of the bar graph. For example, you could change the November data from yellow to gray. 

In the Legend section, you can change the legend font, font size, format, and text color.

The Horizontal axis and Vertical axis sections offer similar options for formatting labels on each of your chart’s axes.

Finally, Gridlines and ticks is a relatively new feature (as of June 2023) allowing you to emphasize parts of your axes by inserting tick marks, formatting them, and setting the spacing between them.

Google Sheets Makes Bar Graphs Easy

Now you know almost all there is to know about making a bar graph in Google Sheets. If you’d like to learn more ways to use Google Sheets, read about the 5 Google Sheets Script Functions You Need to Know.

How To Make Graph Paper In Windows 11/10

Here is a complete guide on how to make graph paper in Windows 11/10. Graph papers are used to draw graphs and diagrams in academics. They contain a grid of numerous small square boxes appropriate for drawing curves, functional graphs, experimental graphs, and more. Now, if you want to generate and print a custom graph paper on Windows 11/10 PC, you can refer to this post. In this article, we are going to mention multiple methods using which you can generate graph paper in Windows 11/10.

How do you make graph paper on PC?

You can use a Microsoft Office application like Excel, Word, or PowerPoint to generate a printable graph paper on Windows 11/10. And, you can also use free software or an online service to create printable graph papers. The methods and exact steps are mentioned in detail below in this article.

How do I create graph paper in Word?

You can create graph paper in Word using a few simple steps. In Word, you can fill the page background with a grid pattern. To do so, we have mentioned the exact steps below that you can check out.

How to make Graph Paper in Windows 11/10

Here are the methods to create a graph paper on your Windows 11/10 PC:

Make a Graph Paper in MS Word.

Use Excel to Create Graph Paper.

Create Graph Paper in PowerPoint.

Use a third-party software to create graph paper.

Create a graph paper using a free online service.

Let us discuss the above methods in detail now!

1] Make a Graph Paper in MS Word

You can create a graph paper in Microsoft Word. It lets you make graph paper from scratch and directly print it on hard paper. You can also export the graph paper template to formats like PDF, web page, template, etc. Here are the steps to generate a graph paper in Word:

Launch Microsoft Word.

Create a new document.

Go to the Design tab on the main ribbon.

Choose a grid pattern from the Pattern tab.

Select foreground and background color.

Press the OK button.

Let us discuss the above steps in detail!

Next, in the Fill Effects dialog, go to the Pattern tab and select a pattern to fill the page background. To create a typical graph paper, we would recommend you to use Small Grid or Large Grid pattern. You can also use a dotted grid pattern if required.

After that, choose the background and foreground colors. You can keep them white and black or choose some other color combination to create a graph paper.

Lastly, press the OK button to create and view the graph paper.

See: How to type Text over a Line in Word without moving it

2] Use Excel to Create Graph Paper

Microsoft Excel also lets you generate a graph paper. You can easily turn a sheet into graph paper using some easy steps. Here are the steps:

Open MS Excel and create a blank sheet.

Press the arrow button present at the top left corner.

Go to the Home tab.

Enter 8 in Row Height.

Repeat steps (3) and (4).

Enter 1 value in Column Width.

Go to the Page Layout tab and set up margins.

Add borders to cells.

Print the graph paper.

In the Row Height dialog, enter the value 8 or 9, depending upon what row height you want to keep in the graph paper.

In the new Page Setup dialog window, go to the Margins tab and enable the Horizontally and Vertically checkboxes. Also, enter 0.5 in the Top, Right, Bottom, and Left boxes and enter 0 in the Header and Footer boxes.

Now, go to the Sheets tab under the Page Setup window and enable the Gridlines option present under the Print section.

Press the OK button to apply margins.

So, this is how you can generate and print graph paper in Excel.

See: How to add Multiple Formatting to your Text in one Cell in Excel

3] Create Graph Paper in PowerPoint

Another MS Office application that you can use to create a graph paper is PowerPoint. It is quite easy to generate and print graph papers and for that, you can follow the below steps:

Launch PowerPoint and create a blank presentation.

Select the slide and change its layout to Blank.

Choose Fill Type as Pattern Fill.

Select one of the Small Grid, Large Grid, and Dotted Grid patterns.

Set up the foreground and background colors.

Print the generated graph paper.

After that, select the Fill Type to Pattern fill from the right-side panel. Then, select Small Grid, Large Grid, or Dotted Grid as the background pattern. You can also select desired foreground and background colors for your graph paper.

Read: How to create an animated picture frame in PowerPoint

4] Use third-party software to create graph paper

It is an easy-to-use software to generate graph paper. You don’t have to put in any effort to create graph paper using this freeware.

Read: How to create or add Newspaper-like Columns In Google Docs

5] Create a graph paper using a free online service

You can also use a free online service to generate graph paper without any hassle. Here, we are going to mention two free web service that enables you to create graph paper. These are:

Print Free Graph Paper

Mathster Graph Paper Generator

1) Print Free Graph Paper

You can use this free website called Print Free Graph Paper to make printable graph papers in a few steps. Using it, you can create different types of graph paper including Cartesian, Engineering, Polar, Isometric, Logarithmic, Hexagonal, Probability, and Smith Chart graph papers. You can follow the below steps to create a graph paper using this web service:

Firstly, launch a web browser.

Next, open the Print Free Graph Paper website.

Now, choose the type of graph paper you want to create.

After that, select paper size, measuring units, and graph paper format.

See: How to use the Graphing Calculator in Windows 10

2) Mathster Graph Paper Generator

Mathster Graph Paper Generator is a dedicated online tool to create graph paper and save it in a PDF document. You can later print the PDF document containing graph paper in Windows 11/10. Here are the main steps to generate paper graphs:

Open a web browser and navigate to the Mathster Graph Paper Generator’s web page.

Select a pattern to generate graph paper from Square Grid, Hexagonal Grid, and Dots.

Customize paper size, orientation, and line color.

You can also enter line width, grid spacing, and border size.

It also lets you select the number of heavier lines in square grid graph papers.

Press the Generate PDF button to create and download a PDF of generated graph paper.

See: How to generate Truth Table in Windows.

Hope this article helps!

Now read:

Get To Know The Google Knowledge Graph & How It Works

Knowledge Graphs can help search engines like Google leverage structured data about topics.

Semantic data and markup, in turn, help to connect concepts and ideas, making it easier to turn them into structured data to populate Google’s Knowledge Graph.

SEO professionals need to understand how to influence topics in the graph if they are to affect meaningful change in Google’s understanding of their content.

What Is Google’s Knowledge Graph?

I like to think of a knowledge graph as a cross between an encyclopedia and a database. Each article is called an “Entity” by developers, or a “Topic” in Google’s customer-facing articles.

A topic can be about anything. Like most databases, it has a unique identifier, which you can sometimes see in Google’s URLs. Something like: [kgmid=/g/11f0vfyswk&hl], although the parameter name “kgmid” can change depending on the topic type.

There are usually multiple statements about the topic:

A name or label (Like “Elvis Presley”).

A Type or Types (Like “Person”).

A Description (Say “Singer”).

A list of Image URLs (Usually with the associated usage rights).

A Detailed Description (Usually some Text with a URL of the source).

However, Google also states that while the information in the above list might be available directly in their search API, they augment this data considerably internally.

So the topic, in this case, might also include the date Elvis was born and died.

It might say he was married to Priscilla Presley.

His works of art might include “Hound Dog”.

The list could go on.

You can see how this is really not very different from an encyclopedia article, but because all of the facts are in fields like “Married to,” it becomes much easier for a machine to connect the dots between topics.

It also supports the machine in retrieving the right information at the right time when a person asks (for example). “Who was married to Elvis Presley?”

An Important Note on Disambiguation

There are many knowledge graphs in the world. The Google knowledge graph is just one. Others include chúng tôi chúng tôi and chúng tôi (full disclosure: my company).

Indeed, any semi-structured data could be described as a knowledge graph, including encyclopedias or databases like IMDB.

Google is known to have built out its knowledge graph initially from other data sets including Wikipedia and the CIA Factbook.

There is also a common misconception that Google’s Knowledge Panel is Google’s Knowledge Graph. This is not the case, although the Knowledge panel may represent a subset of data in the graph.

The Knowledge Panel is a visualization of items of data connected through Google’s Knowledge Graph, but Google’s knowledge graph is a less visual record about topics.

A final disambiguation is in the terminology. A Knowledge Graph is generally described as being made up of “Entities” but Google tends to refer to entities as “Topics” in its public documentation.

This is a more “user-friendly” word to use but can make it harder to know when Google refers specifically to entities. This article will use the phrases interchangeably.

Entity Topic Types

Any entity is generally given a topic type. It may be a Person; Organization; Event; Place or Country.

If it is none of these, it is usually simply labeled as a “Thing,” although entity types might continue to be developed by Google.

Google’s Natural Language Processing API gives clues to suggest that many entity types are being used, such as “Work of Art” and “Consumer Good.”

Many others are listed on their Knowledge Graph Search API developer page, but Google currently seems quite weak at correctly categorizing many entities.

In addition, primary research conducted weekly by my company indicates that less than 20% of entities are recognized entities in Google’s own Natural Language Processing algorithm than are returned in their public offering.

Some Benefits of the Knowledge Graph (for Google)

By organizing the world’s information by topic, rather than by crawling and simply indexing webpage and websites, a search engine can leverage several benefits. These include scale, diversity, information integrity, and speed.

Scaling Benefit

The number of webpages is a hotly contested subject and while many argue they are countless, they are certainly in the trillions and expanding at a vast rate every day.

By contrast, the number of topics understood by humanity is much smaller (perhaps in the order of hundreds of billions) and is growing at a far smaller rate.

This means that there is an inordinate duplication of ideas in the content on the web.

By storing the information about a topic in a semi-structured way, the world’s information takes a lot less space and has a lot less duplication.

Diversity of Data Sources Benefit

Storing information about a topic allows Google to cite multiple data sources, rather than always sending the user to a single webpage.

This means that Google can collate salient facts about a topic and display them on the screen or through other mediums in a more appropriate way for the user or the user’s query.

In addition, information about a topic can in theory be derived from other sources beyond the Internet.

Information Integrity Benefit

Whilst Google’s Knowledge Graph can still contain factual inaccuracies and errors and may be open to manipulation by SEO professionals or bad actors, the approach has the benefit of providing Google with a “single point of truth” — at least for non-controversial topics.

A new fact about a topic may have to pass some quality threshold before it is added to the Knowledge Graph, but these thresholds are unlikely to be discussed openly by Google.

On the negative side, a single point of truth can reduce the diversity of information and can be prone to bias if the underlying data sources are themselves biased.

Information Retrieval (Speed) Benefits

By organizing information by topic, it becomes much faster to retrieve information — both by Google and by the user looking for a needle in a haystack.

How It Works: Where You See Google’s Knowledge Graph Used

Having explained how the Knowledge Panel is not the same as the Knowledge Graph itself, it remains the most overt use of the Knowledge Graph for most SEO pros.

However, for many Android Smartphone users, the most prevalent use of the knowledge graph is in fact in the “Discover” feature on their home screen each day.

Google can use information about your behavior to understand what Topics are important to you and can surface-related topics based on user history.

Topics can also be seen in Google Trends.

From here, Google also gives an indication of topics that might be closely related to each other, although it appears that this data is currently gleaned from pulling other searches by the same users, which can sometimes lead to rather unexpected related Topic lists.

Google also provides a Knowledge Graph Search API as shown above, and surfaces entities in the output of its NLP API.

Google Search: As well as the Knowledge Panel, when you type in a question in Google Search that it can answer using the Knowledge Graph, you also get a rich display in the SERPS. This is often at the expense of the core search results, pushing links to websites way below the fold.

These answers are also then in a format that Google can use in voice search. The Priscilla screenshot is an example of this:

Entities also are highly visible in Image Search, often grouping images around a notable person or place in particular.

This is an excellent example of how the Knowledge Graph can be used to act as a repository for other data sources than webpages.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, March 2023

How To Create Compelling Visualization?


Visualizing data is both an art form and a science. Some books provide their best case on creating a compelling narrative for what makes visualization appealing. Still, these texts may fall short since oftentimes; the research is based on survey data (which does not always reflect truth). The science behind most of these texts is qualitative in nature, and that form of analysis may not be applicable across a spectrum. In addition, you may also find that you’re being asked to deliver for a project with vague direction.

With express candor, I can assure you that there are no universal rules to developing a compelling visualization, and you will often be thrust into projects with little direction. If there are no universal rules, then how does a visualization become compelling?

“Compelling” is a story that is told by the use case for visualization. Though there are no universal rules to a compelling visualization, there are ways to ensure your development is useful.

Compelling visualizations typically include the following:

Intuitive and simple

Firm science and math

Stakeholder approval

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.

Table of Contents Intuitive and Simple

First and foremost, the purpose of any visualization is to tell a story (and visualization happens in a number of ways). So with that in mind, do not limit yourself to strictly bar graphs and line graphs. There are times when simple text will convincingly tell the story. More specifically, your intuitive visualization should be able to convey a message at a glance. Meaning that, without words and within 10 seconds, someone should be able to understand the meaning of your visualization. Implicitly, your visualization must be simple enough to understand.

Do this

Instead of this

Though the above example is trivial, you can imagine which one would be more appealing to tell the story of the data. Also, note it may be easy to notice a steady increase in annual revenue from the table shown, but in your actual projects, datasets may not be this small. For example, you may find yourself working on visualizing daily sales of your favorite snack food for the previous three years.

Lastly, do your best to avoid using overly technical terms in any visual, trust me. Your job is never to reveal your data’s r-squared value but rather to explain what it means “in English” or your given language. If you want to explain your data’s high variance, a numeric value is not helpful; instead, you can show graphically that it is hard to find any trends in the data because the data points are too scattered or dispersed.

Here is an added benefit of intuitive and simple visualizations, it makes people want to look more. When your work is easy to understand, your audience will not feel overwhelmed or confused. As a visualization expert, you should be able to explain your work without using too many academic terms. In the United States, there is a saying when someone is speaking in terms, only experts would know, “Tell me in English.” Essentially, this means the expert, for all their hard work to gain knowledge, has no ability to communicate with the people they are trying to help. Keep your visualizations intuitive and simple so as not to overwhelm your audience, and when they want to understand more, be ready to speak simply about the findings and insights you have worked hard to generate.

Firm Science and Math

Data visualization is important, but one of the unsung heroes (the component that may be overlooked) is actually the analysis that allows for visualizations. It is similar to going to a concert to see your favorite musician without considering all the people it took to build the stage the musician stands on. Without the proper science or math (depending on your project), your visualization may compel people to ignore your work. The role of the science and analysis may not be yours, but as someone responsible for creating the face of your data, you have to have an eye for when data quality may be lacking. As such, you must review the data you are actually trying to visualize! This is not quite Exploratory Data Analysis, but it is more of a peer review. Remember, you’re working on a team to deliver a product, and if you can catch a mistake early, you save time and energy for many involved.

It is not enough to view the data, though; the analysis is also imperative so that you can properly build your visualizations. In the example above, where you were asked to visualize annual revenue, how do you know what type of trend line to use? There are various types of trend lines [including but not limited to], linear, polynomial, and exponential. If you select a polynomial trend line, how do you know to what degree your polynomial equation should stop? You may have also heard this described as a degree of freedom.

In the above example, we used a moving average with a trailing period of two, but there could have been any number of trend lines attached; however, what makes sense for your project is solely up to you… at least during the development process (keep in mind that you are the technical expert, so these types of decisions typically rest with you however, always leave room for input from peers). Below are various types of trend lines that could be applied to the same graph.

Simple Linear Trend Line

Polynomial Degree 10 Trend Line

Exponential Trend Line

This example illustrates the importance of the science and math behind visualizations and is not as simple as dragging and dropping elements. Given the example, if you were to submit a graph with an exponential trend line, you would be telling an incomplete story. The trend line does not capture all the data elements.

Along with the science and math behind the visualizations, sometimes, you have to include data in separate files that helps to explain why the data is the way it is. For example, in the given an example, we see that for the year 2023, the business did not do very well. What factors contributed to this? Was there anything outside of normal business operations that could have created such a downturn? Were there any insurmountable external factors? For this reason, it is always helpful to include a breakdown of your data, and this can be accomplished in any way, but it is imperative that there be some rationale behind the data. Essentially, you want to allow the data breakdown to answer questions for you to prevent a revolving door of Q&A between you as the developer and any member of leadership (if someone has to continue to come to you for questions on your visualizations, you are not sufficiently visualizing data).

Stakeholder Approval

Ultimately, to make your visualization compelling, you have to get the approval of the project lead. I mentioned earlier that technical decisions are yours… during development. The truth is, ultimately, you have to earn the approval of your project lead. The project lead typically reports updates and results (or you may get to if you are not shy of presentations) to their lead; that process can repeat itself to the head of your organization or your investor.

You should aim to create visualizations that are beyond your wildest dreams the first time, though in reality; there is a lengthy process of development and review before acceptance, so be prepared to continue developing your visualizations.

Advantages of these tips:

These tips I have listed may seem basic. However, when these simple tips are followed, it can lead to opportunities you never thought possible. In some cases, if your work is great, you can present to many different teams in your organization, from managers to presidents; the possibilities are numerous. Presenting to leadership may seem trivial, but do not underestimate the power of getting in front of your leadership, even if it is only once. In addition to presentation opportunities, as your work improves, you will become a recognized expert (meaning you are proving your worth to your organization), which helps build a positive reputation for you and builds trust in your peers.


Most likely, your data will continue to evolve anyway, and as that happens, you may need to make adjustments. You may also find yourself recreating visualizations because you’ve migrated to another software as different tools increase in popularity. Basically, the development process for creating compelling visualizations is a continuous cycle.

As you continue to go through the development process, remember that your visualizations should be:

Intuitive and Simple: With a quick glance (and with no words), your visualization should tell a clear story, and then you should be able to explain your insights clearly (and simply).

Firm on Science and Math: Though you are creating data visualizations, your work is no less important than a data scientist, and your science and math need to be just as good.

Stakeholder Approved: You have to seek the approval of your project leaders in order to consider your work great truly; without their support, you may not succeed very much.

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