How to make your data changes in the chart more informative

Excel 2016
Simple line and bar charts often attract little or no interest in the audience. Still, Excel allows you to attract attention to your data by emphasizing change direction, difference, or period.

   1.   Focus on the data changes between points

The expressiveness of business graphics sometimes determines the success or failure of the presentation, and you can achieve a better perception of the audience by using in charts intuitively obvious representation of data by arrows:

Chart with Arrows in Excel 365
Chart with Arrows in Excel 2016

See Using Arrows in a Chart in Excel 365 for more details.

   2.   Focus on the degree of data changes

To emphasize differences between data in the chart it will be interesting to create a column chart in which the color of each column depends on the value displayed:

Colored column chart in Excel 365

See Displaying conditional colors in a column chart for more details.

   3.   Show the difference between two data rows

Sometimes you can give your charts more impressive view by showing deviations of some real process from its expected flow:

Deviations in the chart 365

See How to add deviations into your chart for more details.

   4.   Show the difference between different periods

Most reports and presentations contain a lot of boring charts that describe the state before and after some event, action, etc. However, using simple visual tricks, you can shake up the audience and draw attention to the essence of your presentation:

Chart with a Decorative Element in Excel 365
Chart with a Decorative Element in Excel 2016

See How to add Dividers to the chart for more details.

   5.   Emphasize the difference before and after the specified date

You can add a vertical line in your chart to show data and highlight, for example, the current date:

Chart with vertical line in Excel 365
Chart with vertical line in Excel 365

See How to add a vertical line to the chart for more details.

See also this tip in French: Comment rendre vos modifications des données dans le graphique plus informatif.

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