- Create sparklines.
Now that you have seen the value of data visualization in charts, we can address a much simpler and compact visualization: a sparkline. Sparklines are small graphs that are created to offer simple visual clues about the data graphed. Basically, they are tiny charts inside a single cell.
There are three types of sparklines:
- Line: visualizes the data in a line graph form
- Column: visualizes the data in column form, similar to the clustered column chart
- Win/Loss: visualizes the data as positive or negative based on color
The best use of a sparkline is to place it close to the data you are visualizing. You may be wondering what use a sparkline is since you know how to create a chart, and both sparklines and charts automatically print when you print a worksheet. One great benefit is that sparklines automatically update if you change the data they display. Additionally, since sparklines are so small, it’s easier for people to see a general trend, rather than getting bogged down in individual data points.
To create your own sparklines, follow the steps below.
- Click on the cell where you want your sparkline to appear.
- Click on the Insert tab and find the Sparklines group. Select the type of sparkline you want to create.
- A new data box will appear. This is where you will enter the range of cells to be graphed by your sparkline.
- Hit Enter.
Note that like any other chart, you can change the display options of a sparkline, including colors and style, after you have created it. To change a sparkline, you will need to access the Design tab that appears under Sparkline Tools once you have created a sparkline. This tab will only appear if you have selected the cell with your sparkline in it.