- 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 wonder what use a sparkline is since you know how to create a chart. Well, the great thing about sparklines is they automatically print when you print a worksheet. Charts do not print when you print a worksheet; they must be separately printed or moved to another program like Word or PowerPoint.
Sparklines are also great in that they automatically update if you change the data they display.
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.
Check Your Understanding
Answer the question(s) below to see how well you understand the topics covered in the previous section. This short quiz does not count toward your grade in the class, and you can retake it an unlimited number of times.
Use this quiz to check your understanding and decide whether to (1) study the previous section further or (2) move on to the next section.