Sparklines: a new express-analysis of the data in Excel 2010-2013

According to the profile of its activities to many users from time to time have to carry out all sorts of analysis of data (data on sales, customers, procurement, etc.). Often, this is done using spreadsheet Microsoft Excel, user-friendly and well-proven in meeting the challenges of this type of tool. Excel has built-in tools for sorting, filtering and grouping of data (with the possibility of summing up the results for each group), creating a compact and highly informative summary tables highlight important (critical) data using conditional formatting. Finally, the analysis and interpretation of the data can use the diagram. This visualization of data often allows existing laws to track, identify patterns, and so forth.

In recent versions of Excel (2010-2013), a new tool to facilitate the detection and analysis of data trends: Sparklines. Sparklines — a tiny charts that are placed directly in spreadsheet cells. As is the case with the usual charts, sparklines allow to visualize the data, and when you change the source data sparklines update automatically. However, otlichie.ot traditional charts, sparklines can be inserted directly into the cells of the table; they do not occupy much space and are arranged next to the analyzed data.

To create Sparkline should select the cell into which it is placed, and use one of the tools Sparklines group on the Insert tab. Excel allows the cells of the spreadsheet to insert the mini-chart of three types: graphs, histograms (tool axis) and charts such as win / loss. Regardless of the type of Sparkline, on the next step, a dialog box in which in the range of location already contains an address pre-selected cell, which will be placed sparklines. It remains only in the specified cell range data with the data to be displayed in sparklines.

To form groups sparklines clipboard can be used: one spraklayn initially created, and then it is copied to the desired spreadsheet cell. If the same group of sparklines to be placed in adjacent cells to copy Sparkline more convenient to use the fill handle. In addition, the construction group sparklines can be set initially. To do this, simply select the range of cells that should be placed sparklines, and then use one of the tools Sparklines group on the Insert tab, in the Sparklines dialog box, create a range of data as specified cell data for all the sparklines.

In the future, if necessary, you can set the style created Sparkline (or group of sparklines), change its type (for example, the graph is replaced by a bar graph), add markers to highlight certain values ​​in sparklines graphics or change the data on which is built spraklayn. These operations change and configuration spraklaynov performed using the tools located on the contextual tab, with Sparklines-designer (sparklines thus should be selected).

The spreadsheet cell containing spraklayny, you can enter additional data (text, dates, numbers, etc.). In this case sparkline displayed as background cell data. To remove Sparklines they must select and use a tool th * Clean, located in the group Grouped on contextual tab, with Sparklines-Designer or in a group to edit, the Home tab.

The sparklines still better than the standard charts? First, in dealing with large amounts of data is difficult to compare the chart. We have to build on one or several lines of the chart and histograms, or «fruit» of a large number of individual plots. Compactness, albeit at the expense of loss of detail in this situation becomes an important property. Secondly, each sparkline constructed in scope. Maximum and minimum values ​​are aligned to the same standards. This means that it becomes easier to make relative comparisons. In a typical chart, we recall, it is possible to build charts using only a maximum of two axes. In general, sparklines is not so much an alternative as the addition of standard graphics capabilities Excel. But often the value of the new tools is questionable as long until a «necessary» task.

As is often the case, an effective solution to the problem requires a successful combination of disparate tools. Thus, summary tables allow disparate set of data pertaining to sales, get grouped by months or quarters of the final report. And then comes the final line up and repeat it at the top of the worksheet followed by separation of the working window and fixing scroll areas. That after such manipulations are easily visible those goods which are in the general direction, and those whose sales strongly deviate from the final graph. At the same time along the way to solve important problems of rapid detection of non-standard products, which helps to create a list to support the work during the «off-season lull.» And what is more convenient — a line or bar graph — it can at its own discretion.

So spakrlayny — a simple-to-use tool that really is able to provide substantial assistance in analyzing the data in terms of identifying trends. A few clicks of the mouse and you may be surprised to discover the ups and downs, and other cyclical patterns in their data.

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