Now Testing: MS Office Labs Chart Advisor (Excel add-in)

For all of the time I spend in Excel, I struggle when it comes time to plot data.  The MS Office Labs Chart Advisor is meant to help guide which type of chart should be used based on characteristics of the dataset.  While I don’t expect it to replace the human input of defining the kind of story the chart should tell, I do hope it will whittle down the amount of time I spend tuning my charts.

Chart Advisor Screenshot

This little add-on is exciting for me, since I have some data mining projects coming up that will be a good proving ground for the add-in.

Thanks to the How-To Geek and Pointy Haired Dilbert for this recommendation.

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One comment

  1. Microsoft Chart Advisor chart selecting process is based on an automated approach. A rule engine scans your data and calculates a score based on the rules and a so called popularity index. I have my doubts that such a full automated approach will help users selecting the appropriate chart type. Charts that are popular but not effective, like the pie chart, will get a high score.
    You should have a look on another Excel Chart tool, Chart Tamer:

    http://www.bonavistasystems.com/Products_ChartTamer_Overview.html

    Chart Tamer is flowing a different philosophy, respecting Alan Coopers rule “Imagine users as very intelligent but very busy.” Chart Tamer asks you some questions about the relationship you want to display and how you want to emphasize your data. Finally Chart Tamer offers you a selection of charts that makes sense in this context.

    Andreas

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