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# Excel Graph Best Way

Posted on 2011-09-20
Medium Priority
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What is the best way to graphically represent the following fields

Location    Profit    Capacity Utilization

I thought a 3d scatter plot but Im not sure if that is best.
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Question by:kwarden13
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 36568044
kwarden13,

1) What are you trying to demonstrate with the data?  What story are you trying to tell?

2) What would typical sample data look like?

One thing I can say: don't use 3-d charts.  Ever.  Seriously :)

Patrick
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Author Comment

ID: 36568639
Heres some sample data

Location      Capacity      Profit       Utilization
H20      602,740      11.43      91.76%
H21      1,513,092      14.09      70.44%
H22      810,458      11.97      61.61%
H23      316,599      5.77      72.45%
H24      591,245      7.86      74.77%
H25      220,506      17.47      85.27%
H26      1,150,294      14.54      75.60%
H27      853,176      5.06      26.93%
H28      708,678      8.47      69.06%
H29      224,228      17.05      46.38%
H30      690,776      3.94      44.72%
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 36568752
OK, and what is it that you're trying to "say" with these data?
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 36568942
Before you go any further, be aware that Excel allows a maximum of two Y axes. So, if you're using Location as the X axis, you're out of luck showing the other three fields as Y axes.
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LVL 50

Assisted Solution

Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE) earned 600 total points
ID: 36570166
Hello,

you have three dimensions of data, but charting anything in 3D is never a good idea, as Patrick has already said (but it can't be stressed enough). With the wide spread of values within each set, it is also difficult to find a 2D scale that suits all values, though.

For a rough eye-balling of the situation, I suggest a bubble chart. Plot the capacity on the horizontal axis, the utilization on the vertical axis and use the bubble size to indicate profit. And that's all it is: an indication, no more.

Using the free XY Chart Labeller add-in, you can place the location as labels into the bubble.

Depending on your data, bubbles may overlap to an extent that they obscure each other. For cases like that you may want to choose a degree of transparency for the bubble fill, but I'd do that only as a last resort.

See attached.

cheers, teylyn
Book2.xlsx
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LVL 85

Accepted Solution

Rory Archibald earned 1400 total points
ID: 36573228
FWIW, you might also use a tableau approach.
Book2--7-.xlsx
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 36573310
That's a great suggestion, rorya!!

As an added benefit of this approach, you can use the AutoFilter on the data table to sort the data ( select any cell in the data table and hit Alt-D-F-F to enable Autofilter (works in any Excel version) or in 2007 or later click Data > Filter [ in Excel 2003 or earlier click Data > Filter > Auto Filter)

Each column will now show a drop down in the header row, which you can use to sort the data, i.e. by capacity, profit or utilisation and the charts will update accordingly, providing you with a suitable focus for your analysis.

points to rorya

cheers, teylyn

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LVL 1

Expert Comment

ID: 36681477
Here's a good way to illustrate all the data in one chart:

Panel Charts with Different Scales

It takes a little work, but it's worth it.
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