Excel Chart Advisor Helps You Choose The Best Chart Options

Video: Chart Advisor Overview Charting is one of the main strengths of Microsoft's venerable Excel spreadsheet, but with the range of options on offer, it can be hard to pick the best one (and easy to produce an over-designed chart that's high on graphics and low on usefulness). Chart Advisor, a Microsoft-developed Excel add-on, analyses your existing data and suggests the best type of chart to present the information. The product's only a prototype for now, but given Microsoft's focus in Office on "guided activities", I'd expect something similar to show up in the next release of Excel. Check out the video for more details.


    You should have a look on Chart Tamer:


    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.

    Chart Tamer is following 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.


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