Data Visualization Tips

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For nonprofits data visualization and infographics can tell a compelling story about your impact that motivates your audience (donors, board members, volunteers, etc.) to take action and support your mission. Below are some tips to illustrate your data in an attractive, easily digestible format using Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.

Column Charts

One of the most common charts used in presentations and dashboards, column charts are meant to compare values to each other.  The most common use for a column chart is one set up of data broken up into categories.

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Here’s what the data above looks like using 3-D bar charts.

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Charts default without any vertical or horizontal labels, so you’ll need to add those so people know what the numbers mean. Doing so is easy, at the top of the page, click on Chart Layout and choose Chart Title and Axis Titles to cleary label and enlarge your fonts for your chart. 

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As you can see, column charts charts is a neat way to either compare categorized data for one data set, or compare categorized data across multiple data sets. For example, the regional chart above shows quite clearly that plumbing expenses are much higher in the North and East.

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Topics: Microsoft Excel

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