Data Charts in Excel 2007

When Practical Computer Applications (PCA) designs a custom application, we discover customer needs, develop or migrate their database, design data collectors, implement business logic and create reports and data visualization. Data visualization uses multiple interactive charts as data views, allowing users to explore, analyze, pivot and drilldown their data and discover patterns, trends, outliers, clusters and other relationships between their data.

Customers usually want to start with simple charts and many prefer to be compatible with Excel 2007 due its ubiquity. Excel 2007 is a good tool for static charting, when the user needs to visualize one table or pivot table. Excel 2007 even allows the user to filter or drill down into the data within such a single chart or table. Below are a few samples of such a chart. By clicking on each image, the visitor can get an Excel 2007-based demo of the chart and decide if such a data view is appropriate.

Click one of small images below to download Excel 2007-based demo:

Stacked Area Chart Bubble Chart


The charts above use Excel 2007 due its ubiquity. Excel 2007 supports 73 types of charts but has no ability to synchronize charts, no support for slicers and drill down functionality beyond one chart. If the user needs more cpabilities, like interactive dashboards, he has to upgrade to Excel 2010. Excel 2007 theoretically allows 16,384 Columns and 1,048,576 rows per worksheet, but can handle only 2GB of RAM. If the user approaches any of these limitations, then they need to upgrade to Excel 2010 with its support for 64-bits, slicers, free PowerPivot Add-ins and more.  For Excel 2010 information please view Data Charts in Excel 2010, if you prefer Office Live, please see an example of an Excel Web Application Dashboard.

PCAs experience with data visualization projects shows that the limitations of Excel 2007 can sometimes be solved by upgrading to Excel 2010-based custom applications. However, in most cases, it needs to be combined with Smart Client (.NET) or Custom (can be Office Live, Qlikview, Spotfire, Omniscope, Tableau etc.) application development, where PCA has the advanced expertise. Many users and data  visualization applications demand that more than one chart be shown simultaneously on the same Page/Window/TAB which leads (together with requirement to synchronized the content of all visible Charts) to the concept and implementation of custom dashboards. For a demo of dashboard please go to this page showing a dashboard using embedded Excel spreadsheet.