You know to get financial data into non-financial heads, a chart’s often your best bet. Here’s how to make better ones in Excel.
Of course, your staffers are going to hesitate to include charts in Finance reports if they think they’re too tough to make.
That’s why the first thing you want to be sure of is that everyone knows this Excel
Use the F11 key to create a chart, from there, the chart toolbar and the “double-click to change” method will help you customize your chart.
Got that one down? Maybe you’re ready for these two next level tips and, courtesy of SmallBusinessComputing.com:
1. Create a Reusable Chart Template
So you have an Excel chart that you have formatted neatly just the way you want it. Don’t lose that — you can save it to use it again at a later time.
To do this, select the chart and from the Chart Tools, Design tab, select Save As Template and type a name for the chart template.
The chart template should be saved in the default location, which in most cases is c:documents and settingsapplication dataMicrosofttemplatescharts. Click Save and you can now close your worksheet.
In the future, to apply this chart look to a new chart, select your data and choose Insert, Other Charts, click All Chart Types, Templates and locate your template. Click it and click OK. The chosen template will be applied to your data.
2. Add Data to a Chart using a Table
Say you have data that will be added to over time, like DSO month over month. You can create a chart that will expand as the data expands.
To do this, configure your Excel data as a table by selecting the data and the headings and click the Insert tab and choose Table.
When the Create Table dialog opens, check the data series description and click the My table has headers checkbox if the table includes headings. Click OK to create the table and then create your chart based on the data in the table.
In future, when you add more data to the table, the data will automatically be added to the chart.