Better looking charts in Excel 2007/2010

One thing I really like about using Excel for my business intelligence solution is the ability to create some really good looking charts (author opinion).   We are all guilty of just cranking out reports using the default settings as we are just trying to get the job done, but if you spend just a little time and create a style guidelines for your reporting projects, your output can be more engaging and fun.


As you can see from the following example, below is using Excel with its default insert chart feature.  Looks ok and that is probably 80% of the charts out there.   Will all the reports an analyst has to go through, this one is boring and probably will not hold their attention long.



Look what happens when you spend about 2 minutes and dress up the chart a little bit.  

  • Adding gradients to the background
  • Changing the markets to be more distinct.
  • Removing the legend
  • Making the title look like a title
  • Border around the chart
  • = What a difference!



Let’s take the time and rethink how we visually present and consume information. I believe a lot of the BI consultants and solutions out there kind of forgot about this.

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