Friday, February 24
PS2 Poster Session 2 and Refreshments Fri, Feb 24, 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM
Conference Center AB

Good Old Excel: Using an Old Favorite to Explore, Visualize, and Share Data (303428)

*Nola du Toit, NORC at the University of Chicago 
Edward Mulrow, NORC at the University of Chicago 

Keywords: Data visualization, tools, Excel, graphics, dashboards

There are many tools available for the exploration and visualization of data. Unfortunately, many of them, like Tableau and various R packages, are limited by cost, accessibility, or a steep learning curve for the programming languages. We discuss the benefits of using Excel to create popular data graphics, such as population pyramids, dot plots, small multiples, and so on, that can help analysts communicate with clients. Not only can Excel create elaborate graphics, but it is readily available to most analysts and data users on their regular computers and can easily be accessed and shared among colleagues and clients. We also explore Excel as a method for creating interactive dashboards that are accessible to users without additional licenses or servers. Finally, we discuss the ability of Excel to easily replicate graphics through the use of templates that can be shared and uploaded with new data; making Excel a quick, easy, and cheaper alternative to other visualization software.