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Introducing new and modern chart types now available in Office 2016 Preview

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Editor’s Note 7/7/2015:
We added the sample workbook used to create the charts, which you can download here.

As part of a wave of new updates delivered in the Office 2016 Public Preview last month, we unveiled a set of highly anticipated new charts to give you more ways to explore data and tell rich stories across Excel, Word and PowerPoint. Say hello to Waterfall, Histogram, Pareto, Box & Whisker, Treemap and Sunburst—six powerful charts that help you quickly visualize common financial, statistical and hierarchical data.

Read on to see how you can take advantage of these new charts and then try each one out by installing the Office 2016 Preview. You can download the sample data used to create these charts here.

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Waterfall—visualizing financial statements with ease

Most business owners seek to better understand their finances in order to ensure their success. Profit and loss statements can help explain the bottom line of your business. However, quickly understanding and communicating your gains, losses and balances by viewing financial statements can be challenging. With a Waterfall chart, you can quickly illustrate the line items in your financial data and get a clear picture of how each item is impacting your bottom line. The example below shows the income statement for a bookstore. It’s clear to see that the cost of inventory nearly cut net revenue in half while operating costs accounted for an additional third of net revenue.

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A Waterfall chart provides a simple visual of the running total of your financial data, identifies the contributions and provides clear subtotals, giving you a ready-to-present financial report in a few clicks.

Learn more about the Waterfall chart.

Histogram—exploring and analyzing a distribution

For a bookstore owner, it is important to continuously find new ways to attract customers. Stocking books with both high-end and low-end prices can help appeal to a wider range of readers. The new Histogram chart can display the distribution of the book prices in inventory so the bookstore owner can ensure inventory can meet the customer’s needs..

Commonly used in statistics, a histogram automatically displays the frequencies within a distribution. In this example, the horizontal axis represents the book price. Each column, called a “bin,” shows the number of books within a given price range. Here we see that this bookstore has a good distribution of books, both high-end and low-end.

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Excel now makes it is easy for you create the Histogram chart. After creating the chart, use the intuitive options to change the bin ranges to dig deeper into the data.

Learn more about the Histogram chart.

Pareto—finding the largest impact

Continuing with the bookstore example, the owner now wants to focus on quality control by reducing the number of returned books. Each day, a number of books are returned and tabulated for various reasons—maybe the book is a defect or the customer bought the wrong book. The Pareto chart will help the bookstore owner to see the most common reasons customers return books.

Using the Pareto chart, you can automatically sort the frequency of the most prevalent issues (the bar graph) and then show the additive contributions of each issue as you move along the horizontal axis (the line graph).

In the example below, each column represents a reason for a book return. The line graph shows how each column, or issue, contributes to the overall total of returned books. Notice, from the bar graph, that the “defect” category caused 2,025 book returns. From the orange Pareto line in the chart, we see that this means defects contributed to 40 percent of all book returns. By improving on just the top three reasons for returns—defects, incorrect pricing and wrong products—the bookstore owner can address over 80 percent of the returns!

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The Pareto chart allows you to prioritize the improvements you want to make in the bookstore to address the most critical issues.

Learn more about the Pareto chart.

Box & Whisker—bringing statistics to distribution

Like the Histogram chart, the Box & Whisker chart shows the distribution of information. For deeper analysis, this chart goes further by providing key insights about the distribution in one view, including range, quartiles, mean and outliers. And you get all of this information with a few clicks.

In this example, we are able to compare the price distribution of books by genre. The Box & Whisker chart automatically groups the books by their genre and displays the characteristics of the distribution of pricing in a way that can be easily analyzed. Notice that the book prices of Romance have a wider range and is especially skewed by the one $300 item.

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Box & Whisker chart adds a visual angle to Excel’s statistical functionality, creating a simple snapshot view of the data’s characteristics.

Learn more about the Box & Whisker chart.

Treemap—analyzing across hierarchies in one view

For the bookstore owner, it is very useful to know which book genres provide the largest source of revenue. But what if you could easily identify the largest revenue generators for each level of genre categorization … in one view? The Treemap chart is an ideal visualization for this purpose because it provides a hierarchical view of your data and an easy way to compare different levels of categorization.

In this example, we can see each sub-genre grouped to its parent genre automatically, by color and proximity. The size of each node, marking a sub-genre, represents the total revenue of all books under that category. You can easily see that most of the revenue comes from Children’s books and Romance books, but also that 1st Readers and Young Adult titles are the most lucrative.

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With Treemap, large datasets with innate groupings can be effectively visualized in a simple way. Treemap draws the big picture, so you can draw comparisons between similar or competing products.

Learn more about the Treemap chart.

Sunburst—revealing every level of your hierarchy

While using a Treemap chart is ideal for comparing the relative sizes of groups, the Sunburst chart shows the full hierarchy of the groups to provide deeper analysis capabilities. With a Sunburst chart, it’s easy to see the largest contributing segments within a hierarchy of multiple levels.

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The visual layout is intuitively natural for finding how each slice is broken down to the most basic contribution. The Sunburst is versatile, displaying any number of levels for any category.

Learn more about the Sunburst chart.

These six new chart types provide a rich new set of storytelling tools in Excel, Word and PowerPoint that enable you to do more with your data. Additionally, each chart can be customized to fit your specific needs with the intuitive design tools you are already familiar with in Excel. Use these features to change style and layout of the chart, add chart elements, like legends and data labels and fine-tune the fonts, colors and effects.

After the release of Office 2016, expect to see even more innovative chart types added to Excel through your Office 365 subscription. As part of the modern Office experiences, we are committed to providing the best in class visualizations for data analysis and storytelling.

Get started today by installing the Office 2016 preview and then apply these new chart types to your own data.

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