Line Charts3:32 with Michael Watson
Learn how to create a line chart, and when it's good to use them.
Let's talk about line charts. 0:00 They are fantastic for comparing different items or 0:02 sources of similar data over a period of time. 0:06 Here, we are looking at a spreadsheet with membership data for 0:10 a fictional gym business. 0:15 But, we could also think of this as looking at total revenue for 0:17 different store locations, or profit from different products over a period of time. 0:21 Again, line charts are fantastic for 0:29 comparing different items of similar data over time. 0:32 So let's create a line chart with the gym membership data in front of us. 0:37 First, I'm going to select all the data I wanna chart. 0:43 And then I'm going to use my keyboard shortcut, Alt + N, and 0:49 the line chart short cut is N, so I'll press N again. 0:53 2-D line, correct, and there we are. 0:57 You can see, the line chart allows us to quickly see the story of the gym business, 1:03 because we can see the relative size of different locations to each other. 1:09 And how their membership fluctuates over the course of the year. 1:14 So, I'm going to make this a little bigger. 1:20 And I'm actually going to move this chart to its new sheet. 1:24 I'm gonna call it GymMembers. 1:28 So, for example, the Burnside and 1:35 Southeast locations are the biggest in the network. 1:38 Up here, Southeast is the green line. 1:43 Burnside is this yellow line. 1:47 We see that North 2 started out as the smallest location and 1:51 grew quickly over the year. 1:56 Maybe this is a new location. 1:59 Also, for pretty much all locations, 2:01 the membership declines over the course of the year, which could be normal. 2:04 Lots of people start off the year with their New Years resolutions, and it makes 2:09 sense that we would see higher membership in the beginning of the year as a result. 2:14 This is called seasonality, in business, certain periods of the year are gonna be 2:18 higher demand or make up a larger portion of your revenue for the year. 2:23 Think of retail companies and 2:29 how important the Christmas holidays are to them. 2:30 Or what about an ice cream company? 2:33 We'd expect to see much higher sales in the warm summer months than in the winter. 2:35 Let's get back to the gym business. 2:41 We can see some of the locations are having larger declines than the others. 2:43 Maybe North, which is the gray line, 2:48 is declining because North 2 is taking away some of their members. 2:52 Something known as cannibalization, in business. 2:56 That is taking away from your existing business or 3:00 products by launching new products or locations. 3:02 Let's look at this same chart in column form. 3:05 Yikes, that doesn't make the story clearer at all. 3:16 So using a line chart is preferable when charting 3:21 multiple series of data over time. 3:26 The story is much clearer. 3:29
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