The other day a client of ours wanted us to create a data visualization chart using some of their online survey data. They wanted it fast, and they wanted something that they could do easily for their other needs in the future.
PowerPoint is the obvious choice for that but our client feels it has its own share of hurdles.
While using data from Excel worksheet does make sense because the chart elements will expand/contract as per the data chosen, for many, Excel presents a learning curve to be traversed before feeling comfortable to use it with PowerPoint. It is relatively smooth as long as the charts you want are the normal ones like a pie chart, a bar chart, a line diagram, and so on.
The going however gets difficult in PowerPoint when the occasion needs you to make typical charts like the Radar chart, the Scatter chart, the Venn diagram, etc.
It is here that the Google Chart Tools become really handy.
What really helps is that you can create a chart online without downloading any software, and after you create the chart you get all the codes to embed the chart in your webpage. We find these charts helpful because they alleviate the problem of explaining concepts in illustrative videos.
For example, if we take some arbitrary figures of traffic sources from search, social, and online ads, we may create data visualization with a Venn diagram as under using the Google Chart Tool. This chart took less than 5 minutes to make.
The chart – though not very appealing visually – makes it apparent to understand that the search contributes maximum traffic followed by online ads and social media. It is possible to design the chart with appropriate heading and separate backgrounds for the whole area and the chart area. The legend can be placed at any of the 4 sides.
You can also increase the width and the height of the chart area so that it can be placed anywhere in your webpage.
Finally, the Google Chart Tool gives you 3 ways to send the chart you create to whoever you want. This my client feels is a big advantage because there is no need to separately save the chart on the computer or upload to the server.
- A link that can be placed in email or instant message
- HTML code of the chart image that can be embedded in any webpage
- The full HTML code with Visualization API for use in standalone webpage
The following video briefly explains the main steps of creating a data visualization chart such as the one above with the help of Google Chart Tool.