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3 ways to drive business decisions using the new Excel 2016 charts

With the release of Office 2016, 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. The Waterfall, Histogram, Box & Whisker, Pareto, Treemap and Sunburst are six examples of powerful new charts that help you quickly visualize common financial, statistical and hierarchical data.

Below are just a few ways these new charts speed up your analysis and expand the ways you drive business decisions. We also share a sneak peek at the Funnel chart, coming soon to Office 365 subscribers.

Quickly visualize gains and losses

Most business owners seek to better understand their finances to ensure their success. However, understanding and communicating your gains, losses and balances by viewing financial statements can be challenging. With the Waterfall chart, you can quickly illustrate the line items in your financial statement to get a clear picture of how each item is impacting your bottom line. Waterfall charts are now natively built into Excel, Word and PowerPoint across your desktop, tablet and phone.

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Show the relationships between the data

It is helpful at times for companies to better understand the largest revenue generators in their product line so they can effectively market those products. A 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.

However, if you need to see the full hierarchy in one view, check out the Sunburst chart (below), which provides an effective visualization of the largest contributing segments within a hierarchy of multiple levels.

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Illustrate statistical patterns

For many companies, it is important to continuously find new ways to attract customers, which is a key activity for business analysts. A histogram can help business analysts see the frequency distribution of the data, such as customers by age group. This can be used to more effectively identify a key customer segment.

Similar to a histogram is the Box & Whisker chart that shows the distribution of information. For deeper analysis, this chart (below) goes further by providing critical insights about the distribution in one view, including range, quartiles, mean and outliers of your data.

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Looking ahead—analyze impact at each stage of the process

We are adding new charts on an ongoing basis to increase the tools you need to be effective as a business analyst. Here’s a look at what is coming next! The new Funnel chart will provide a holistic view of the sales process and help you find the right places for improvement. Look for it soon as part of your Office 365 subscription.

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Find out more!

Join Scott Ruble, principal program manager for Excel, who is responsible for data visualization and charting experiences across Office, at his session, “Communicate and Analyze with Impact: Using the New Charting Capabilities in Excel,” at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit, March 22–23, 2016 at the Bellevue Hyatt in Bellevue, Washington. The session will include hands-on training with these new charts. Registration is just $299. Register now to guarantee your slot.

Have ideas on other charts or visualization capabilities you would like to see in Excel? Tell us about them!

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