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Charting in Excel and DataHero

September 19th, 2013

Charting in Excel and DataHero

DataHero’s goal is to make data analysis accessible and quick for everyone. Microsoft Excel has some powerful data analysis features available for its users, but let’s compare the ease of use of Excel vs. DataHero.

Excel requires a certain base knowledge of functions and formatting that can require more time and attention than finding actual insights. In Excel, I first need to know what type of chart I want to create, which can take me away from my original intention, which is answering my question.

Creating a Chart

For example, I want to know which movie had the highest gross earnings out of the 2013 Summer top ten blockbusters.


1.) Click on Charts in your toolbar

2.) Select which chart you’d like to represent your data

3.) Select the data you want represented in your chart

4.) Adjust formatting such as titles, legends and colors

Excel Donut Chart

Compared with DataHero, which offers an intuitive process which lets you focus less on the details of formatting and functions, and more on the high-level questions.


1.) Upload your dataset

2.) Either use the suggested charts or create your own in two drags of the mouse:

         a.) Drag on Movie Title

         b.) Drag on Total Gross

3.) Format the chart as you’d like with custom color palettes, or change the chart type in one click

Donut Chart Total Gross by Movie Title

can easily see that Iron Man 3 was the biggest hit this summer. Now my second question is how opening weekend sales compared to overall gross earnings for these top blockbusters in Summer of 2013.

To ask further questions in DataHero, simply drag on other data attributes. Since I already have Movie Title and Gross Earnings on my current chart, I simply drag on Opening Earnings and DataHero automatically generates a grouped bar chart to visualize this data. Working with DataHero is so intuitive that it can be difficult to know just how much is going on “under the hood”. Because there is categorical and numerical data in this chart, DataHero’s Chart Magic creates those grouped bar charts without me having to know which chart I need.


To filter in Excel, select the column you wish to filter then click the cone icon in the toolbar. You can then set a max and min or deselect specific values.

Filtering in Excel

This same capability is available in DataHero, but in an easy zoom option. Those teardrops on the side of the chart allow you to simply drag on them to zoom in or out of your chart. You can also filter by selection/deselection or through a sliding scale.

Cumulative, Log or Percentage

For more complicated functions like cumulative, log or percentage graphs, there are many tutorials you can consult on Excel. In DataHero, you can simply click the More button in the top right and with one click create any of those graphs.  Learn when to use these graphs here.

Logarithmic Graph

DataHero also does a beautiful job of allowing you to slice, dice and summarize your data by eliminating the need for pivot tables in Excel. Read more about DataHero’s data summarizing abilities here.

Those are some basic charting functions that many people struggle through if they’re not Excel power users. At DataHero, we want to make the charting as easy as possible, so your attention can stay squarely focused on high level insights instead of where your parentheses are supposed to go in your formula.

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By Kelli Simpson

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