Calculating percentage change allows you to see how metrics have changed month over month or year over year, and are a staple in most analytics reports. In this post I’ll walk you through how to skip formulas and formatting in Excel by simply importing a spreadsheet into DataHero, clicking a few buttons and visualizing percentage change in under a minute.
First, import the data you wish to visualize into DataHero, whether it’s in a CSV file, a file in Dropbox, or even Salesforce reports. In Excel you would normally create a formula to calculate percent delta, then chart that formula in order to visualize month over month or year over year change.
That percent delta column does little to help you understand how your data is changing. It’s much easier to visualize this data over time. DataHero allows you to do that incredibly easily.
In DataHero, simply import the data without the “Percent Delta” column and drag the attributes you want to visualize onto the chart. In this example, I’ll drag on Sales Type, Value (Millions of Dollars) and Date. Then click the Change button in the top right corner (to show how values change over time) and the Percentage button in the top left corner (to display this change as a percentage). That’s it! You’ll now have the graph you see below displaying percentage revenue change by sector and year from 1992-2012:
After you create the chart you’d like, simply click the dropdown menu under date to aggregate the data into different time groupings. Display the data by month of year, day, etc. The chart below displays the percentage change in revenue month over month between 1992 and 2012.
Once you have the time groupings and charts you need, you can easily filter in DataHero in two ways.
To view the filter broken down by category:
Drag an attribute (in this case Sector) onto the top portion of the chart canvas and in the left side navigation you’ll see the breakdown of sectors as represented by year and revenue.
DataHero then creates this chart:
Check or uncheck certain categories to view them side by side in the column chart you’ve created.
To view an aggregate of a filter:
Drag an attribute onto the bottom portion of the chart where it says “Create a Filter”
You’ll then see a box asking you which categories you’d like to view.
In this case I selected the first three sectors that I’d like to view. This chart now shows the combined percentage change in revenue in department stores, discount department stores and gift stores by month of the year from 1992-2012.
If you’re looking for a way to visualize percentage change quickly (and keep it automatically updated) give DataHero a try and import your data today.
Kelli Simpson is the Marketing Manager at DataHero, where she heads up content creation and spends her days planning and writing data analysis resources for the non-analyst . Say hey to her on Twitter.
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