I came across this stock chart in the Kuala Lumpur’s edition of the Business Times while I was in Malaysia. The chart has an elegant treatment of dates. I have seen this sort of designs in many magazines and wanted an afternoon challenge to do this in Excel.
The exercise wasn’t very challenging after all. I managed to capture the nice features of the original chart. To create the clean horizontal date axis, I used a column with the formula “=IF(DAY(A2)=1,A2,””)“. This formula only displays a date if it is the 1st day of the month.
The alternating month blocks was created with an area chart using a column of formulas like this: “=IF(MOD(MONTH(A2),2),3000,NA())“. This creates a pulse train that varies between 0 and 3000 across months.
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Aeternus Consulting offers an excellent workshop Storytelling with Data Visualization using Beautiful Excel Charts. This workshop is aimed at students visualizing thesis data, managers and analysts needing to communicate in a data-driven way and leaders informing their board to drive actions.
Related Link: Making Charts Beautiful with Microsoft Excel