Data-Driven Charts 016
Working with Radar Charts
Radar charts can be effective if only a few comparisons are being made. Radar charts with too many "lines" are useless because the information is too dense and quick and easy interpretations are impossible.
The series example does a good job of conveying distinctive, clear information using this chart type. Column and line charts can also be used to present this data, but there is not visual "cycle" aspect with these types of charts.
Consider matching these charts up with a circular flow. This combination of radar/circular flow charts might offer a polished and unique display for this type of message.
Customizing data-driven charts
Pre-PowerPoint 2007: to adjust the size of a data-driven chart, you must double click on it and then adjust it by pulling the corner handles. Do not size without double-clicking on the chart. The text will skew and the chart may even eventually corrupt if you size incorrectly. This is important. The text may scale as you do this (which is an option you can choose or not choose). We recommend that you do not scale your text, as font size consistency is important for readability.
If you are using PowerPoint 2007, just resize. There is not need to open up the chart by double clicking.
The colors for data-driven charts are determined by your template's color scheme or palette. Your template needs to reflect the branded colors of your template or your charts will fail to do so. If you need to augment the colors in your template, select complementary or contrasting colors that work well with your palette. Then use them consistently.
3D is not recommended. 3D in charts is ambiguous and imprecise. The idea behind presenting data is to be precise. Never sacrifice clarity or concision for the sake of style.
Apply shadows carefully if at all. It's probably better to apply gradients, patterns, and pictures. You don't want anything to obscure the values or make them ambiguous. This is the same argument against using 3D.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
These effects are not options with this type of chart.
Animate with a purpose. Simple reveals are much more effective than the more "startling" animations, unless of course you are trying to startle your audience. Add pizzazz by way of content, not by adding sparkly accessories.