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Winnipeg’s business community

The local business community can be very competitive and quickly interpreting key performance indicators is crucial to running a successful business. It’s important for managers or business owners to easily spot trends in order to react. This may have been Microsoft’s intention when it created a new cell graphic called sparkline for Excel 2010.

Sparklines are small graphic elements in a worksheet cell that offer a visual representation of data. They are best used to show trends in economic cycles – such as seasonal increases or decreases – or to highlight maximum and minimum values. You can quickly see where your company is succeeding or where it may need immediate attention. One advantage of a sparkline is that unlike charts, sparklines are designed to print out on the worksheet. As you can see in the example below, it’s best to position the sparkline alongside the data for best impact.

Here are the simple steps you’ll need to create a basic, column style sparkline:

-Select an empty cell to insert your sparkline
-On the Insert tab (in the Sparklines group) click the Column sparkline
-In the Data box that appears, type the range of cells you want to include.*
-Click, “OK”.

There are several variations of sparklines to choose from depending on the type of accounting data you want to display. Their easy visible representation offers the advantage of quicker decision-making. Hundreds of columns of numbers can be quickly represented in a sparkline which can increase efficiency during business meetings. The best way to find out what works best for you is to experiment with each sparkline and ask for feedback from the people viewing the data. To learn more about sparklines, you can watch this Microsoft instructional video.

The sparkline is one of many features in Microsoft Excel‘s Office 2010 to help improve your business communications. Prophet Business Group’s Network team can provide you with the complete Office 2010 software package to increase efficiency in your business. If you would like to learn more about these products call us at 204-982-9890 or email sales@

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