April 25, 2017
Here's a little PPT problem that seems simple, but the solution evades me. I saw a PPT preso that management sees monthly, and one slide had lots of data in a PPT table for about 8 different metrics. I opened my big mouth and recommended that instead of displaying the data, we ought to display graphs of it since the trend of the metrics was more important than the actual values themselves.
I had envisioned 8 small line charts on a single PPT page so recipients could have a better data visualization experience. Everyone thought this was a good idea, but some stated that our operational teams do need to see the actual data. So, I figured we would show the graphs on one slide and the actual data on another. My only issue is that I can't think of a way to do this without entering the data twice: once for the PPT table, and once for the embedded PPT graph.
Ideally, I would like to use, as source data for the PPT graph, the data that's displayed in the PPT table. But, PPT doesn't seem to possess this functionality.
Alternative #1: I could create the Excel line charts in Excel, and then just paste a picture of all 8 line charts into PPT. That's fine, but then I'd have to re-enter the data in PPT for those data seekers.
Alternative #2: I could create both the Excel line charts and Excel data table in Excel, and then just paste both the table and the charts, as pictures onto the 2 slides. I think this would be my best workaround solution.
Alternative #3: I could create just the PPT graphs in PPT and tell the users that they have to go into each graph to see the raw data. Because that wouldn't provide viewing of all the data simultaneously, that's a non starter.
Alternative #4: I could create the Excel table and line graphs in Excel and link (rather than embed) these into PPT. I haven't experimented with this option, but I've read that you have to distribute both the Excel and PPT files for people to see the info (data and charts). I'm not sure if this is true, but I don't want to introduce any additional complexity for viewing the data.
So, I'm wondering if I missed anything obvious by attempting to display data and graphs on 2 separate slides?
April 25, 2017
Ah, I just saw Mynda's column on creating mini charts. So, I suppose I could create the data tables and just use mini charts at the end of the table row since it's ok if the chart is small. I could then just copy the picture of everything in Excel and insert as a picture. That would avoid the double entry. Here's Mynda's post.
July 16, 2010
I don't have a lot of experience embedding Excel charts in PowerPoint, but another option is to add a 'Data Table' to the chart itself. Of course the charts might be too small for a data table, so might not be an option either. Another option is to use Sparklines to show the trend, similar to the mini charts.