Excel 2016: the elephant (not) in the room

Microsoft is apparently waking up and getting a bit more serious regarding visualization in Excel. Excel 2016 gets a few more chart types but, except for treemaps, nothing really new. We could make them with a little of work, but it’s nice to have them ready to use.

Here are the new chart types in Excel 2016:

Boxplots (box-and-wiskers)






Sunburst (I prefer to call them multi-level pies)






So, what’s the missing elephant? For me, the elephant is the ability to turn every single chart into small multiples. I would trade all those charts above for that functionality, any day.

What’s your missing elephant?

These images come from a presentation by Scott Ruble you can watch below:

6 thoughts on “Excel 2016: the elephant (not) in the room

  1. Some missing elephants:
    *I’d like to be able to quickly transform series in the most common ways used in economic analysis, eg copy a line chart of a level series, right click on series properties and then “show as YoY change”, “show as YoY change of the 3 month moving average”, “seasonal adjustemnt using census x12”, “rebase to period X = Y”, etc.
    *easier formatting for shaded periods in timeseries, or easily adding horizontal or vertical series (like in FRED), or easily formatting the legend text to match the series’ colors, etc.
    The thing is, givin feedback to the Excel team is really hard. Really no way to contact them unless you’re an MVP.

  2. You look around the web and you feel like data viz is so prominent and persuasive that it must be happening automatically, but when you look at the most readily available tools for working with data you realize how much work still goes into it, how specialized it still is and still evolving. The data tools change, the visual tools change, the notions of representation change. Still a little surprised that the major productivity apps aren’t including more tools for data viz, but maybe it’s best to let the discipline get a little further ahead before standardizing tools. Meanwhile, we just rolled out an API that correlates themes in unstructured info streams: http://darwineco.com/builders/ Love to see what you can do with it. If you have any questions, just ask the engineers on the github page.

  3. Andrej,

    This looks pretty sweet. I just downloaded the trial. How long has this been out? I’ve never heard of Zebra (great name by the way).

  4. There a a few issues discussed in the video and I think that’s one of them. I think so.

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