Friday, May 3, 2013

Google Spreadsheets for Visualization

 To create a Google gadget, you first need a Google Drive spreadsheet of your data. 

Each column of your data is an attribute to incorporate in your Google gadget. The year is the time value that will be incorporated as your slide feature to demonstrate change over time.

Each row represents a point. Using the Google gadget, you can select which axis to graph, and therefore demonstrate a variety of trends.

After creating your spreadsheet of your data, go to insert and select gadget:

You will then be prompted to select which type of gadget you wish to display. Today I will be featuring motion charts.

After selecting gadget type, you will select your data, and specify a sheet name:

This will create a new sheet that holds your gadget.

When you go into the sheet, you can easily modify your axis to show a variety of trends:

On our visualization project, Katy and I chose to show Pinterest on the X axis, Comment frequency on the Y axis, and Ratings as the size of the circles.

By incorporating changing sizes, different colors, y axis, x axis, and change over time, Google Gadgets easily allows you to visualize the impact of four attributes over a variety of elements.

You can also select to show or hide trails. By selecting each element, you can display a trail of one, few, or all elements within the visualization.

This shows the progression or regression of an element with respect to your selected attributes over time. 

In addition to the bubbles, by selecting the tab above the visualization region, you can see a bar graph:

Or a line graph:

This quick and easy visualization tool can be incorporated easily in business presentations to quickly show change over time. 

Google Gadgets also offers a variety of other gadget formats to select from which can be explored in the advance edit area:


I hope you learned something new about how useful Google Gadgets can be! 

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