Sparklines in Excel

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In my new series, 52 Weeks of Marketing, we’re going to go over 52 simple tools and tactics you can use to grow as a marketer.

First up in the series is one of my favorite Excel features that not many people use for some reason, but is one of the most powerful and simplest ways to display your marketing results to your colleagues, bosses, or clients. As an additional bonus, you’ll look like a data genius with very little effort.

Let’s build some Sparklines.

What are Sparklines?

SparklinesSparklines are simple charts that don’t include axes and live within a single cell of your data table. I love them for their simplicity. You can use Sparklines to visualize, very quickly and simply, a result.

In Excel, Sparklines are created by from the Insert menu and choosing Sparkline. They are best for data that is time based and doesn’t require a lot of complexity. You simply select the range of data you want to chart, and then place the chart in a cell. It’s that simple. Below is a 45 second walkthrough.

Sparklines in Google Sheets

Google Sheets SparklinesIn Sheets, it’s a bit different and you build these with a formula. It’s still not difficult, and Google provides good documentation to experiment with sparklines a little bit further.

You can take my Google Sparkline Sheet and play around with it to see how the formulas work. You can also grab my Excel Sparkline example here.