Sparklines and data bars are small, simple charts that convey a lot of information in a little space, often inline with text.
Commonly, Sparklines are used in tables. Their impact comes from viewing many of them together and being able to quickly compare them one above the other rather than viewing them separately. Sparklines make it easy to see the outliers, the rows that visualize deviating behavior patterns.
Although Sparklines are small, each chart often represents multiple data points over time. Data bars can represent multiple data points even though typically illustrate only one. Normally, each Sparkline presents a single series.
Because Sparklines display aggregated data, they must go in a cell associated with a group. Sparklines and data bars have the same basic chart elements of categories, series, and values, but they have no legend, grid lines, labels, or tick marks.
The following image shows a typical usage of the Sparkline chart type in a table.
Most chart types can be used as a Sparkline:
- Bar Charts—The Clustered, Stacked, and 100% Stacked Bar charts.
- Column Charts—The Clustered, Stacked, and 100% Stacked Column charts.
- Line Charts—The Clustered, Stacked, and 100% Stacked Line charts.
- Area Charts—The Clustered, Stacked, and 100% Stacked Area charts.
- Pie Charts—Both Pie and Doughnut charts.
- Range Charts—Area and Bar Range charts.
While data bars can represent multiple data points, they typically represent a single data point similar to the regular Bar charts. Data bars often contain several series with no category or have series grouping.
You can make data bar versions of the following full charts:
- Bar Charts—Clustered, Stacked, and 100% Stacked Bar charts.
- Column Charts—Clustered, Stacked, and 100% Stacked Column charts. Column charts can be either Sparklines or data bars.