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Great Graphs: Excel How-To's

The practical hands-on techniques you need to save time and make better data visualizations inside of software you already have.

Are your takeaway findings getting lost?

Bad graphs can slow down the viewer's comprehension... increase cognitive load... and fail to inform decision-making processes.


Dusty Shelf Reports aren't inevitable.

With intentional editing, you can design visualizations that inform and inspire--right inside of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

All you need is Excel, PowerPoint, and Word

You don't have to be a computer programmer or a graphic designer to be a great communicator.

This course begins with a module on data visualization best practices, and then launches immediately into the tactical tips--how to create and edit graphs inside of Microsoft Excel.

3,312+ participants from around the globe

have already taken the leap into better reports, slideshows, dashboards, and infographics.

This is a full length course. We have mini and full-length courses available on data analysis, data visualization, dashboards, and slideshows.

What's included in this course?

  • Step-by-step instructions for making and editing graphs in Microsoft Excel
  • Discussion boards to interact with fellow dataviz enthusiasts
  • Examples from a variety of industries (public health, juvenile justice, museums, and more)
  • 2 live Office Hours sessions every month to talk about your projects
  • Private Facebook community of fellow participants
  • Lifetime access so you don't feel rushed
  • Behind-the-scenes Excel magic tricks guaranteed to make your jaw drop

How is this similar to your other courses?

The skills you build in each course are complementary, but not overlapping.

Your Instructor


Ann K. Emery
Ann K. Emery

Each year, I lead dozens of in-person workshops for thousands of people. My online courses bring those skills to you, too.

Depict Data Studio also consults to the United Nations, State Department, and Centers for Disease Control, plus dozens more foundations, nonprofits, film companies, banks, hospitals, and universities worldwide.

Your data deserves to be out in the world--actionable, talked about, used--not gathering dust in spreadsheets.


What does an online course look like inside?

I talk with you like a real person, not a monotone robot reading off a boring script.

Course Curriculum


  Next Steps
Available in days
days after you enroll

"Having attended Ann’s keynote address at the 2017 Southeastern Library Assessment conference, I learned a few quick tricks to transform a stock Excel graph to something better.

Once I moved into an assessment role full-time, I knew I would be writing more reports and wanted to up my game with Excel graphs and charts so I knew just where to go for help. Ann’s course in Great Graphs offered that and so much more.

When I had to write a summary of a laptop loan program survey, I transformed the plain, ordinary graphs to uncluttered, with clearly understandable graphs of the survey results.

Ann takes you beyond the basic Excel charts and graphs to learn how to make super cool waffle charts and icon arrays and adding spark lines and bars to a spreadsheet for quick visual analysis.

Two of my favorite tips were learning how to create new theme colors to input the color brand from my organization and using bold colors to highlight your point with the remaining graph in gray or lighter tones. I found this course to be very practical with beneficial tips to use immediately in my work and would recommend it to anyone desiring to up their game with charts and graphs for data visualization."

- Lee Ann Lannom, Assessment Librarian, Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries, Vanderbilt University

"The Great Graphs tutorials are exactly what I was looking for in learning data design techniques in Excel, especially using examples that makes sense in a nonprofit and philanthropic setting.

I like the short snippet format where I can quickly learn about a technique and then instantly apply it.

For instance, I was working on multiple data tables showing the number of services delivered and number of clients accessing housing services by quarter across multiple homeless services programs. Program leadership wanted a quick scan of the numbers by quarter for the entire fiscal year. They were used to looking at numbers this way.

I decided to add sparklines to the data tables so that program leadership can also quickly visualize the trend over time. I quickly reviewed the Great Graphs tutorial on sparklines and added trends to the data tables. I also learned other tips to create sparklines quicker and add other visual features such as high and low points in the data.

A data analyst I was working with on this project was amazed that this could be done in Excel. He was used to doing all his analysis in python or R, and wasn't too familiar with data design techniques in Excel.

Thank you, Ann, for creating these quick tutorials that anyone can follow, especially those in the nonprofit sector."

- Rocele Estanislao, Project Manager, Data Management, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

Frequently Asked Questions


How long do I have access to the course?
Indefinitely. I used to limit access to just 12 months. I wanted to encourage you to get in here and learn with me, but instead it just stressed you out, so I'm not cutting off your access anymore.
I know you're a perfectionist and always update your courses.
Yes, and you'll be grandfathered-in to all future updates to this course.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.