Great Graphs in Excel

How to Make Advanced Data Visualizations in Microsoft Excel

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

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


What's Included

  • 180+ video lessons that you can watch anytime
  • Step-by-step instructions for making beginner, intermediate, and advanced graphs in Excel
  • 20+ templates to download and follow along
  • Office Hours (almost) every week in 2020 and 2021 to talk about your projects
  • 7 additional Live Trainings just for participants in this cohort
  • Discussion boards to interact with fellow dataviz enthusiasts
  • Private Data Vizards community of fellow participants
  • Weekly emails to cheer you on
  • Lifetime access so you don't feel rushed
  • Examples from a variety of industries (public health, juvenile justice, museums, and more)
  • Behind-the-scenes Excel magic tricks guaranteed to make your jaw drop
  • Early bird bonuses like 1:1 consultations and Swag Bags

Step-by-Step Process

180+ Video Lessons

You'll get instant access to 180 step-by-step video lessons. You can watch these lessons anytime around your own schedule.

26 Excel Templates

Download the Excel files and follow along as we create each graph from start to finish. Then, adjust the templates and use them for your own projects.

Exploratory Data Visualization

You'll build:

  • Sparklines (8 lessons; 34 min)
  • Data Bars (7 lessons; 39 min)
  • Heat Tables (8 lessons; 42 min)

Core Dataviz How-To's

You'll create:

  • Bar Charts (11 lessons; 57 min)
  • Overlapping Bar/Column Charts (9 lessons; 51 min)
  • Waffle Charts (7 lessons; 33 min)
  • Small Multiples Bar Charts (14 lessons; 55 min)
  • Population Pyramids (12 lessons; 45 min)
  • Scatter Plots (8 lessons; 52 min)
  • Dot Plots (18 lessons; 1 hr)
  • Line Charts (12 lessons; 54 min)
  • Slope Charts (13 lessons; 40 min)
  • Small Multiples Line Charts (8 lessons; 36 min)


In addition to the core charting tutorials, you'll build:

  • Tile Grid Heat Maps (8 lessons; 54 min)
  • Tile Grid Trendline Maps (4 lessons; 31 min)
  • Geographic Heat Maps (4 lessons; 34 min)

Additional Topics

Bonus! You'll also learn:

  • Dataviz Best Practices (1 lesson; 67 min)
  • How to Brand Your Graphs (2 lessons; 31 min)
  • How to Use Symbol Fonts (4 lessons; 40 minutes)
  • How to Create GIFs (3 lessons; 36 min)

Case Studies

Let's look at real-life case studies from your colleagues! In these lessons, you'll see me talking through (1) what they're already doing well and (2) quick wins.

Case studies include:

  • Ellen's Agree/Disagree Survey Data (42:43)
  • Cat's Grantmaking Data for her Foundation (22:00)
  • Soren's Report with Color-Coded Divider Pages (29:39)
  • Ellen's One-Page Infographic in PowerPoint (42.11)
  • Andrew's Slides, One-Pagers, and Technical Reports (39:52)

Guest Experts

Finally, you can watch these bonus lessons from guest experts:

  • Ben Collins on Getting Started with Google Sheets (50 min)
  • Kate Strachnyi on 100 Days of Coding (60 min)

Live Trainings

You'll learn alongside colleagues during our Live Trainings. These sessions take place every other week between September and December 2021. And yes, they'll be recorded in case you can't make it live.

  • Friday, September 24, 2021, 12 - 1 PM Eastern: Orientation & Meeting Colleagues
  • Thursday, October 7, 2021, 12 - 1 PM Eastern: Transferring Graphs from Excel into Word/PowerPoint
  • Friday, October 22, 2021, 12 - 1 PM Eastern: B'Arc Charts
  • Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 12 - 1 PM Eastern: Sunburst Charts
  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 12 - 1 PM Eastern: Adding Target Lines to Bar/Column Charts
  • Thursday December 2, 2021, 12 - 1 PM Eastern: Bump Charts
  • Thursday, December 16, 2021, 12 - 1 PM Eastern: Graduation Party

Office Hours

Want me to review your drafts? Stuck trying to apply the lessons to your real-world dataset? Submit your questions to Office Hours we'll chat over Zoom on (most) Wednesdays from 12 - 12:30 pm Eastern.

You'll get access to:

  • The 10 remaining Office Hours scheduled for 2021
  • The 22 recorded Office Hours that already took place in 2021
  • And all the live Office Hours scheduled for 2022


Additional Support

Private Data Vizards Community

You'll be invited to join our private Facebook community. This is a great place to connect with colleagues, post drafts, and get feedback from each other.

Discussion Boards to Ask Questions

Every module includes discussion boards where you can ask questions, comment on the lessons, and share your own tips with the community.

Monday Messages to Cheer You On

I know you’re going to skip straight to the juicy dataviz magic tricks, but I’m going to email you on Mondays around 11 am EST and pretend like we’re working through the course one module at a time.


What Students Are Saying

5,518+ participants from around the globe have taken our online courses since 2018.

Here's how those researchers, evaluators, scientists, and professors are describing this course.

"My trend is definitely upward in this course. I'm learning EVERYTHING about graphs and #dataviz. Even the first couple lessons taught me so much useful formatting information about Excel that are already saving me so much time and ensuring my #professionalbranding consistency. And I'm looking forward to making graphs and charts that can convey complex information in an effective way!"

- Sue Griffey, Founder, SueMentors

"Enrolling in courses at Depict Data Studio is one of the best professional developments I have ever made... After eight months with Ann, I was able to turn my blah capabilities statement into something I am happy to share! I could go on and on about the many design and data visualization lessons I’ve learned from Ann.

Instead, I’ll end by saying that books and blogs are excellent resources. I have several books and subscribed to many blogs. However, they do not compare to live and on-demand instruction of Depict Data Studio."

- Lillian Haley Ph.D., MSW, ChFC®, President and Owner, Haley Evaluation & Research Services (HERS)

"Through the Great Graphs: Excel How-To’s course, I learned more tips and tricks than I ever expected. But the most impactful, yet unexpected, outcome was joining a community and making connections with others that were also along their own journey of improving their graphs as a way of sharing messages and insights through data... Because of the varied backgrounds of those in the course, I was thinking about my work in a completely new and improved way.

I found a great benefit in this as there was so much knowledge to be shared, wherever we were along our data visualization or professional journey. As a new evaluator, learning what others found to be successful also helped me in thinking about what I could apply to my own work. The supportive community that was built goes beyond the technical skills we learned throughout the course, as I know I have a wider network to connect with for questions, feedback, and advice long after the course ended."

- Maddison Staszkiewicz, Evaluator

"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, Assessment & Evaluation Analyst, Kaiser Permanenete Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine


About the Instructor

Your Instructor

Ann K. Emery
Ann K. Emery

Ann K. Emery is an internationally-acclaimed speaker who equips organizations to get their data out of dusty spreadsheets and into real-world conversations.

Each year, she delivers over 100 keynotes, workshops, and webinars with the aim of equipping organizations to visualize data more effectively.

She has been invited to speak in 30 states and 10 countries; 7,000 people have enrolled in her online training academy; and she has consulted to 200 organizations, including the United Nations, Centers for Disease Control, and Harvard University.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree from George Mason University.

After traveling full-time as a digital nomad, Ann now resides in Florida along with her husband and three children.



Mark your calendars! The course will be open the week of September 13 - 17, 2021. When it's open, it's open. When it's closed, it's closed.

First 25 People

We've got special Early Bird Bonuses for the earliest registrants.

The first 25 people to register will receive a Swag Bag with a dataviz shirt, stickers, buttons, and magnets. We don't sell the t-shirts separately; they're exclusively available for our Early Birds.

First 10 People

The first 10 people to register will ALSO receive a 1:1 consultation with me about your vizzes. We'll meet over Zoom for 30 minutes and work through your questions together. The feedback will be recorded and posted as a case study inside the course.