Display series in reverse order

I have been following Ben Garvey's suggestion and added 1 more optional boolean parameter to AreaChart(), BarChart(), LineChart() and HorizonChart().

This parameter is called "MirrorDisplay".

If MirrorDisplay = True or = 1, then the chart will be horizontally flipped, displaying a data serie in reverse order.
So far, only the XL2007/2010 xlam file has been updated and available under the coffee cup.

PS : Thanks Ben for the extensive feedback and debugging !

Sparklines For Excel vs. Excel 2010 Sparklines

Jon Peltier (no need to introduce Jon, I suppose) and Alex Kerin from Data Driven Consulting posted a quick comparison between SfE and Microsoft Excel 2010 "native" Sparklines.

Although my point of view as author os SfE would be completely biased, I posted a quick reply. 
If I find some time, I will try to make a quick survey about SfE's pros & cons, in the meantime, feel free to share your experiences and whishes by commenting here, I will take them into account for the next release of SfE.

Alex benchmark :
Sparklines for Excel
Excel 2010
Types of cell charts14 and growing: Line, Pie, Pareto, Bullet, XY, Scatter, Bar, Column, Stripe…
Three: Line, Column, Win/Loss
Overall look (sparklines)
Some blocking, not noticeable at normal zoom levels

Features on individual chart typesExcellent, whole range of markers like hi/low lines, max/min points
Limited to some basic additional data indicators, but they work well
Ease of deploymentHave to distribute macros with file, some VBA crashes, mostly during creation. Win today, as no built-in optionNo extra package, but Excel 2010 needed. Win in 2-3 years when 2010 is ‘standard’.
Ease of useMore complex, for  example looking up meaning of formula variable, color chartEasier, native to the product, so formatting is quick
Code Customization and StabilityVBA macro based (non-locked) so customization possible (and legal)Not VBA based – more stable, but no customization
GroupingCan set max and min so that multiple charts 
scale the same
Adjacent charts are grouped automatically making for easy changes of formatting/scales
Ease of editingCharts are shapes created on the basis of formula in the cellEffectively separate charts, edited with own section on ribbon
Future additionsConstant addition of new chart types/upgrades to existing
Maybe some fixes, but will likely have to wait until Excel 20XX for new chart types
CostFree, but you need Excel of course
Free, at least after you’ve paid any upgrade costs

While there are equal numbers of ticks in both columns, there are clear winners depending on your required functionality and how you intend to share the information. For creating dashboards that benefit from different types of in-cell charts and line markers, SFE is still a clear winner – the range of chart types, the continued development, along with the fact that the sparklines are formula based makes for a powerful tool. Distribution is complicated by the need to load the add-in file, but for dashboards that shouldn’t be a barrier.
On the other hand, for a quick summary of data that is emailed around, the native version in Excel 2010 is clearly simpler. In the near term (until 2012 I would guess), SFE is still really the only option anyway as sparklines created in Excel 2010 simply won’t show on earlier versions.
It’s great that Microsoft has offered sparklines – hopefully end-users will appreciate their value more now they are a native part of the program, and become used to sparklines’ inclusion in their data lives.

My answer :

"Thanks so much for this constructive comparison. Little frenchy VBA amateur vs. almighty MSFT coder team … I am thrilled.
Lets review quickly your comparison table.
Number of charts : XL2010 also offers VariChart() in the conditional formatting menu… in the other hand, the win/loss is nothing but a column chart with 1 ; 0 or -1. This limited number of charts does not reflect MSFT’s Business Intelligence ambitions… at least when it comes to Excel. Let’s assume it’s a start.
Overall look : irrelevant from my point of view. Even w/ Zoom of 400% blocking is not noticeable, and specially not on printed reports.
Features : Even with tiny charts, we need some reference: a line to materialize a threshold or a target. XL2010 sparklines do not provide any reference and more important, do not offer the possibility to add a visual scale, a context … it looks good but you do not know what you are looking at. Clearly not enough to design usable dashboards.
Ease of use : SfE formulas are used like any other Excel formula… I agree however that the “formula wizard” offers limited features when UDFs are a bit complex. I could spend some time on SfE user interface to make the parameters more understandable…
Customization : The code is yours, it’s open-source… be fair, share your ideas and improvements on SfE’s blog, quid pro quo.
Stability : This is from my perspective SfE’s weak point, especially with XL2003. VBA events and many shapes to refresh are a cause of crash. SfE can also be painfully slow, inefficient coding and numerous shapes being the reason. I have been thinking of using .Net instead of VBA… but is it worth the effort with XL2010 at the corner ?
Grouping : True that XL2010 will make it “easier” (just quicker actually), but as a user, I prefer to see the formula and identify clearly the scale I am using. Using named ranges makes this so easy with SfE… your choice.
Ease of editing : Well, this is where I do not fully agree. SfE makes the formula easy to edit, plus you can use any nested formula inside SfE formula. I reckon however that only “advanced” excel users will fully appreciate this. Basic users (the ones that use Sum(a1:a2) and nothing else == > a vast majority) will prefer to tick a few boxes et voila.
Future additions : Except maybe a formula for creating quick Gantt chart, I would say that the toolbox is pretty complete. Improved “User Experience” would be the next priority (userforms, tick boxes, color picker, embedded help…). (well… less crash and more speed also !)
Price/cost : SfE is a great hobby.. priceless to me. Now, if Steve Balmer wants to include SfE features in XL2013… just let me know, we’ll talk $
As a bottom line, I would say that MSFT XL2010 is offering “Sparklines for the masses”, a simple solution that works for most users, but is definitely not enough for users who want to build more elaborated and comprehensive dashboards. But that’s maybe MSFT “SQL Server Reporting Services” job ?
SFE in the other hand, is a tool made by an “end user” with limited programming skills + great help from more advanced programmers, but with a much better understanding of what is required in a “decision making” process and dashboard construction (show a reference or target ; limited use of colors ; simple formulas if only mandatory parameters are used).
I am just frustrated that MSFT did not even consider looking at what SfE (and Bonavista and Bissantz) was offering before implementing their simplistic solution… serioulsy, the guys at MSFT France said “We don’t care about SfE, we have THE SAME in Office 2010″ … “THE SAME”… LOL"

Alex is founder of Data Driven Consulting, an independent consulting company that focuses on obtaining high quality data to facilitate effective business decisions. Data Driven Consulting specializes in a number of areas, including market research, dashboard and data presentation, and authoring of white papers and e-content.

SfE and BeGraphic join forces.

Aldecis is a young and dynamic team based in Paris I have been exchanging ideas with for some time now, not only about Sparklines but information visualization in general.

They have just released their creative Excel add-in : BeGraphic, which allows users to control precisely all parameters of a shape : Color, border, rotation, position etc... with a single cell.

Behind this simple idea, lays endless possibilities to create dynamic diagrams and enhance dashboards, reporting documents, presentations and scorecards with innovative visual data graphics... as easy as with your old Excel charts.

BeGraphic Lite is more an drawing engine than a ready-to-use solution. 
BeGraphic gives the opportunity to handle parameters of any specific picture or shape. But first users must build their custom data visualizations. Then BeGraphic is able to transform any infographics into dynamic charts / animated graphics.

In order to show some quick usages in the 'lite version', two pre-built templates are offered: gauges and choropleth maps (+ 7.000 geographical maps given only  to users who ask  for it and provide their professional email). But all other automatic applications will be provided with the final release of BeGraphic, probably available in summer 2010.

Summarizing, I wouldn say that BeGraphic:
- works inside Excel and PowerPoint
- doesn't need macro (only have to know the right-click or ribbon)
- needs your imagination (to build the initial graphics)

Did I mention that BeGraphic also includes an embeded "Sparklines for Excel" menu...

The free version Begraphic Lite can be downloaded here... enjoy.

Ben's "5K Results Reimagined"

Ben has helped to track some bugs in SfE.

Here is one his Sparklines production : a correlation of race time, gender and age of runners.

Feel free to send me some of your dashboards (screenshots or files), I will post them here as an inspiration for SfE users.

Enola & Victor

We just implemented 2 new types of Sparklines :
Enola() and Victor() were born on 01-02-2010 @ 9pm
I expect a lot of debugging for some time with those 2 UDFs ... ;-)
Sorry guys, but I couldn't resist to post this one.