Excel Charts Show Travel Stats for Indiana

Earlier this semester, the MIS 320 Business Decision Making class had to analyze data collected on travel to and from Indiana. The assignment was to create a series of charts that would visually interpret the data for use by Indiana business leaders, politicians, state and local governments, and average citizens. On the surface, this appeared simple enough--after all how hard could graphs be? The challenge was that the data collected was from multiple sources and unorganized. Students had to dig deep in order to uncover useful information. They also were encouraged to experiment with color, 3-D effects, and styles. Some of the more interesting examples are shown here:

Taylor Kinney created this effective area chart comparing the number of people who visit Indiana from the rest of the United States to the number of people from Indiana who travel outside the state. It is not surprising that the highest activity involves the surrounding "five state" region.

Keflome Gebrenegus used a radar chart to perform the same comparison. The number of people from Indiana traveling to Florida clearly shows up as a "spike" in the lower right.

Jack Hiatt used a 3-D surface chart to compare individual measures for each method of travel included in the survey. The use of multiple dimensions allows comparison across categories and the "wireframe" and "rotation" options makes every data point visible.

Ross Beretta paid tribute to Indiana by adding the state flag as a background to this cylinder chart breaking down travel by income level. Adding a background image allows you to customize your graph using any picture. The picture becomes part of the chart and re-sizes automatically.


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