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Creating a large number of charts automatically

P: n/a
Hi there,

Are there Excel charting gurus here?? If so then please read on...

Sorry for the cross-post but I'm not familiar with the Excel groups. I've
posted to asp.general because if I have to code a solution to this it'll
probably be done in ASP on a web server, unless there's a significantly
better way.

I'm looking for a way to create over 100 Excel *charts* programmatically.
We've just run a large online survey and the data is being fed back to us in
a single spreadsheet - each respondent on a row and their dimensions
(division, department, etc) and each of their responses in columns.

This data has to be sliced by a number of dimensions - this will require
that just over 100 separate charts will have to be created. I'm looking for
a way to create these charts in the most efficient way. I'm happy to
normalise the data and load it into SQL Server, and can then easily extract
each required subset. The output of the extract process will probably be
spreadsheets in TSV format.

Last time I had to graphically report this sort of data I loaded it into a
mart and used PivotCharts. The owners of they survey don't need the
flexibility of Analysis Services so I'm happy to pre-define the charting
requirements if it'll mean I'm able to create these charts automatically.
Manipulating 100 PivotCharts was too much for them. Each chart will
ultimately be fed back to users in a Word document or Powerpoint
presentation with the appropriate analyses.

How do I then create a chart for each subset? I've thought about (but not
yet investigated) the following options:

1. Try to create a chart based on named-ranges in Excel, and just open each
extract and copy and paste the data across. The chart will spring into life
as the data is pasted. I'm not too sure what will happen if the size of the
cut and paste areas are different.
2. Write some sort of module in Excel VBA to either access the database and
create charts for all the subsets automatically, or create a chart for an
individual subset after accepting some sort of input from the user.
3. Use Office Web Components to do the charting on-line. Never used OWC but
might give it a go if I thought I could create even one web page with every
chart on it. I'd have to look at the format of the chart though, and how I'd
get each chart back into Word and/or Powerpoint.
4. Another mart, but perhaps using something like ThinSlicer to create the
charts online.
5. Pay a student $15/hr to manually create a chart for each subset.
6. Include some code in each Word document that manages to create the chart
object automatically when the report is opened on the network. This would
require the entry of custom parameters for each unit, or a custom query for
each, and unless the chart is somehow cached, would only display if the
report is opened with access to the network/database. OTT?
7. Something else I haven't yet thought of.

Any ideas? I be really grateful for thoughts, links to tutes/HowTos etc.

Regards,

Alan
Jul 19 '05 #1
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P: n/a
I'm an idiot - I left a follow-up set. Please respond to the re-post - it
doesn't have the follow-up set.

Regards,

Alan
"Alan" <Xa*************@XparadiseX.XnetX.XnzX> wrote in message
news:#X**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
Hi there,

Are there Excel charting gurus here?? If so then please read on...

Sorry for the cross-post but I'm not familiar with the Excel groups. I've
posted to asp.general because if I have to code a solution to this it'll
probably be done in ASP on a web server, unless there's a significantly
better way.

I'm looking for a way to create over 100 Excel *charts* programmatically.
We've just run a large online survey and the data is being fed back to us in a single spreadsheet - each respondent on a row and their dimensions
(division, department, etc) and each of their responses in columns.

This data has to be sliced by a number of dimensions - this will require
that just over 100 separate charts will have to be created. I'm looking for a way to create these charts in the most efficient way. I'm happy to
normalise the data and load it into SQL Server, and can then easily extract each required subset. The output of the extract process will probably be
spreadsheets in TSV format.

Last time I had to graphically report this sort of data I loaded it into a
mart and used PivotCharts. The owners of they survey don't need the
flexibility of Analysis Services so I'm happy to pre-define the charting
requirements if it'll mean I'm able to create these charts automatically.
Manipulating 100 PivotCharts was too much for them. Each chart will
ultimately be fed back to users in a Word document or Powerpoint
presentation with the appropriate analyses.

How do I then create a chart for each subset? I've thought about (but not
yet investigated) the following options:

1. Try to create a chart based on named-ranges in Excel, and just open each extract and copy and paste the data across. The chart will spring into life as the data is pasted. I'm not too sure what will happen if the size of the cut and paste areas are different.
2. Write some sort of module in Excel VBA to either access the database and create charts for all the subsets automatically, or create a chart for an
individual subset after accepting some sort of input from the user.
3. Use Office Web Components to do the charting on-line. Never used OWC but might give it a go if I thought I could create even one web page with every chart on it. I'd have to look at the format of the chart though, and how I'd get each chart back into Word and/or Powerpoint.
4. Another mart, but perhaps using something like ThinSlicer to create the
charts online.
5. Pay a student $15/hr to manually create a chart for each subset.
6. Include some code in each Word document that manages to create the chart object automatically when the report is opened on the network. This would
require the entry of custom parameters for each unit, or a custom query for each, and unless the chart is somehow cached, would only display if the
report is opened with access to the network/database. OTT?
7. Something else I haven't yet thought of.

Any ideas? I be really grateful for thoughts, links to tutes/HowTos etc.

Regards,

Alan

Jul 19 '05 #2

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