Things every Controller should know: Sparklines and Quick Analysis in Excel

October 22, 2018New View Strategies

In my last Excel blog, I discussed the use of Conditional Formatting and how it can be used to create more dynamic reporting. If you missed it, take a look. As we continue our effort to spruce up our financials reports, let’s look at Sparklines and the Quick Analysis tool.


Much like Conditional Formatting, the use of Sparklines provides another opportunity for a quick graphic in Excel. There are three options – Line, Column, and Win/Loss, found on the Insert tab.

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Creating a Sparkline is simple. Place your cursor in the cell you want a Sparkline and select the output type. In the Sparkline creation box, select your Data Range.

Excel Picture

Once the Sparkline has been created, the Design tab will open allowing for changes, such as creating high point and low point colors.

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Repeat the process for each type / line of data where a Sparkline is desired.

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Quick Analysis

Conditional Formatting, Sparklines, Charts, Formulas, and Tables are all available using the Quick Analysis function. To get started, highlight data rows to analyze.

Excel Picture

In a few easy steps, you can transform your plain Excel financials into colorful reports and dashboards for the Executives in your business.


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