Data 1: Use a CSV file and Excel to make a chart

The resources we used in class: Week 8 and Week 9.

Of course, we also needed Yau’s book.

The assignment is to use Excel to create a clear and attractive chart of 365 days of high temperatures from your assigned city for your assigned year (see the Week 8 resources for that link). Requirements are listed below. Your chart will look similar to this one:

Requirements for your chart:

  1. Use the CSV file you generated from Python for your assigned city and year (DO NOT use 2009, and DO NOT use 2012).
  2. Use only Excel to create and edit the chart.
  3. Edit the chart’s heading to include the name of your city and the year. Also change the font size to make the heading the obvious first thing anyone would read.
  4. Sort the data in your spreadsheet to ensure that you have located the exact days for: (a) the highest temperature of the year; (b) the lowest high temperature before mid-year; (c) the lowest high temperature after mid-year.
  5. As seen in the chart above, create data labels providing the exact date and temperature information for those three days. (The Excel instructions cover this.)
  6. Change the temperature data line to red (because they are HIGH temperatures, and therefore HOT).
  7. Use Excel’s chart options to format the months as shown on the x-axis in the chart above.

To make the chart above more compact, I used the chart tools in Excel to eliminate all the numerals lower than 40 on the y-axis. You do not have to do that, but you may, if you want to.

Another thing I did for appearance’ sake was to delete the little box that shows a short line and the word Temperature, which by default appears to the right side of the main graph. If we had more than one line, that would be useful. For a single data line, it’s just chart junk.

Submitting the assignment

You will make a post on your own blog that displays your chart (you will save it out from Excel as a PNG; see the instructions). Give the blog post an intelligent headline, and write a few sentences to explain what you did to create the chart. You may personalize it by expressing your thoughts about the process you followed, about Yau’s explanations, about our difficulties in class, etc.

Post a LINK to your BLOG POST here, as a reply to this post.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 9 a.m. (Your reply posted here must be submitted before 09:00:00 in order to receive credit.)

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About Mindy McAdams
I teach courses about digital journalism at the University of Florida. I love to travel. I ride a Vespa. You can find me on Twitter (@macloo).

19 Responses to Data 1: Use a CSV file and Excel to make a chart

  1. 12 students made the deadline.

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