The fastest way to insert lollipop charts in Excel

Lollipop charts are a great data visualization technique. Data visualization professionals and business analysts like them for a good reason. They can be used in similar situations as bar charts and column charts, but they have the advantage of producing a cleaner-looking picture.

The sticks of the lollipops are thinner than the bars/columns, which allows the chart to "breathe", while the lollipops force the reader to focus on the most important part of the chart - the values.

Jon Peltier, Stephanie Evergreen and Jon Schwabish all wrote their own guides on how to produce lollipop charts in Microsoft Excel - "the primary data visualization tool for most of the world", according to Schwabish. These kinds of guides are necessary because lollipop charts are not included in the default set of charts found in Excel.

All of these guides work well for producing lollipop charts in Excel, but they all have one flaw: they take time to complete.

Ideally, you wouldn't need a guide to produce a lollipop chart in Excel...

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IBCS Compliant Profit & Loss Report

Andrej Lapajne to give a lecture on IBCS at McKinsey & Co. (NYC, Oct 22)

On Thursday, October 22, 2015 Andrej Lapajne (CEO at Zebra BI and IBCS founding member) will lead a presentation on IBCS in front of one of the world's most advanced dataviz communities: Data Visualization New York Meetup group. The meetup will be held at McKinsey & Co. 21st Fl. Conf. Center.

In a presentation entitled 'Dr. Hichert's IBCS: Designing reports, dashboards and presentations' Andrej will present the key features of IBCS through real-world examples and discuss their slightly controversial proposition: the design of business information should look (more or less) the same across all companies, regardless of their size, industry or location.

It seems the US public is eager to learn about IBCS - the 150 spots available at the meetup filled up in a couple of days and additional 63 members are queuing on the waiting list.

We're especially proud to lecture at this event, since the story of IBCS began exactly in New York City, exactly at McKinsey&Co, almost exactly 35 years ago! Here's how the story goes:

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Zebra BI Fall 2015 US Tour

The popular IBCS standard is being introduced to the US audience

The highly popular International Business Communication Standards, developed by Dr. Rolf Hichert and his associates at the IBCS Association, are rapidly spreading in companies throughout Europe. Some of the biggest companies in Europe (SAP, Bayer, Lufthansa, Philips, Coca-Cola bottlers) have already realized the importance of standardization in business communication. The Standards are finally ready to break into the US market. We at Zebra BI, one of the most passionate supporters of the IBCS, are going to actively contribute to its introduction to the US audience.

At the end of October our CEO Andrej Lapajne, a founding member at IBCS Association and one of Dr. Hichert's closest associates, is traveling to the US to spread the word about IBCS. Here's how his schedule looks like right now:

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[email protected] certified Zebra BI version is out

On June 8th, Zebra BI passed the IBCS certification process, becoming the first "IBCS certified charts + tables" software.

IBCS certified software seal - Zebra BI

The certification commission from the Business Application Research Center (BARC) in Germany that issued the certificate was very impressed with what Zebra BI can do. Here is one of their comments:

The certification commission was impressed with Zebra BI. All templates matched the patterns provided by the certification commission almost identically.

Today the Zebra BI version 1.4.1 (that was used to pass the IBCS certification) is ready to be publicly released.

This version includes many new features. Read on to get detailed information about each of them.

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Zebra BI silver sponsor at IBCS Annual Conference 2015, June 19, Royal Philips, Amsterdam

IBCS Annual Conference 2015, the key event for reporting professionals to exchange experience with their peers, thought leaders, consultants and software developers, will be held on June 19th at Royal Philips Global Headquarters in Amsterdam. The conference will offer practical case studies of rolling-out IBCS (International Business Communication Standards) in established corporations, as well as focused discussions led by reporting and visualization experts.

IBCS Silver SponsorZebra BI is the silver sponsor of this year's conference, where Mr. Ilkay Furmaz of Coca-Cola İçecek, the Coca-Cola bottler for Turkey, Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan, will deliver the keynote speech on their experience in international roll-out of IBCS-compliant reports and dashboards, implemented with Zebra BI. Andrej Lapajne, CEO at Zebra BI will contribute to the conference by leading a breakout session titled "IBCS charts in practice - real world examples and dilemmas".

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¡Hola! Zebra BI 1.3.1 is out and it speaks Spanish!

On May 13 we released Zebra BI version 1.3.1. and we're very happy to announce that it is now also available in the Spanish language. Since Zebra BI is already in use in Spanish companies and is just entering the Latin American market, we hope this will ensure even better user experience to our Spanish-speaking users.

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Data visualization in depth

Watch our 2nd webinar on data visualization next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 7pm CEDT we'll be running our second webinar. If you want to learn from Andrej Lapajne (Zebra BI CEO) about data visualization in depth, make sure to go here and save your spot!

Most reports, presentations and dashboards fail because of inappropriate or simply bad visualization: wrong choice of charts, nonfunctional colors, confusing data structures, illegible labels, etc.

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Financial Reports Webinar

1st Zebra BI webinar: Best practices in designing financial reports

Next Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 7pm CET Andrej Lapajne (Zebra BI CEO) will be hosting our very first webinar! If you want to learn best practices in designing financial reports, make sure to go here and save your spot!

How do your financial reports look like? All too often, they fall somewhere between messy spreadsheets and “dashboards”, full of poorly labelled and inappropriate charts, 3D effects and speedometers, that simply do not get their message across to the management.

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Business Intelligence agenda

Zebra BI at the Business Intelligence Agenda conference

Zebra BI will attend the 3rd annual Business Intelligence Agenda conference in Zurich, Switzerland between March 2nd and March 3rd 2015.

Business Intelligence Agenda in an independent annual conference for users and providers from the BI industry, focusing on latest trends in BI. This year's topics include Big Data Analytics, Data Driven Enterprises and Data Scientists.

Zebra BI will be present at the conference in cooperation with our Swiss partner Business|Solution|Group. This time, we have a surprise for you: we'll give away one Zebra BI licence to one of the visitors who'll find us there.

Don't miss the chance to win a free Zebra BI one-year subscription! Find us at the Business|Solution|Group stand and put your visit card in the tombola box. Maybe you'll be the lucky winner!

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Can you learn best practice reporting in 15 minutes?

Yes, you can! Zebra BI now guides you through visualization and reporting best practices with a nice interactive tutorial.

Watch the video below to see how Zebra BI teaches you how to create awesome visualizations, reports, dashboards and presentations directly within Excel:

As you see, good reporting is not just about good charts. It's good charts + efficient labelling, correct scaling, using multiple charts, combining graphs into tables and above all, standardizing shapes and colors.

To learn these best practices yourself, click on the button below to download Zebra BI:

Download Zebra BI

Zebra BI version 1.1.0 released

Zebra BI version 1.1.0 is out!

Even though our users repeatedly praised Zebra BI's speed, we've made it even faster. In some cases we measured it to be up to 10x faster than the previous version.

Additionally, all charts now automatically adjust the space for labels, and it works with any number format:

Labels automatic formating

Automatic label adjustment

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Zebra BI for Excel launched

Zebra BI has been launched!

As many of you may know the HICHERT®IBCS conference is currently taking place in Frankfurt. We are present by sponsoring the event and presenting Zebra BI to wide audience of management reporting professionals. With the official launch we are also presenting many new features, such as one-click scaling of multiple charts, colorblind-safe color scales, enhanced charts, IBCS compliant commenting, straightforward creation of PowerPoint slides, etc.

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