Add-in can be downloaded for free or purchased. Heat Maps are a great form of data visualization that lets you visualize data in an effective way. Using the heat map add-in for excel, you can create advanced images that show certain patterns in your data. However, while using this add-in, there are certain things you should keep in mind to get the best output possible. These are important to keep in mind if you want to use heat maps effectively. So let’s go through 7 things I wish I knew before getting started with Heat Map Add-in for Excel:
WORKS ONLY WITH TABLE DATA
The first thing about adding a heat map is that it works with tabular or table type datasets only i.e., the dataset should be vertical and not horizontal. Ifs your data is in the wrong format, you can get it ready for heat map by using Paste Special.
YOU NEED ONE COLUMN WITH UNIQUE VALUES AND ANOTHER WITH CORRESPONDING CELL COLORS
Heat maps work on a double axis system so you need to have two different columns where one has the color information and the other your unique data. The easiest way to do this is to use conditional formatting and copy paste special for this purpose. More on that later.
CONDITIONAL FORMATTING NEEDS TO BE SET BEFORE ADDING HEAT MAP ADDIN
The most important thing about creating a heat map is making sure conditional formatting is done right before adding the excel add-in otherwise your mapping will go haywire when visualizing data after running it through excel add in.
YOU CAN ADD A SHAPE OR IMAGE IN THE BACKGROUND FOR BETTER AESTHETICS
The heat map add-in is great when it comes to rendering results but if your objective is more than just visualization, images and shapes in the background will make your report look that much better. It’s easy to add images in the background and even shapes like circles or rectangles.
YOU CAN APPLY CONDITIONAL FORMATTING ON ENTIRE TABLE NOT JUST ROWS AND COLUMNS
One of the best features of heat maps is that you don’t need to limit yourself to applying conditional formatting only on rows and columns, use it on an entire table so all your data gets mapped without having to do anything else. Just highlight the whole table and run excel add-in.
IT WORKS BEST WITH GREYSCALE COLORS
Using heat maps is easy but the only thing that might get to you is choosing the color. The heat map add-in works best when there are only greyscale colors used and not too many bright contrasting colors. Also, make sure your data uses light-colored text for improved readability.
PASTE SPECIAL LETS YOU CREATE A PIVOT TABLE FROM ANY KIND OF DATA
Paste special can be used in various ways and one of them includes creating a pivot table out of any dataset. While using paste special, use values and labels as row labels so everything shows up perfectly on your excel sheet.