Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Age pyramid models

In the recent days I've read with great interests Jorge Camoes' blog about his Excel Demographic Dashboard and attempts to enhance it with Crystal Xcelsius. The Excel dashboard even contains two animated reports that help you see how the age structure in various countries and continents will change between years 1995 and 2050.

First, thanks for the information! The dashboard opened my eyes to see that the trend of growing average age is valid everywhere, including African countries (not only in Europe).

Second, thanks for a good sample! This well-documented test helps us compare BI softwares against each other.

Jorge's recent post discusses different approaches to create population pyramids with Excel (XY chart) and Crystal Xcelsius (stacked bar). Excel approach appears to me more flexible, because it allows you to draw several lines (several countries) into same age pyramid. Xcelsius falls short because Xcelsius-XY chart doesn't draw lines (only data points).

Well, let me add one more approach to the age pyramid problem.

I created the four age pyramid models by using (not XY or stacked bar but) the Sheet tool in Voyant. The software allows you to format a cell (to be precise, a column of a sheet) to display a bar or a line (instead of the number it contains).

Benefits of this approach? It's the flexibility to mix numbers and graphics together. For example, if you need more space for bars or lines, numbers will immediately move to the right, because they are part of the same sheet.


From now on, a link to Jorge Camoes' BI Blog is provided under my link list.