Friday Auto ChartingI’m using the blog this week for a bit of shameless marketing. A number of people have said to me that they would love to find a way of getting their data into visual format without having to do a whole load of copying and pasting, when they really want to be analysing what the results are saying.

So, I’ve just launched Friday Auto Charting, a service whereby if you send me a set of tables or a raw data file, I will send you back a set of PowerPoint charts for every question.

The charts are based on your design and template – send me a few examples and I’ll do the rest. There will be two chart types, one for categorical questions (eg Yes/No) and one for scale questions (eg Agree/Disagree). If you need more different chart types I can include that as an optional extra. All the charts are fully editable.

I’ll include up to ten subgroups in the charts (although if you really want ten the charts will look pretty crowded!). You just have to let me know which columns they are in the tables or what the variable or definition is in the raw data. I’ll also show base sizes, and will do useful things like group multiple responses together as one question.

In the raw data file I can also add in nets (eg top 2 box scores or new combinations of age breaks) and add these into the charts as required. I will also supply an Excel file which contains all the aggregated scores, for further use.

That’s all included in the basic price which is £200 for charts from tables, and £300 for charts from a raw data file (SPSS). Optional extras start from £50.*

Examples of options extras: If you need particular brands or responses to be particular colours in all charts, I can do that. Ranking – either throughout all the categorical questions or just some of them as specified. Showing statistical significance – I’d generally do this by including the calculation in the chart datasheet. I can be pretty flexible about how you want the significance displayed. I can provide low base warnings on relevant slides, or hide numbers if the bases are too small. I can position brand logos along the axis throughout. In the raw data file I can change what the percentages are based on, if the definitions are straightforward.

In other words, although a set of charts like this is only a step towards a final output rather than a final report in itself, I can help you get a long way there by programmatically doing a lot of those things that take a long time manually.

It’s quick to set up and run, about a day to turn around. If you can get me interim tables or data, I can do all the setup in advance and could be giving you final charts within a couple of hours of getting the final set. Needless to say it’s very quick to rerun something once it’s been set up. It would be very feasible to set up an Auto Chart for a particular project that had some specific requirements and then run it through periodically for different waves or countries.

Looking at all the different approaches to automation, there are two types, push and pull. Push automation starts from the data and produces a chart (or table) based on what’s in the data file or tables. It’s generally quick and easy, but produces something which is quite simple and would need some working up before it becomes a final report. Pull automation starts with the template, which has been created to reflect what the final report needs to look like. An automation program works through the template and pulls the data in as specified. This is for more complex reports, where the requirement for the final output is known. You can do a lot with pull automation in terms of calculations and custom formatting, so the results should be very close to what the final report needs to look like. This is the best approach where there is a hefty report required which can be specified in advance, and is particularly useful where multiple reports are needed.

Which automation approach is the most appropriate depends on the project. The difference in price is that push automation might cost a few hundred pounds while pull automation would generally cost a few thousand.

Friday Auto Charting is simple push automation, designed to be fast, easy and cost-effective, and get you to seeing the results more quickly and without the pain.

(* Prices are exclusive of and subject to VAT)