Google Charts Fever

Are you totally over Microsoft Excel? Sure, it can be useful, but it’s too clunky for most users and the graphs look pretty ugly. There is another way. You can use Google Sheets, the spreadsheet cousin of Google Docs, for free and on the cloud. Graphs are much more intuitive to create and edit, and they look much better. And you can easily share links or embed to a website. I decided to try it with some data from a certain sick toddler.

This graph shows the child’s temperature over a ~30 hour period. As you can see, he was running a moderate fever. Doses of the fever reducers Tylenol and Motrin are shown, which clearly bring his temperature down to normal levels before they wear off. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but I detect a slight pattern of improvement – the maximum temperatures grow slightly lower with each peak.

One good thing with embedding a Google Chart is that it will automatically update on the web when you add new data. If the fever continues I will update, but I hope I don’t have to do that.

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2 thoughts on “Google Charts Fever

  1. WHAT!!! A FEVER!!! DARN!

    I find this very interesting as we are moving from using Office to Google and one of the complaints of our staff is that Google products aren’t as good as Microsoft. Are there functions in Office that are not present in Google? Why is there the insistence that Excel and Word continue to be available? By the way, these concerns come from some pretty savvy users.

    • Yes, MS Office programs have more functionality than the Google suite. I myself use Excel a lot, and it really can do a lot. Plus there is a huge community of people who have been using Excel for a long time, and there are tons of templates and plug-ins that have been developed to perform different functions.

      But for the majority of users and the majority of projects, you don’t need all that functionality. In fact, it can be distracting. Many alternatives to Office have much simpler interfaces. The Google software is also free, which really helps the value proposition. And Excel’s graphs really do look pretty ugly. But Excel is plenty useful and will be around for a long time.

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