PowerPoint Data Rules or Conditional Formatting with DataPoint


PowerPoint Data Rules or Conditional Formatting with DataPoint

Created: Friday, October 30, 2020 posted by at 9:30 am


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By Kurt Dupont

Data Rules or Conditional Formatting in PowerPoint

Data Rules or Conditional Formatting in PowerPointReal-time data displayed on your slide’s screen is informative to look at, and not too difficult to achieve. Microsoft PowerPoint is certainly the most widely-used tool to create presentation slides. When combined with the DataPoint add-in from PresentationPoint, you can bring real-time data to your slides or slideshows.

You can easily connect a text box, chart, or table to your factory production figures or KPI’s (key performance indicator), and have it updated at regular intervals–every 200 milliseconds, or every minute, depending on your needs. In our Nobody Knows How to Display Real-Time Dashboards in PowerPoint article, we showed you DataPoint’s great capability of showing dynamic dashboards, but here in this article, we will show how you can use text boxes and assign dynamic rules to their values.

Using Rules in PowerPoint

Rules to govern your dynamic information are great to visualize critical information. If a number needs to be on your screen, that’s a great objective. But if you also want to assign a color to that number, that’s a better objective because it provides the viewer with an immediate and better overview of the situation. Such displays with rules and conditional formatting will allow the viewer to understand concepts better and make informed decisions.

For example, imagine that you are showing production figures for your factory. And you have multiple production lines. You could show how many products are assembled per hour, per production line. Normally your personnel can produce 200 articles per hour. So you could display that production line in green whenever you can measure 200 articles produced over the last hour.

Whenever the count drops below 150, then you probably have a problem on the production line and you have to react immediately. A visual red rectangle on that production line would draw immediate attention, and the viewer can identify that there’s a problem somewhere that needs to be addressed. That is precisely why DataPoint has rules!

What is DataPoint?

DataPoint Overview

DataPoint OverviewDataPoint from PresentationPoint is an add-in that is fully integrated into Microsoft PowerPoint. As easy as PowerPoint itself, this add-in gives you the flexibility to link dynamic content from Excel datasheets, text files, and even databases.

With a linked presentation DataPoint automatically refreshes the content as soon as the data of your external data source is modified. With this mechanism, you can always display the latest information of your databases, locally stored or over an internet connection.

You can learn more about DataPoint and also download a free trial version from the PresentationPoint website.

Let’s now explore how you can set up such rules and conditional formatting in DataPoint within your PowerPoint workspace.

Setting up a Presentation

We begin with a normal PowerPoint presentation. That is the strength of DataPoint. An image is set as background and 3 text boxes are linked to our Excel datasheet. The connection information is set here to refresh the content, every 3 seconds while the slideshow is running.

Text boxes linked to Excel cells

Text boxes linked to Excel cells

Each of the three text boxes on this slide is dynamically linked to a cell of the Excel datasheet–one cell per production line. This is all normal DataPoint functionality. If you are new to linking dynamic text boxes with DataPoint, then read the Dynamic Text in PowerPoint article first.

Creating Rules

Select the text box again and open the link properties via the DataPointText box button. Click to open the Rules tab.

DataPoint Text Box

DataPoint Text Box

Click the Add button to insert your first rule. A new empty rule is added to the rules list. Below the list of rules, you see 2 important panes. The Condition pane and the Action pane. Or you can see this as the IF … THEN panes.

Creating Rules in DataPoint

Creating Rules in DataPoint

Give the rule a name by clicking in the text of the rule. Enabled is checked by default, so that is fine. At the Condition pane, select Lane A as the column. From the comparison combobox, choose Less than and set the value to 150.

Now at the Action pane, you can specify, what to do when the condition is met. You can change the back color of the text box (the fill), or change the fore or font color, or make the text box visible or invisible.

For this sample, we choose to change the fore color and set the color to red. So whenever the value of the column Lane A is dropping below 150, then the text or the number is placed in red.

Let’s add a new rule. We call this rule warning. The validation happens on the same column, so the first combobox of the condition pane, is set to Lane A. The comparison is set to Less than and the value to 200. At the action pane, we set to change the fore color and set the color itself to orange.

Add a new DataPoint Action

Add a new DataPoint Action

And finally a third rule for the situation that we are not in alarm or warning condition. We add a new rule, and then for the first time, we check the Otherwise checkbox. This indicates that this is the last or normal rule. When no previous rules were met, then these action settings are used instead. So leave the condition empty, but set the fore color to green, at the action pane. Hit OK to save these rules.

Add a third rule

Add a third rule

Here in these 3 sample rules (2 rules, plus one otherwise rule) we used a fixed value of 200 at the condition. You can also compare the value of the selected column, to another column, so not being a fixed value or number in your rule. Whenever you want to compare e.g. the value of Lane A with the value of Lane C, or any other column, then just use square brackets [ and ] around the column name, like so [Lane C].

Also you can use 2 variables or functions at the condition. Use =DATE() for today and =NOW() for current time.

Here in this article, we used text boxes to demonstrate the functionality of rules. These rules can also be set on tables, or on specific cells or a given cell range of a table.

Running the Slideshow

Finally, you can start the slideshow and DataPoint will scan for updates every 3 seconds, as it is defined in the connection settings. Whenever there is an update on the data, the information on your screen will be updated and the rules will fire and set the fore color of the text box text accordingly.

Dynamic DataPoint rules in PowerPoint Slideshow

Dynamic DataPoint rules in PowerPoint Slideshow


Kurt Dupont

Kurt Dupont
  
Kurt Dupont, based out of Belgium heads PresentationPoint, a company that creates several amazing PowerPoint add-ins. After his Computer Science studies, Kurt started with Andersen Consulting (Accenture nowadays) in Brussels.

After three years he moved to the Brussels Airport Terminal Company that runs the Brussels airport – this last placement inspired the start-up of Take-off (now known as PresentationPoint) in 1998.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.




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