Conditional Formatting Presentation (Excel)

Microsoft Quarterly Report was publicly released on April 25, 2024. It has tabulated data on year over year percent change in revenues by Microsoft fiscal quarter (Q1 is from July 1 through September 30). I tabulated the data from fiscal year 2023 Q1 through Q4, and from fiscal year 2024 Q1 through Q3 (Q4 data which would be April through June are not yet available).

This is an opportunity to showcase the results in a conditional-formatted-table, which by its own right, looks like chart although technically, it’s just a range of cells. In this post, I’ll demonstrate my presentation with an overview of how it’s done.

Here’s my presentation of the data that started with a simple table.

To create this very effective table, I used Conditional Formatting feature in Excel. The quickest way is to start with a built-in style, and then customize it. I started with a 3-color scale style called Blue-White-Red. Then I changed the color of the Minimum and Maximum to their respective desired colors (dark red, dark blue), and the Midpoint color from white (default) to sky blue.

Then I changed the Midpoint Percentile value from 50 to 25. This ensures that more positive values, even if small, will be colored in light blue shades instead of light red (because most of our numbers are positive albeit small, we want them mostly in blue hues rather than red).
After that’s done, just made some tweaks to the font color, weight, etc. to my liking, and added a vertical white border to separated the final quarter of FY23 and the beginning quarter of FY24.
And there you have it—simple, effective, easy on the eyes!

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