# Tiny Charts Help Others to Visualize Your Data

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Understanding the Axis Size of Sparklines

## Understanding the Axis Size of Sparklines

By default, sparklines axes don't have similar min and max points.

Professor Tufte's original example of sparklines was a hospital patient going into septic shock. He compared four sparklines, one each for glucose, respiration, temperature, and White Blood Count. Of course, all four of these measures have different normal ranges. Tufte made the decision to add a grey band indicating the normal range for each measure. He also decided to not force the min and max values to have similar scales for each sparkline.

For another example, consider the following set of sparklines, which show New Construction peaking before GDP. Each of these measures has vastly different scales. The important visual element here is comparing how they changed and peaked over time.

You need to be aware of the peculiarity of Excel sparklines, as you will see in the following example.