A sample data plot is created by using a data acquisition (DA) system to generate the plot. You can choose from several types of software for creating a chart, including Microsoft Excel, Power Point, or other graphics programs. The advantage of this kind of software is that it allows you to experiment with different layouts without investing in a server, and many of them are free. However, the disadvantage is that you have to wait until the software has finished processing to see your chart template.
It is important to save as much data as possible during the project. If you start saving data at the very beginning, you may not be able to complete the project on time, especially if you need to gather more data. Save the data as you collect it. Do not keep re-using data collected during different steps of the project. Instead, save the data in a separate file and use it in the final analysis.
A good quality chart template should include basic layout features such as column widths, data labels, and data legends. The size of the cells must be consistent throughout the chart, especially if you intend to modify the data visual aspects. You should avoid making the legend smaller than the actual data, because it will make the data seem less precise. It is better to use the same size for all the cells in the template. Also, the legend should be clearly defined so that readers can understand the pattern.