It’s election time and people are clamoring for the latest up-to-date polling or voting information. In this article, we’ll discuss how to display live election results in a PowerPoint presentation.

How can this be used?

This could be used by broadcasters or YouTubers who are doing political commentary or to display live election results in coffee shops or waiting rooms or on other digital signage. It can also be used in conference centers at political rallies.

What methods are we going to use to update the data on your live election results? Here are two options:

  1. Connect to an Internet Image
  2. Connect Directly to a raw Data Source

Live Election Results from an Internet Image

A simple way of showing updated results is to piggyback on a web site that is already displaying live election results. Here is an in-depth article on how to display automatically updating images in PowerPoint. The example used is a hurricane watch, but it can easily be used for live election results as well.

The drawback of the Internet image method is that you are reliant on an outside source for updates and you have to show the branding on the image you are using.

You have more control by showing live election results from a data connection where you control the graphic look and data better.

Live Election Results from a Data Connection

Now let’s show you how to display live election results by connecting your PowerPoint presentation directly to the data. The DataPoint software that we use for this lets you link to a wide range of data sources including:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Json
  • Xml
  • RSS feed
  • .csv
  • MySQL
  • Microsoft SQL
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • oData
  • OLE DB
  • ODBC

For the purpose of this article, we will show you how to connect to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Live Election Results from Microsoft Excel

To start, you will need to create an Excel spreadsheet that will hold the updated results. You can either type the updated information into the spreadsheet or export it from another source into Excel or .csv format.

Here is a sample of what the spreadsheet might look like.

raw data in excel

The next step is to create your design in PowerPoint. If you aren’t comfortable designing it yourself, check out our PowerPoint templates or our custom PowerPoint design service.

Here is a simple example we put together for this article.

display live election results in powerpoint

Now we want to connect our design to the live election results data in the Excel spreadsheet. We do this using DataPoint. If you don’t already have DataPoint installed, you can download it here.

Within PowerPoint with DataPoint installed, you click on the DataPoint tab, then List menu. A Window will come up showing the available connections. Choose Excel files and then the Add connection button.

datapoint menu
add connection to live election results data source

The window will now ask you where the spreadsheet with the election results is located. Browse to the file on your hard drive or network, then click on the OK button.

browse for excel data file

Next click on the Add Query command to choose the Excel data you will connect to within the spreadsheet.

add query to excel sheet

The spreadsheet name and data range shows up. If the first row contains field names, check the appropriate box. For the Data Refresh Rate, you will want to set the interval for the appropriate interval to make sure your presentation will update whenever there is new data.

Click on the OK button.

set excel range and other data options

Once the query is set, you will see a preview of the data in the box below if Preview data is ticked. Make sure the data is showing correctly. If it isn’t, edit the query until you get the right data. Once the right data is in place, hit the OK button.

data preview in powerpoint

Now it is time to add the data into the text boxes. Start by clicking on the DataPoint tab, then the Text Box option. Then click on the text box you want the first piece of data to show in.

set first name

Now you will choose the column and row to show in that text box. In this case, you want the first candidate’s name, Hilary Clinton. The preview will show you what data will be entered. When you get the right one, choose OK.

first name properties
set second name

Now, repeat the process for the second candidate, Donald Trump.

second name set

Now, lets do the same thing for the Results text box where we want to insert the Votes column.

set first votes

If you want a suffix to show after the number of votes, just click on the Texts tab in the Text Box window and enter it. In this case, we will enter Electoral Votes.

text formatting with suffix
set second votes and text suffix

Live Election Results Now Displayed In Your Presentation

Now you can see the election results are now displayed in the presentation and will automatically update as the data in the Excel spreadsheet changes according to the intervals that you set your data feed to refresh your presentation.

presentation ready and fully linked
running slide show with real-time elections data

Display your own Election Data in PowerPoint Next Time

Questions about how to display live election results or any other data? Contact us.

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