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All the Excel Charts


All the Excel Charts

Every Excel Chart, and When to Use it 📊📈


Charts are one of the most powerful features that Excel offers…

and each one has their own time & place for when you should use them.

Let’s do a walk through of each chart:


1. 📊Bar charts → helps you understand trends over time.

  • Bar chart → single series

  • Stacked bar chart → multiple series grouped together

  • Clustered bar chart → multiple series side by side

  • Horizontal → alternate orientation

Bar Charts
Bar Charts

2. 📈 Line chart → helps you understand trends over time, with a line

  • Line chart → can show 1 or multiple series. I like to utilize 2 series when I’m trying to understand the intersection (like with a break even analysis)

  • Area chart → highlights magnitude of change by shading the bottom

Line Charts
Line Charts

3. 🟡 Pie chart → helps you understand the distribution between multiple categories

  • Pie Chart → shows the split / distribution between multiple categories

  • Donut → shows the % completion. This is in essence a hollow pie chart (my favorite for budget vs actuals)

Pie Charts
Pie Charts

4. Hierarchy charts → helps you understand the hierarchy of data

  • Treemap → provides a hierarchal view of data by color and size

  • Sunburst → provides a hierarchical data in a circular fashion

Hierarchy Charts
Hierarchy Charts

5. 🔢 Statistical charts → provide a visual representation of data distributions, trends, and patterns


  • Histogram → Shows the underlying frequency distribution

  • Box & Whisker → Shows distribution of data into quartiles, highlighting the mean and outliers.

  • Pareto Chart → displays both the individual and cumulative frequencies

Statistical Charts
Statistical Charts

6. Scatter charts → often used to find correlations and patterns in the data

Scatter Chart → displays the relationship between 2 numerical variables

Bubble Chart → variation of the scatter chart, adding a third dimension using the size of the dots.

Scatter charts
Scatter charts

7. Waterfall chart → Helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values

  • This is especially relevant when showcasing MRR and ARR

Waterfall chart
Waterfall chart

8. Combo charts → allows you to combine data from multiple series

Helpful when you have information across 2 distinct series (like Revenue and Gross Margin)

Combo charts
Combo charts

9. 🗺️ Map Charts → provide a geographical representation of data

Map Charts
Map Charts

10. PivotCharts → allows you to control chart data from a PivotTable

Pivot Charts
Pivot Charts

This may be the most powerful of them all, as it allows you to take any chart, and connect it to a PivotTable…



That’s my take on Excel charts, and when to use each.

There’s a whole lot more to be said about how to structure your data, and how to design your charts to captivate your audience 🤩


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