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
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
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)
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
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
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.
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
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)
9. 🗺️ Map Charts → provide a geographical representation of data
10. PivotCharts → allows you to control chart data from a PivotTable
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 🤩