Creating Excel Charts for Data Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide

Creating Excel Charts for Data Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide

Data visualization has become an important tool for businesses who want to make sense of their information and make decisions based on that information. Increasingly, organizations have started using Excel charts within their business reports.

This article includes a primer on some best practices for choosing your categories and variables. To make things easy, we have included instructions on how to create these different types of excel charts: bar chart, line graph, pie chart, and histogram.

How to Create Excel Charts for Data Analysis

**Adding a column to your spreadsheet**

To get started, you’ll need to have a set of data that you want to visualize. Your data should be in a spreadsheet or another software program that can import the data from Excel.

Next, open up the spreadsheet or software program and drag your data from the left-hand side of the screen into your worksheet.

Now select all of your data in one column and copy it by pressing Ctrl+C (Command+C on Mac).

Then right-click on the selected cells and choose Paste Special > Values. This will give you a blank rectangular area with all of your original values in it that are ready to be plotted on graphs.

Next, go back to your worksheet and select Insert > Chart. This will bring up a new tab where you can make changes to how the chart looks.

Here, you’ll see all of the different types of excel charts that we mentioned above: bar chart, line graph, pie chart, and histogram. You can also change other settings like whether or not certain columns or rows will appear on the graph (the legend), what type of labels will appear next to each item on the graph (our labels are bold text), and what colors will be used for each item on your graph (we’ve used blue for our pie chart).

Once these settings are set, click on OK at the bottom left corner to save them and return back to Excel so you can enter more information about your dataset into these same fields.

Pie Chart

Pie charts are probably the easiest excel charts to create. The reason for this is that they’re easy to make and simple to interpret, too.

The label for a pie chart can be placed in one of two locations. The first location is at the top of the chart, which is where we’ll place it. This location makes sense when you’re trying to show what share of the pie (or figure) each category takes up.

The second location is at the bottom of your chart, which is typically used when you want to show the value (the size) of each individual slice. In order to use this placement, you’ll have to be sure to change your chart type from “Pie” to “Line.”

To learn more about how to use these different types of charts, check out our comprehensive guide on making charts with Excel.

Line Graph

This is the most common type of chart used in data analysis. It plots one variable on a linear scale, which we can see in the x-axis and another variable on a non-linear scale, which we can see in the y-axis. These two variables must be related to each other by a mathematical equation or relationship.

A line graph is a type of chart that displays the relationship between two sets of data. One set is represented by the horizontal axis and the other set is represented by the vertical axis. The size, color, and shape of each data point indicates how much it contributes to the total, as well as its relative position on the graph. In a line graph, you want all points to be visually proportional to one another.

It’s just a line graph with bars on it that represent your categories or variables. The width of the bars represents the number of cases they represent.

The next step is to add dimensions, which means you’ll have to select a different type of graph to draw your line graph. This step is easy, because you can choose from five different types of graphs: line graph, pie chart, histogram, scatter plot, or column chart.

Let’s take a look at how each one works in order and see how each one will help us show our data in a more thorough way.

The line graph is probably one of the most popular charts because it allows you to plot data values on a vertical line. There are many ways you can add dimensions to your chart, but in this tutorial, we’ll focus on adding a dimension that changes over time. For example, let’s say you’re tracking the sales of different products and want to see how they have changed over time.

To do this, add a “Year” dimension and put it on the X-axis so that each point in time can be represented by a different year. Then, use a series of points and lines to represent how much money was made in each year for that product or service category. This will give us an idea of how sales varied from year to year and how the company has seen growth or had declines.

Changing how vertical lines are drawn in Excel

If you’ve ever taken a statistics, you’ve probably learned about the fundamentals of linear regression and how to use the formula y = mx + b where m is slope, x is intercept, and b is linear regression equation. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to change in Excel how vertical lines are drawn. We’ll also show you how to make a line graph with multiple lines.

To draw lines in Excel, select the top two rows and then click on Insert > Line from the ribbon menu. This will give you two different options for drawing your horizontal line: Line 1 on Row 2 or Line 2 on Row 1.

Now that we have our horizontal line, we can choose which type of chart we’d like to create: bar chart or line graph. To do this, simply click on Insert > Chart from the ribbon menu.

To create a bar chart, all we need to do is click within one of our horizontally drawn lines, which will automatically select it as our vertical axis. Then click again on one of our horizontal lines and pick Bar from the drop-down menu that appears when you hover over it. In order for the bars in your chart to be equidistant from each other (the default), you’ll want to enter 0 for both Height and Width.

Bar Chart

In a bar chart, you plot the value of each category across the vertical axis and the frequency of your categories across the horizontal axis. When you create bar charts, you might also want to include an additional dimension in your data like time or date. For example, take this bar chart for monthly sales:

The vertical axis is labeled “Month” and the horizontal axis is labeled “Sales.” The bars represent each month’s sales.

The values on the horizontal axis are labeled with a number from 1-12, representing months.

For example, January is represented as “1,” April as “4,” June as “7,” and December as “12.”

A bar chart is a common type of chart that can be used to show the distribution of various categorical values, such as the number of customers or orders. For example, you could create a bar chart to show the distribution of monthly sales across your different departments.

A basic bar graph for data analysis by showing you how to change your column headers and add labels for each category. This will provide you with an easy way to organize the data before creating your graph. You can also select categories from the drop-down menu at the top of your column headers in order to create a data table for further analysis.

Since bar charts are the easiest to make and provide a quick summary, it’s the first chart we’ll cover in this tutorial.

Here’s how to create a bar chart with Excel.

To make a bar chart with Excel, enter your data in column A and B.

Next, click on Insert > Column Chart.

Select either Bar – Vertical or Bar – Horizontal for your graph type, then select your options from the drop-down menus.


The histogram is a graph that displays the frequency distribution of a variable. It can be used to show how many data points are in each category, as well as how far the categories are from the center. The histogram is constructed with rectangles stacked on top of each other. Each rectangle represents one set of values for the variable and each range of values is represented by a single line segment inside that rectangle.

To create this chart, enter your data into column A (the first row) and B (the second row). In column C, enter the number of total observations you have for your data set. In column D, enter your variable name. In column E, enter the minimum value for your variable and in F, enter your maximum value for your variable.

In order to make our histogram, we need to know what variables we’re going to chart. For this tutorial, we’ll call X the variable and Y its value.

Our values will be from 1-10 so that we can show the distribution by number of occurrences or frequency. We’ll also include Z as a category with 4 possible values: male, female, unknown/other, or both.

To make our line graph for our histogram, we’ll start by creating a column chart with one row per category of Z (male, female). Then on top of that column chart, we’ll create a second column chart plotting our values from 1-10 in columns starting with 1 and ending at 5 (with 10 as the last value).

The second column will contain each category’s frequencies so that they are easy to compare to one another. The total number is then calculated by summing the frequencies across all four categories and it is represented by color: red for males; orange for females; green for unknown/others; and blue for both genders together.

Waterfall Chart:

One of the latest additions in Excel charts is the waterfall chart that allows us to show the cumulative build up of a certain metric. Lets say we are looking to show the revenue breakdown of different business segments of a company such that the total adds up to the overall top line. A waterfall chart is a good way to illustrate such cumulative data where the stack of bars will represent the contribution of each business unit in the overall total. The good thing about a waterfall chart is also that it can be used to show negative values as well. So for example, if we wanted to show the net revenues after discounts for each business segment. In this case, the gross revenue will be a positive bar and the discount will basically show a down bar such that the cumulative total is the net revenue for the product of the company.


Whether you’re analyzing sales data or presenting information about customer satisfaction, excel charts are becoming a popular medium for presenting data analysis. There are some advanced excel visualization as well that you may want to refer as well.

In this blog, you’ll get to know how to create charts with Excel that easily demonstrate the worth of your data by plotting them on graphs where we can visualize the results from different perspectives.


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