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In this course, Dennis Taylor shows how to analyze and communicate the value of data with charts in Excel. The course starts with the foundations: what the parts of a chart are, what the different types of charts are, and which charts work best for your data. The course then shows how to create a presentation-ready chart in minutes and offers dozens of in-depth tutorials on formatting and fine-tuning charts so they represent data clearly and accurately.
Column and bar charts comprise the bulk of chart type usage for many Excel users. Three terms that you're likely to encounter when using these kinds of charts as well as others are the terms clustered, stacked, and 100% stacked. Let's look at these with column charts and then point out how you'll also encounter them with other chart types as well. The chart to the right of the data here is a clustered column chart. It's probably the default chart type in Excel, unless you've made a change to it, and it's certainly one of the most common chart types.
Now when you are creating charts or you're possibly changing charts, if you go to the Design tab, Change Chart Type, this is where we see all those choices. I'm just putting the mouse over this Clustered Column. In line charts, you'll have roughly the equivalent, but you don't see the word Clustered. We will see these as we point to bar charts. There's a Clustered Bar. It's equivalent in area. You don't see that. And going back up here you will see them in this kind of a bBar chart.
That's a Clustered Horizontal Cylinder. Without beating this to death here, here's a Clustered Horizontal Cone. And I guess the best way to describe clustered is that it's not stacked. There's a Clustered Cylinder and a Clustered Cone and there's a Clustered Pyramid in there as well. So you will see that term a lot. And the chart to the right here is a clustered column chart, the one right here. Possibly we could change this, although let me close this instead of actually changing it. Point to the chart below the data here. This is a stacked column chart.
And this type has its advantage in that at a glance we can see grand totals. And it is slightly cleaner looking, and when you're dealing with lots of data, sometimes this simplifies the view. What isn't so good with these is when you're trying to compare colors across different months. Let me zoom in on this a little bit so we can see it better. Comparing the greens for example, the two Asia totals here, certainly because of the pop-ups we can see those are identical. But how about when you're trying to compare February over here and then June over here? A little bit tricky.
And the ones we're going to read most easily are the ones that start at the bottom. But again, this is a common chart style. It's called stacked. And once again, we may not be trying to change this, but as we point back to the Design tab and go to Change Chart Type, recognize that this is a stacked column and we also have the stacked cylinders, pyramids, and cones, and of course, as you would expect by now, we have these with bar charts and some of the other options here as well, including area and a few more.
So you'll see that term. Now a third choice here, not nearly as popular as those two, but is depicted here to the right. Let me zoom back just a little bit here so we can see this better. The chart right here below looks initially as if it's stacked, but you see percents down the side. And these kinds of charts are trying to do what a pie chart does. Pie chart can only handle one series, but this is called 100% stacked. And so when we look at the left column here, we're saying in effect these four totals add up to 100%, and they do.
But for February we've got a different set of totals, but of course, they add up to 100%. And here you can see something very misleading. If you were glancing at these and not absorbing what the chart really means, you would say Asia had a relatively high total in January, but not so high in February. Well, yes and no. Asia for January is 110, but it is a bigger portion of the total. Asia for February is 120. It's a smaller portion of the total, because sales did go up in February.
We can go over and see the data. But January data adds up to 290. We see that over in cell B10. February data adds up to 390. So on these kinds of charts, and you will be able to and we'll show you how to add additional labeling, the idea here, each column here represents 100% and we're getting a relative breakout of the pieces here. So this is called 100% Stacked and again, if we go to the Design tab and Change Chart Type, and even though we don't really want to change it again, we'll begin to see this term again.
100% stacked and we'll see it here and there and of course with bar charts and with area charts and some other choices as well. So those terms, clustered, we don't see it on area chart. But stacked, 100% stacked, and then clustered on our bar and column charts. Terms we'll see a lot as we work with various Excel charts.
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