When you track data over time and write down when you capture that data, you can summarize it using a line chart.
- [Instructor] When you run a business, it's a good idea to keep track of how it performs over time. You can track total sales, number of new customers, and so on. When you track data over time, you can summarize it using a line chart. In this movie, I will show you how to create and work with a line chart. This workbook contains a single worksheet and on it I have yearly order counts for four categories. And my data occurs in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
If I want to create a line chart based on this data, then I can select it. So I'll start in cell A2 and drag down to D6. And then on the Insert tab of the ribbon, I'll go over to the charts area, click the line button. And here I can select the type of line that I want to create. In this case I just want to create a simple line chart so I'll click the first subtype and my chart appears. Except that I can see that my horizontal axis shows categories and each of the series shows a year.
So while I can read this chart and I see that in 2018 Landscape Lighting had over 16,000 orders, I don't have time on the horizontal axis. So what I need to do is have the categories represented by lines and the years represented by positions on the line, going from 2016 on the left to 2018 on the right. If I look at my data, and I'll drag the chart to the right so we can see a little bit better. I can see that my columns are the years and the yearly data by category, and my rows are the categories themselves.
What I need to do is switch the rows and the columns. To do that, I can make sure the chart is selected. And then on the Chart Design contextual tab of the ribbon, I'll go almost all the way over to the right and click the Switch Row/Column button. And there I can see my data. So each of the series is a category represented by a separate color and the time goes from left to right. So when I read the data going from left to right I get a sense of progression over time.
It's a little crowded, so if I want to hide any of the data series I can again on the Chart Design contextual tab click Select Data, and here I can add or remove a series. So let's say that I want to get rid of Landscape Lighting. So I'll click Landscape Lighting. And I see it's a red line in the chart, so I'll click that. Click the minus sign to remove it. Click okay, and it's removed from the chart.
Line charts give you a quick visual summary of how your data has trended over time. If you notice a sudden increase or decrease in your sales or other data, you should identify when the change occurred and investigate to see why it happened.
- Creating workbooks
- Manipulating cell data
- Using core functions and formulas
- Formatting worksheet elements
- Creating PivotTables
- Collaborating with others
- Working with charts
- Adding images and shapes
- Saving workbooks
- Printing files
Skill Level Beginner
1. Get Started with Excel
2. Manage Workbooks
3. Work with Worksheets, Cells, and Cell Data
4. Sort, Filter, and Manage Worksheets
5. Summarize Data Using Formulas and Functions
6. Format Worksheet Elements
7. Work with Charts
8. Work with External Data and Objects
9. Explore PivotTables
10. Review and Share Your Spreadsheets
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