Before creating and analyzing Excel charts, it's important to grasp the concept of structured data. In this video, learn how to define structured data and its relevance to Excel charts.
- [Instructor] Charting is dead easy in Excel Online. However, if the data hasn't been well-structured first, then it simply isn't possible. And if you plan to say create pivot tables using your data or perhaps link your data with some kind of external data source or application, then I suggest you follow along closely. Structured data is data that has been organized into rows and columns. So take this example here, which is an extract from a company's chart of accounts. We have a cost center, general ledger code, and we also have amounts, that being full year actuals. Now, clearly this data isn't well-structured because the cost center only appears once rather than in every row. The general ledger code also has some blanks. And you can see here that the numbers are out of alignment. They should really appear in one column. Now, to prove the challenges in trying to create charts on data that is unstructured, let's go and select all of our data. And then go to Insert and select a 2D pie chart. Now, this doesn't look very promising, does it? Clearly Excel Online is having trouble with charting the data. Okay, let's click on the second tab here at the bottom of the screen, which is called Example2. Now, believe it or not, this is exactly the same information as we can see here in Example1 but the data has been well-structured into rows and columns. To prove this, let's go ahead and select columns C and D. And once again, select a 2D pie chart. And this looks much better. Excel Online is having no troubles with charting the data. This clearly illustrates the value of structuring your data first before attempting to chart.
Note: This course is for users who know the basics of the Excel desktop app, but are new to the web version, Excel Online. It emphasizes features that work differently in Excel Online. For basic Excel guidance, please see Excel Essential Training (Office 365) or Learning Excel 2019.
- Using Excel Online shortcuts
- Customizing your view
- Integrating the desktop version of Excel
- Sharing workbooks in Excel Online and OneDrive
- Inserting and reviewing comments
- Creating and editing charts
- Working with PivotTables and PivotCharts