Join Curt Frye for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the available chart types, part of Office Online Essential Training.
Excel online let's you work with numerical data effectively. You can also summarize your data visually by creating charts. In this movie, I will describe the charts that are available to you and provide examples of what they look like. I'll start with column charts which are used to compare values across categories. This is a very common chart type and this in addition to line charts and pie charts, are the ones that you see most in the popular literature. This chart summarizes sales data by month but it could just as easily be by category.
There are variants available and those include the stacked column chart which shows. The contribution of each value to a total. And the 100% stacked Column chart which shows a contribution of each value, perhaps a month perhaps a department, as a portion of the whole. Next there are Line charts which are used to compare values over time. So here I have the same sales data. Except that instead of using columns, I have it indicated by lines. And you get a much better sense of the trend of sales through the line chart as opposed to the column chart.
Variations of the line chart, of the stacked line chart, which shows the contribution of each value to a total. And the 100% stacked line chart, which shows the contribution of each value as a portion of the whole. Next there are Pie charts. You use pie charts to compare how values contribute to an entire set of data. In this case I have sales data, broken out by month. You also have a variant of the pie chart called the exploded pie chart, which moves each wedge out a bit from the center. Pie charts work best for about three or four data points. So, normally use pie charts with 12 different values, such as months of the year. But in this case, you get a sense of how it would look if you did. Next we have Bar charts which are column charts that are turned on their side. So now instead of having the categories along the horizontal or X axis, they are along the vertical or Y axis. And you have similar variance available to you. Those are the stacked bar chart, and the 100% stacked bar chart. Next there are Area charts. And these are used, to display the trend of values over time. You can see here that I have two sets of sales data. One for retail and one for wholesale. It's easy to tell from the chart in which month each category had larger sales. For sales where wholesale was dominant I see red, and where retail is dominant I see blue. Within each month however, you don't get a sense of what the difference might be between the two values. That's where the stacked area chart, which shows the contribution of each value to a total. And the 100% stacked area chart, which shows the contribution of each value as a portion of the whole, come in handy. Next you have XY Scatter Charts and those are used to compare pairs of values. This data set assumes that you sent out mailing to potential customers and the horizontal axis, tracks the number of days after the mailing and the vertical or the Y axis number of customers.
And you can see here that one day after the mail, you had 35 new customers, on day two, you had about 17, 24 on day three and so on. And variations of this chart allow you to add lines between the data points and also to scatter with straight lines. Next, you have Doughnut charts and doughnut charts are like pie charts except that they can contain multiple series of data. In this doughnut chart, you have retail sales data broken out by category. And I could also have a second series, which would have a ring inside of the retail ring.
So, for example, if I had wholesale data, my outer ring could be retail, and the inner ring could be wholesale. Like the pie chart, you also have the exploded doughnut chart variation. Which moves each wedge a bit out from the center. And finally you have what are called Radar Charts. These are used to display a series of unrelated values. As an example, let's say that you tracked the temperature on a given day, with a number of customers that came in during that day. The inner or blue loop shows the number of customers for each of those days and the outer or red loop shows the temperature.
You also have the ability to add markers which works best if there are only a few data points in the chart and also a filled radar chart, which you can do for only one series of values. The filled radar chart shows a solid single color polygon as opposed to the two polygons that appear inside of this graph. Those are the chart types available to you. Be sure to experiment with the ones that you think will help you the most, and create the best possible presentation in Excel.
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