Excel || Using Charts in place of Data Tables.

Charts are the graphical representation of the data. Using Charts in place of Data Tables are more realistic than tables or any other mode of presenting data.

Data Table to Charts
Data Table to Charts

This is very attractive feature of the Excel, which is used by each professionals to create their presentations, reports, data collection etc.

Note: A table should have at least two data columns to generate any type of chart.



Benefits of Charts

Instead of showing data in tables we could use charts. Below are the basic features of Charts:

  1. Easy to use and apply charts on any existing data table.
  2. Customization of charts is very easy and doesn’t impact the original data.
  3. Presenting data in a chart over a table is more powerful. Best way to convey information to the audience with references.
  4. One table multiple presentation. It means any number of chart can be generated using single data table.
  5. Multiple type of charts available like Column, line, pie, bar chart etc.

Properties of Charts

There are some important informations or properties of charts which have been used to convey the information or present the information more accurately. It makes the data more understandable to the audiences.

  1. Chart Type: Correct chart type should be used to convey the relevant information.
  2. Chart Title: Chart title should be crystal and clear to make understand viewers the objective to chart.
  3. Axis values/Data: Data values will appear in horizontal-axis or vertical-axis.
  4. Axis Titles: Short description about the data appearing on the axis.
  5. Series: Presentation of data on the Chart. We can change the color of each series in the chart.
  6. Legends: As mentioned in the above point, we can change the color of each series in the chart. Legends are the color notation and name to identify the individual series.
  7. Data Labels: Data label used to show the value of each series on the chart.
  8. Select Data: To add/remove values of any row or column from the Chart, without impacting original table.

Example 1:

Suppose we have below data table which we need to convert into Charts.

Item wise Sales
Item NameSales
TV100
Fridge59
AC70
Cooler200
Fan60
Microwave150
Water Pump10

Creating Column Chart

  1. Select the entire data table.
  2. Navigate to Insert > Column in Charts section
  3. Click on any type of chart in the menu. (e.g. Clustered column-first option)
  4. Simple chart will appear on the screen.

Customizing a chart using various Properties

To Set Chart Title

  1. Select the Chart.
  2. Navigate to Chart Tools > Layout
  3. Select any option like “Above Chart”
  4. The Title will appear over the Chart (if already not present)
    Now double click on the Title text on the Chart.
  5. The user would be able to edit the Chart Title.
  6. Type required chart title and press Enter.

To Set Axis Titles

  1. Select the Chart.
  2. Navigate to Chart tools > Layout
  3. Select any option from “Axis Titles” dropdown.
  4. Select “Primary Horizontal Axis Title”.
  5. Select “Title below Axis”
  6. Title will appear below the Horizontal Axis.
  7. User can double click on the title text to edit the same.
  8. The same way we could set Vertical Axis title also.

To set color of Series on the Chart

  1. Right Click on any bar or series on the chart.
  2. Click on Shape Fill Color icon.
  3. Select any color.
  4. Repeat above steps for all the bar or series as per requirement.

To set Legends

  1. Select the Chart
  2. Navigate to Chart tools > Layout
  3. Click on any option under “Legend” dropdown.
  4. For example, Click on “Show Legend at right”
  5. Legend will appear at the right side of the chart. Observe that it would contain color notation for each series/bar. Also, horizontal axis text will appearing along with the color to make it more understandable.

To Set Data Labels

  1. Select the Chart
  2. Navigate to Chart tools > Layout
  3. Click on any option under “Data Labels”.
  4. For example, Click on “Outside End”.
  5. Observe that values of bar/series will appear over the each bar.

To modify the range of data using Select Data

  1. Select the Chart
  2. Navigate to Chart tools > Design
  3. Click on Select Data
  4. User can modify the range using “Chart data range”
  5. Click on OK
Column Chart
Column Chart

Creating Pie Chart

  1. Select the entire data table.
  2. Navigate to Insert > Pie in Charts section
  3. Click on any type of chart in the menu. (e.g. Pie-first option)
  4. Simple chart will appear on the screen.
Note: All the customization process(mentioned under “Creating Column Chart” section) can be applied to any type of chart.

Displaying Data Labels as in % Form

  1. Click on Pie Chart
  2. Navigate to Chart Tools > Design
  3. Select any Layout under “Chart Layouts” section.
  4. We could observe that Data Labels will appear along with percentage value rather than normal values(Sales quantities).
Pie Chart
Pie Chart

Related Links:

Example 2

Consider another example of data table contains three columns.

ItemActual Cost ( $ in Thousands)Profit ( $ in Thousands)
TV25050
Fridge9020
AC21070
Cooler20010
Fan807.5
Microwave15050
Water Pump15080

We could create chart using the same steps mentioned above.

  1. Select the entire data table.
  2. Navigate to Insert > Column in Charts section
  3. Click on any type of chart in the menu. (e.g. Clustered column-first option)
  4. Simple chart will appear on the screen
Data Table to Chart
Data Table to Chart

Note:All the chart can be customized using the steps mentioned in Example 1 section.

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