Shiken premium Upgrade Banner

Mastering Data Visualization: An Introduction to Excel Charts and Graphs

In today's data-driven world, being able to present information in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format is crucial. That's where Excel charts and graphs come in. While it may seem daunting to those who are not tech-savvy, we've got you covered with a step-by-step guide on how to utilize these powerful visual tools.

What are Excel Charts and Graphs and How Can They Help?

Excel offers a diverse range of chart and graph options to effectively display data. The choice of which type to use will depend on the specific information and audience. Simply put, Excel charts and graphs visually represent data from an Excel worksheet, making it easier to identify patterns, make comparisons, and gain insights. From bar and line charts to pie charts, there are plenty of options to choose from.

But why use charts and graphs when you can just explain the data? Well, consider this example from Rufus Griscom + Alisa Volkman, where a chart clearly shows the correlation between happiness and parenthood. The visual representation makes it easier to comprehend and convey the information, especially when dealing with large data sets.

Tip: Presenting information visually is always a good idea, as it simplifies complex data and tells a compelling story.

The 18 Types of Excel Charts You Need to Know

With Microsoft constantly expanding its features, the number of chart options available in Excel has doubled in recent years. This is great news for anyone looking to present data in a meaningful and insightful way. Let's dive into some of the most useful types of charts and graphs.

1. Area Chart

An Excel area chart displays trends over time or any other relevant variable. It's similar to a line graph, but the area below the line is filled in with color, emphasizing progression and volume.

2. Clustered Bar Chart

A clustered bar chart compares different data series horizontally, providing a clear picture of proportions between categories or elements. For instance, you can use it to compare sales figures for different products in various locations over a period of time.

3. Clustered Column Chart

Similar to bar charts, clustered column charts compare data vertically. This makes it easier to rank different elements and compare trends. For example, you can use it to see which sales team performed the best in each state over a quarter.

Tip: Enhance your column chart by adding T-bars to indicate statistical significance, helping leaders make more accurate data interpretations.

In conclusion, Excel charts and graphs are powerful tools for presenting data efficiently. By choosing the right type for your data and audience, you can effectively communicate your findings and tell a compelling story. So keep exploring Excel's numerous graph options and find the ones that work best for your projects.

Simplifying Data Visualization: A Guide to Excel Charts and Graphs

As a manager or director, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the data presented in order to make informed decisions. However, interpreting and comprehending raw data can be challenging. This is where data visualization comes in handy. Let's take a closer look at some easy-to-use Excel graph templates that can help you gain valuable insights in a visually appealing manner.

Line Graph: Image Source

A simple yet powerful tool, line graphs are ideal for tracking trends over time.

The Power of Excel Graphs: A Comprehensive Guide for Marketers

In the world of data analysis, Excel is an essential tool for marketers to make sense of their data. One of its most useful features is the ability to create graphs and charts that provide visual representations of complex data sets. These graphs help to easily compare data, track trends, and identify patterns. In this guide, we will explore the most common types of Excel graphs and how they can benefit marketers in their data analysis efforts.

Line Chart

A line chart is perfect for tracking trends over time, making it ideal for showcasing seasonal or weather-related sales fluctuations. With this type of graph, you can easily compare multiple data series and observe the rate of change within a dataset. The steepness of the slope of the line indicates a sudden spike or decline in data, while a gradual slope suggests a slow increase or decrease. This makes it a useful tool for identifying significant changes and patterns over time.

Pie Chart

When it comes to visualizing proportional data, a pie chart is the go-to option. It illustrates the percentage contribution of different data elements to the whole. This makes it perfect for comparing market share with competitors or understanding the sources of organic traffic, such as Google and Bing. Pie charts are also an effective way to track progress towards a specific goal, as you can shade a portion of the pie each day to represent the progress made.

Scatter Plot

The scatter plot is a useful tool for identifying the relationship between two variables. By plotting the data on a graph, you can visualize how changes in one variable affect the other. For instance, you can plot the amount of organic traffic against the number of leads and signups to see how an increase in traffic impacts conversions. This type of graph helps marketers create data-driven plans to achieve their goals.

Funnel Chart

Funnel charts are great for visualizing processes and pipelines. As shown in the example above, they can help identify where the most significant changes occur along the way. For marketers, this is valuable information as it allows them to pinpoint areas of interest and further investigate them. This chart type is especially useful for tracking leads or sales through different stages of the sales funnel.


When presenting data in ranges, a histogram is an effective way to showcase variations within a dataset. It visually represents the distribution of data and helps identify any changes or shifts in a target audience. For marketers, this can be useful in understanding buying habits among different age demographics or detecting any shifts in customer preferences. This information can then be used to adjust marketing strategies accordingly.

Free Excel Graph Templates for Easy Data Visualization

To take the hassle out of creating graphs from scratch, Microsoft offers free Excel graph templates that are simple and customizable. These templates come with instructions and tips for data visualization and include options for two, three, four, and five-variable graphs.

Advanced Excel Charts

While advanced chart types can provide more in-depth analysis, they are better suited for individuals familiar with complex data visualization. These include box and whisker charts, Pareto charts, surface charts, sunburst charts, and treemap charts. For marketers who are new to data analysis, it is best to start with the more straightforward chart types and progress to more advanced options.

In Summary

Excel graphs are a powerful tool for marketers to make sense of their data and identify patterns and trends. With the various options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right chart for a specific dataset. However, by understanding the purpose and use of each type of chart, marketers can select the most effective option for their needs. So next time you're faced with a ton of information, remember the power of data visualization and utilize it to your advantage.

Comparing the Most Useful Excel Charts for Marketers

To help marketers choose the right graph for their data, here is a concise comparison of the most common Excel charts:

  • Area Chart: Demonstrates trends over time for two or more values.
  • Clustered Bar Chart: Compares the frequency of values across different levels or variables.
  • Clustered Column Chart: Displays changes in data over a period of time and ranks data sets.
  • Line Chart: Shows trends over time, similar to bar charts.
  • Pie Chart: Presents values as percentages of a whole.
  • Radar Chart: Compares the aggregate value of multiple data series.
  • Scatter Chart: Illustrates the relationship between two variables.
  • Funnel Chart: Visualizes changes in one data point over various processes.
  • Histogram: Displays variations in data as a range of values.

How to Create a Graph in Excel

The process of building a graph in Excel is straightforward. Simply input your data, select the desired chart type, and customize it according to your preferences. With a little practice, you'll be able to create visually appealing graphs that effectively communicate your data in no time. As a marketer, utilizing Excel's graph options will make data analysis more efficient and insightful.

How to Create and Customize Charts in Excel

Are you looking to create the perfect chart or graph to present your data? Here's a step-by-step guide to help you do it in Excel. You can also save time by using free Excel graph templates or follow these tips to customize your charts from scratch.

If you're new to Excel, don't worry. The process is simple and easy to follow. Just enter your data, choose the type of graph or chart you want to create, and insert it into your spreadsheet. From there, you can customize the layout, colors, and labels to fit your data and audience.

Changing Chart Types in Excel

Excel offers various options for charts and graphs, such as column, line, pie, and scatter plots. To access these options, simply click on the 'Insert' tab and select the desired chart type to insert into your spreadsheet.

For example, if you want to create a bar graph, click on the 'Insert' tab, then select the column icon from the charts section. You can also choose between two-dimensional and three-dimensional options to customize the appearance of your chart.

Once your chart is inserted, you can easily switch the data on each axis, adjust the layout and colors, change the Y-axis measurement options, and even reorder your data as needed. Don't forget to add a title before exporting or saving it.

Tips for Customization in Excel Charts

To customize your chart's title, simply click on it and replace the default text with your desired title. You can also use the font formatting options under the 'Home' tab to add emphasis to your title.

If you want to change the type of measurement shown on the Y-axis, click on the percentages and access the 'Format Axis' window. From there, you can customize the display units and decimal places shown on the graph.

Step 3: Change the Chart Type

If you want to explore different chart types, you can easily do so by clicking on the chart and selecting "Change Chart Type" from the options menu. From there, you can choose from a variety of recommended and all available chart types to see which one best suits your data.

Step 4: Try Different Chart Types

With Excel, you have the freedom to experiment with different chart types and see which one best visualizes your data. Simply select the desired chart type and click "Okay" to insert it into your spreadsheet. Keep in mind to review and adjust the data and labels to ensure they accurately reflect the information being presented.


Creating and customizing charts and graphs in Excel is a straightforward process that can be easily mastered with a little practice. Whether you're using templates or starting from scratch, these tips and tricks can help you create professional and visually appealing data presentations. So next time you need to present data, use these helpful tools in Excel to make your charts stand out. Happy charting!

How to Create Effective Charts and Graphs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating charts and graphs may seem daunting, but with these simple steps, you'll be able to effectively visualize your data in no time. Follow this guide for easy reference and start creating impactful visuals.

  • Step 1: Determine Your Data

The first step to creating charts and graphs is to understand your data. Identify the key points you want to highlight and choose the appropriate type of visual representation.

  • Step 2: Choose a Chart or Graph Type

There are various types of charts and graphs, such as bar charts, line graphs, and pie charts. Select the one that best suits your data and effectively conveys your message.

  • Step 3: Organize Your Data

Clean and organize your data to make it easier to input into the chosen chart or graph. This includes arranging data in columns and rows, and ensuring consistency in formatting.

  • Step 4: Input Your Data

Once your data is organized, input it into the chart or graph. Most software programs have built-in tools to help you input and format your data correctly.

  • Step 5: Customize Your Visual

Make your chart or graph visually appealing by choosing appropriate colors, fonts, and labels. This will make it easier for your audience to understand and interpret the data.

  • Step 6: Review and Refine

Before finalizing your chart or graph, review it for accuracy and clarity. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure the visual effectively communicates your message.

Creating charts and graphs is a simple process that can effectively convey complex data. By following these steps and keeping this guide handy, you can easily create impactful visuals to enhance your presentations and reports.

Try Shiken Premium for free

Start creating interactive learning content in minutes with Shiken. 96% of learners report 2x faster learning.
Try Shiken for free
Free 14 day trial
Cancel anytime
20k+ learners globally
Shiken UI showing questions and overall results.