Excel Charts, Graphs and Templates

Tutorials, Examples and explanations on Excel charting. You can learn how to create almost any chart type in this section. Also learn how to create effective charts, make them interactive and add automation thru VBA

Modelling Inventory Run Rate & Cash Flows using Excel

Modelling Inventory Run Rate & Cash Flows using Excel

Imagine you run an office furniture company. You want to stop reordering two brands of furniture – Relaxer (a type of chair) and Boca Top (a type of table). You currently have 20,000 Relaxer chairs and 5,000 Boca Tops. These are valued at $200,000 and $100,000 respectively. When sold, they will yield $100,000 and $25,000 gross profit. You are hoping to sell them off in 2 or 3 years. You forecast that we can sell off these as per some yearly schedule.

You need to analyze this and prepare a cash flow model.

Let’s learn how to answer such open ended questions using various analysis techniques in Excel.



Sand Pendulums – Lissajous Patterns in Excel

Sand Pendulums – Lissajous Patterns in Excel

Few days ago, I saw a beautiful homemade science experiment on Sand Pendulums on Bruce Yeany‘s YouTube channel. Go ahead and check it out. It is a cool project to do with your kids.

I will try this experiment with kids during school term holidays around Easter. But first, I wanted to try the simulation in Excel.

Simulating sand pendulum pattern in Excel

Take a look at the final simulation above. This is what we will create in Excel.



Designing awesome financial metrics dashboard [tutorial]

Designing awesome financial metrics dashboard [tutorial]

In this amazing guest post, the winner of our 2016 dashboard contest – Chandeep – Explains how he constructed the jaw dropping beauty (shown above) using Excel, creativity, love and sweat. Grab a full cup of coffee (or whatever liquid fancies you) and read on. Take lots of notes and play with the ideas in Excel while reading to maximize your learning.

Thanks Chandeep.



How to add a line to column chart? [Charting trick]

How to add a line to column chart? [Charting trick]

Let’s say you work in super hero factory as floor manager. You are looking at the recent time sheet data submitted by your underlings and want to know who works more. So you did what any self respecting floor manager does. You made yourself a large cup of hot chocolate, whipped open Excel and created a column chart.

But now, you want to add a line to it at 6:00 PM (or some other arbitrary  point) so you can clearly see which superheros are over working.

So how do you go about it?



Decorate your TPS reports with spooky spider web chart [Halloween Fun]

Decorate your TPS reports with spooky spider web chart [Halloween Fun]

It’s Halloween time. As adults, we can’t go trick or treating. We can of course dress up in costumes and entertain others. But what about the poor spreadsheets. Don’t they deserve some of this fun too?

Hell yeah! So I made a spider web generator in Excel. Just use it to make a spooky cob web pattern and add it to your report / dashboard / time sheet or whatever else. Surprise your colleagues.



Interactive Decision Tree Visualization in Excel [Trump vs. Hillary in Swing States]

Interactive Decision Tree Visualization in Excel [Trump vs. Hillary in Swing States]

It is election time in USA, and that means there is a whole lot of drama, discussions and of course data analysis. There are tons of cool visualizations published on all the data. Previously, we talked about “How Trump happened” chart.

Today let’s take a look at the beautiful decision tree chart by NY Times explaining what would happen if each of the 10 swing states vote for Democrats or Republicans. Go ahead and look at that chart. And when you are done playing with it, come back.

My first thought after looking at the chart is: Wow, that is cool. I wonder how we can recreate that experience in Excel?

But as you can guess, making a dynamic tree visualization in Excel is pretty hard. You can create a bubble chart mixed with XY chart to show all the nodes of the decision tree, but as this tree has 2^10 nodes at the bottom level (and 2^11-1 total nodes) our chart would look very clumsy and busy.

So, instead of replicating NY Times chart, why not make our own version that explains the data? You can reuse this idea when visualizing outcomes of several what-if scenarios.



Mapping Spread of Obesity [Chart Critique and Alternatives]

Mapping Spread of Obesity [Chart Critique and Alternatives]

Over at Flowing Data, Nathan has published an interesting visualization about spread of obesity.

While the above chart is quite interesting, it doesn’t offer much insight in to the data. There are a few drawbacks,

  • Understanding obesity trends for a given state over the years is hard due to the layout and format of the chart.
  • Finding which states are experiencing most obesity growth rates is not possible
  • Ironically, the chart itself is obese. It takes too much space to explain the data.

Nevertheless, the chart looks cool and can be reused with smaller data-sets (quarterly trends or just for a few years). So let’s recreate the same in Excel. While we are at it, let’s also build an alternative visualization to explore the obesity data.



Visualizing target vs. actual progress – Biker on a hill chart

Visualizing target vs. actual progress – Biker on a hill chart

Over the years, we have discussed a whole heap of techniques to visualize budget vs. actual charts. Today let’s take a ride on this slope again and learn another fun, silly & awesome way to depict target vs. actual progress.

Introducing biker on a hill chart

Tada!!!

Biker on a hill!?! Don’t worry, I didn’t fall down on a descent and lose my brain. I am talking about an Excel chart to visualize target vs. actual progress on a time line with biker on a hill analogy. See the above chart, you will know.

Looks interesting? Read on to learn how to create this in Excel.



Stacked Bar/Column Chart with Indicator Arrows – Advanced

Stacked Bar/Column Chart with Indicator Arrows – Advanced

Lets take last weeks Stacked Bar/Column Chart and add some high-performance steroids.



Stacked Bar and Indicator Arrow Chart – Tutorial

Stacked Bar and Indicator Arrow Chart – Tutorial

Learn how to develop a Stacked Bar chart with Indicator Arrow in this Tutorial



Hourly Goals Chart with Conditional Formatting

Hourly Goals Chart with Conditional Formatting

A while back I developed a solution to a Chandoo.org Forum question, where the user wanted a 4 level doughnut chart where each doughnut was made up of 12 segments and each segment was to be colored based on a value within a range. If the values changed he wanted the chart to update, Conditional Formating like:
This post looks at how this was achieved.



Visualizing Financial Metrics – 30 Alternatives

Visualizing Financial Metrics – 30 Alternatives

Around 2 months back, I asked you to visualize multiple variable data for 4 companies using Excel.  30 of you responded to the challenge with several interesting and awesome charts, dashboards and reports to visualize the financial metric data. Today, let’s take a look at the contest entries and learn from them.

First a quick note:

I am really sorry for the delay in compiling the results for this contest. Originally I planned to announce them during last week of July. But my move to New Zealand disrupted the workflow. I know the contestants have poured in a lot of time & effort in creating these fabulous workbook and it is unfair on my part. I am sorry and I will manage future contests better.



Correlation vs. Causation [Charting Chatter]

Correlation vs. Causation [Charting Chatter]

Here is a trap that is easy to fall in to. Confusing correlation as causation. As analysts, it is our job to see the data as it is rather than imply causation that doesn’t exist.

Let’s sample a chart, recently featured in Economist’s graphic detail under the title Measuring well-being.



Introduction to Forecasting in Excel 2016 [Charts & Visual Analysis]

Introduction to Forecasting in Excel 2016 [Charts & Visual Analysis]

One of the coolest features of Excel 2016 is forecasting. Today, let’s understand how it works with a sample data set.

Watch below video to understand forecasting in Excel 2016.



How to get Maps in to Excel charts & dashboards [Master Class]

How to get Maps in to Excel charts & dashboards [Master Class]

This is third episode of our Monthly Master Class.

In this one, you will learn how to get maps in to your Excel workbooks. Understand 5 key techniques for making maps based visualizations in Excel – from regular charts to cell grids to VBA to Power Maps, everything is covered in this intense Master Class.



How to visualize multiple variables over several years? [Contest]

How to visualize multiple variables over several years? [Contest]

Our newest contest is inspired from a question asked by Kaushik, one of our forum members, interesting problem.

Need to quickly visualize 3 variables ( Company, years, Financials) in a single […] chart.

Create a chart to understand multiple variable data and you could win $100 Amazon gift card. Do send your charts before 4th of July to qualify for the prizes.



Fish Eye Effect for highlighting selection – Is it effective? [Advanced Charting]

Fish Eye Effect for highlighting selection – Is it effective? [Advanced Charting]

A few days back, WSJ ran a visualization titled “What’s your pay gap?” It depicts median pay gap between female & male workers in 422 different professions in USA. The chart uses fish eye effect to highlight the selected profession. See below demo to understand the effect.



Earth Venus cosmic dance – Animated chart in Excel

Earth Venus cosmic dance – Animated chart in Excel

Recently I saw an interesting Earth Venus cosmic dance video on Facebook. See the original video below or here.

Although this is not entirely accurate from physics & astronomy perspectives, the dance is a stunning example of patterns that are generated by simple things.

I wanted to recreate this cosmic dance in Excel. How else am I to get my spreadsheet fix on a Saturday?

Here is a quick demo of the final outcome. Read on to learn more about the Earth Venus cosmic dance.



Advanced Interactive Charts using Excel [Master Class]

Advanced Interactive Charts using Excel [Master Class]

As announced earlier, here is the first one of our Master Classes. In this one, you will learn how to create advanced interactive charts in Excel by blending pivot tables, slicers, timelines, VBA, conditional formatting and charts. The final outcome is BEAUTIFUL!!! Monthly Master Class – Episode 1 – Trailer Check out a quick trailer of the […]



Tell all versions of truth [Dashboard Best Practice]

Tell all versions of truth [Dashboard Best Practice]

Here is a simple but effective rule for your next dashboard. Tell all versions of truth. All versions? But there is only one version no? Of course, there is only one version of truth (or data), but you can present that in different ways, thus creating different perspectives, offering different insights. By using an interactive element (slicers […]