A chart is a perfect tool to present data in an understandable way.
But sometimes it sucks because we overload it with data.
I believe that when it comes to charting it should be neat & clean.
The best solution to this problem is using interactive charts in excel.
By using interactive charts in excel you can present more data in a single chart. And, you don’t even have to worry about all that clutter.
It’s a smart way.
Look at the below chart where I am trying to show target vs. achievement, profit and market share.
But, do you think this is the decent way to present it?
Of course not.
And, now check out this, where have an interactive chart which I can control with option buttons.
So, what do you think?
Are you ready to create your first interactive chart in excel?
So, let’s get started.
Steps to create an Interactive Chart
I have split this process into three parts.
Creating Interactive data table
I am using below table to create this chart. You can download this file from here to follow along.
- First of all, copy this table and paste below the original table.
- Now, delete the data from the second table.
- In Jan month cell of target & achievement insert following formulas and copy those formulas into the entire row.
- After that, into the Jan month of profit and copy it into the entire row.
- In the end, Jan month of market share copy it into the entire row.
Now, your interactive data table is ready.
So far so good.
Let me tell you how it works.
All the cells in this table are linked with A1.
And when you enter “1” in A1 table will show you data for target and achievement only.
For “2” it will show profit and market share for “3”.
Using option buttons to control chart
So next, you have to insert option buttons to automate value in cell A1. Here are the steps.
- Go to developer tab -> Control -> Insert -> Option button
- Insert three option buttons.
- Now, name them as following.
- Button-1 = TGT Vs. ACH
- Button-2 = Profit
- Button-3 = Market Share
- After that, right click on any of the buttons and select “format control”.
- In format control options, link it to the cell A1 and click ok.
- Now, you can control your data with these option buttons.
Creating an Interactive Chart
Now, it’s time to get down to the real thing.
- First of all, select your table and insert a column chart.
- After that, select your data bars & click on “change chart type”.
- Go to Design Tab -> Design -> Change Chart Type.
- Now, for profit and market share, change the chart type to the line with markers. And, tick secondary axis for both.
You can make some formatting changes in your chart if you want.
Congratulations, your interactive chart is ready to rock.
In the end, I just want to say that by using interactive charts in excel you can make your user to focus on one thing at a time.
You can save a lot of space in the dashboards with one interactive chart.
Sometimes you feel that it’s a lengthy process but it’s a one-time setup which can save your lot of time.
You can also use a dynamic chart title in your chart.