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10 Advanced Excel Charts

Charts are one of the most important parts of Microsoft Excel. It helps us to present our data in an understandable manner.

In Excel, we have different kind of charts to present our data in different ways. Even there are lot of advanced charts which we can create in Excel by making small amendments in default charts.

The bad news is, most of the Excel users don’t explore charting techniques much. But, the good news is you can learn to create all those charts with little extra efforts.

The top most benefit of using advanced charts in Excel is they are focused on a specific kind of data and make it more understandable.

So today, in this post, I’d like to share with you 10 most useful advanced Excel charts which can help you to become a charting Expert.

Without further ado, here are the 10 charts that will help you to become a charting sensation in your office.

1. Step Chart

A step chart is an extended version of a line chart. It’s is perfect to use when you want to show the changes happened on irregular intervals.

Unlike line chart, it doesn’t connect data points using a short distance line. In fact, it uses vertical and horizontal lines to connect the data points.

Step Chart’s Benefits

  • It helps you to show the exact time of change.
  • It also gives the real trend of the data throughout the period.
  • In a line chart, it’s not possible to show the constant period but in a step chart, you can present this.
  • It shows you the actual numbers of the changes happened in a period.

Milestone chart also knows as timeline chart. It’s one of the favorite charts of project managers and help them to track their project’s progress in a simple way.

It’s just like a time in which each stage of the project is captured with the date of completion.

Milestones are tools used in project management to mark specific points along a project timeline. These points may signal anchors such as a project start and end date, a need for external review or input and budget checks, among others.

Wikipedia 

Milestone Chart’s Benefits

  • It’s simple to create and easily understandable.
  • You have all the important information in a single chart.

A waffle chart is more likely a square pie chart. It’s a bunch of 100 small squares where one square represents the 1% of the total value.

I’m sure you have seen it in dashboards and news article graphics. And, to create it we need to use conditional formatting.

Waffle Chart’s Benefits

  • Best for single point target vs. achievement.
  • Easy to create and simple to understand by the user.

When it comes to showing the comparison of different things with each other tornado chart can be useful for you.

It looks line a real tornado where large items are on the top and lowest at the bottom. And, each item has an opposite item for comparison.

Tornado Chart’s Benefits

  • We can easily compare items for two different time periods.
  • We can also figure out the top and bottom items.

Gantt chart is one the most useful chart for project managers. It can help us to track project’s progress. Unlike a milestone chart, a Gantt chart can track completion days, delayed days, days pending, totals days, etc.

In short, it’s complete chart to track your projects with all the important details which everyone requires.

Gantt Chart’s Benefits

  • It’s a complete chart with all the details to track a project.
  • It makes it easy to take a decision and we can review our project plan regularly in order to locate conflicts or other problems.

A bullet chart is just like a column chart but instead of multiple columns here we have only one. It can help us to track a single point target vs. achievement.

There are three major components of a bullet chart:

  • A target marker to represent the target.
  • An achievement bar to represent the actual value.
  • A comparison range which is a color theme which act a diffeent staged of achievement.

Bullet Chart’s Benefits

  • Best chart to track a single point target vs. achievement.
  • It serves as a replacement for dashboard gauges and meters.

A thermometer chart is another useful chart to track a single point target vs. achievement and can help us to present our data in an understandable way.

It looks like a thermometer where entire chart presents the target and filled part is the achievement. The filled part goes up as the achievement increase.

Thermometer Chart’s Benefits

  • It’s simple to understand and easy to create.
  • It’s a perfect chart to use in dashboards.

If you are not happy to use bullet chart or thermometer chart then you can use a gauge chart. A gauge chart is also known as a speed-o-meter chart.

Gauge Chart’s Benefits

  • It can help you to present the completion and pending part of a project.
  • It’s easy to create and simple to understand for users.

9. Population Pyramid

A population chart is a two-sided bar chart which helps us to compare the population of different age groups of genders.

A population pyramid, also called an age pyramid or age picture diagram, is a graphical illustration that shows the distribution of various age groups in a population (a country or region of the world), which forms the shape of a pyramid when the population is growing.

Wikipedia 

Population Pyramid’s Benefits

  • While comparing two items you can easily understand which group is growing.
  • We can also use it to compare items for two different time periods.

A pictograph is not a separate kind of chart.

By creating a pictograph we can use an image in a chart to make it more presentable. just like we have use an image in the below chart to present the number of employees in a compny in different age groups.

Pictograph’s Benefits

  • Using a picture in a chart makes it more meaningful.
  • It helps us to take our charting skill to a whole next level.

Conclusion

Advanced charting techniques are one of those things which differentiate Experts from novice Excel users.

As I said by using advanced Excel charts make your data more focused and easily understandable. You can also use them in your dashboards and template to make them more effective.

I hope, the list of charts which I have shared with you will help you to get better at charting.

Now tell me one thing. Do you have any other chart which you use frequently in your work? Please share with me in the comment section, I’d love to hear from you.

And, please don’t forget to share this list with your friends. I’m sure they will appreciate it.

  • Dilshad Ahmad

    Fantastic -Usefully

    • Puneet Gogia

      @disqus_9YY4l5lcEz:disqus I’m so glad you liked it. 🙂

  • Dilshad Ahmad

    Gauge Chart

    • Puneet Gogia

      @disqus_9YY4l5lcEz:disqus Great.

  • Plastic Cup

    Greetings, Puneet. I have a recommendation for the Gantt chart. Instead of the Conditional Formatting changing the entire cell fill color when it fires, do this:
    In the upper left-most cell of the chart grid, enter five lower-cased g’s. ggggg
    Set the cell font to Webdings
    Set the font size to 8
    Set the font color to something dark
    Set the text alignment to center and middle
    Do a Merge and Center to that single cell only to force the characters to each side of the cell
    You should see what looks like a bar going horizontally across the middle of the cell
    Now, give that cell a Custom Format of ;;; The bar will disappear from view
    Use the fill handle to fill the rest of your grid with that cell’s formatting and contents
    While it is all still highlighted, go to Conditional Formatting and simply set it up so that when it fires (the date in the top row is in the range of your start and end dates) all that will happen is the cell’s font formatting will be set to General. No color changes or other formatting is needed.
    Whenever a cell that is in the same column as a date that is in the range of your start and end dates for that row will allow the bar to be seen.
    As always, thank you for your excellent site and I look forward to many more tips and tutorials.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/45cd15bf80d75de3f65670af0ee0e1295ad5c96ba25fab3386d0e16d6218102d.png

    • Puneet Gogia

      @plastic_cup:disqus Thanks for this great idea. Let me try this.