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Tornado Chart

Tornado chart is useful for those who want to analyze their data for better decision making. It’s a useful tool for sensitivity analysis, but you can use it for comparison purpose as well.

It’s like a two-sided bar chart (looks like a tornado) where we have two data bars opposite to each other. It makes it easy to compare both of them. It’s a useful tool for sensitivity analysis.

According to Wikipedia

It’s a special type of bar chart in which data is sorted vertically from highest to lowest. With this type of shape, it looks like a tornado.

In Excel, there is no default option to create a tornado chart but we can use a bar chart and customize it accordingly.

So today, in this post, I’d like to share with you a 7-steps process to create a tornado chart in Excel.

So let’s get started.

Steps To Create a Tornado Chart

Here we are using following data table of two stores for comparing their product wise sale.

Step 1 

First of all, we need to convert data of store-1 into the negative value. This will help you to show data bars in different directions. Just multiply data with -1 or you can also use paste special option for this.

create tornado chart in excel by using this data table with negative values

Step 2

Now, insert a bar chart using this data table. Go to Insert Tab -> Charts -> Bar Chart. You will get a chart like below.

how to create tornado chart in excel insert bar chart

Step 3

Select the axis label and open formatting options. Go to axis options -> Labels -> Label Position. Change label position to “Low”.

create tornado chart in excel change axis position

Step 4

Next, you have to change axis position in reverse order. Go to Axis options -> Axis position -> tick mark “Category in reverse order”.

create tornado chart in excel reverse order

Step 5

Next step is to change series gap and gap width. This will help to streamline data bars with each other. Go to series options -> Change series overlap to 100% and gap width to 10%.

create tornado chart in excel chnage series gap gap width

Step 6

Now, you have to change number formatting of the horizontal axis. Go to Axis Options -> Number -> select custom -> paste following format and click add.

###0;###0

create tornado chart in excel custom number to remove negative sign from axis

Step 7

Same like this you have to change the format for data labels for store-1. Go to label options -> Number -> select custom -> paste following format and click add.

###0;###0

Congratulations, your tornado chart is ready.

create tornado chart in excel ready to use chart

Sample File

Download this sample file from here to learn more.

Conclusion

Some people call it tornado diagrams, a useful tool for decision making by comparison. You can compare two different items or a single item for the different periods.

So that’s the entire story about tornado chart. And yes, you just need 7 steps to create it. One thing I just forget to tell you that you can also use conditional formatting or a rept function to create an in-cell tornado chart.

I hope you found it useful and it will help you take your skill to next level.

😃

Now tell me one thing. Have you ever used a tornado chart? Please share with me in the comment section, I’d love to hear from you.

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

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  • Ramana Varanasi

    Funnel Chart and Tornado Chart are synonymous. However, the chart you have given above is a variation of tornado chart for comparing two data sets. Hence, i think that it should be named a bit differently to highlight its usage.

    • Oz

      I’ve also heard them called butterfly charts.

      • Puneet Gogia

        @OzDragons:disqus yes, you are right. @ramana_varanasi:disqus there is a basic difference between Funnel chart and tornado chart. A stage in a funnel chart can’t be larger than the previous one. Tornado chart works on two different ways of comparison.

  • Ali Sarmad

    wowww its really great (Y)

    • Puneet Gogia

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

  • Harsha Vardhan

    Thanks for sharing

    • Puneet Gogia

      @disqus_EldrJaqMUs:disqus You’re welcome. 🙂