Top 10 Advanced Excel Charts and Graphs to Make You PRO Overnight

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 a lot of advanced charts and graphs which we can create in Excel by making small amendments in default charts.

Now the bad news is, most of the Excel users don’t explore charting techniques much.

But you can learn to create all those charts with little extra efforts.

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

Today in this post, I have a list of Top 10 Advanced Excel Charts and Graphs, just for you.

And these charts can help you to become a charting Expert and you can become a charting sensation in your office overnight…

...any further ado, let’s get started.

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

  1. Helps to show the exact time of change.
  2. Gives the real trend of the data throughout the period.
  3. In a line chart, it’s not possible to show the constant period but in a step chart, you can present this.
  4. 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

  1. It’s simple to create and easily understandable.
  2. 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

  1. Best for single point target vs. achievement.
  2. 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

  1. Can easily compare items for two different time periods.
  2. Also figures 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

  1. It’s a complete chart with all the details to track a project.
  2. 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:

  1. A target marker to represent the target.
  2. An achievement bar to represent the actual value.
  3. A comparison range which for the color theme.

Bullet Chart’s Benefits

  1. Best chart to track a single point target vs. achievement.
  2. 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

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

It’s a kind of thing which you can find in your day to day life [Just look at the SPEEDOMETER in your car]. It's also known as a Gauge chart.

Speed-o-Meter’s Benefits

  1. It can help you to present single point data in your dashboard and KPIs.
  2. It’s easy to create and simple to understand for users.

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

Population Pyramid’s Benefits

  1. While comparing two items you can easily understand which group is growing.
  2. 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 used a icon in the below chart to present the number of employees in a company in different age groups.

advanced excel charts pictograph

Pictograph’s Benefits

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

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.

About the Author

Puneet Gogia

Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.

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  1. I tried this chart which look nice. I have a problem while labeling 2nd chart 10,20,30……
    While i am selecting the category name of 2nd chart the labeling is showing 1st chart labels. Can you please advice

  2. Dear Puneet

    Although I work as Manager in Telecom, your tips were really nice. It helped me to catch those jokers in MIS

  3. Hi Puneet

    Your Excel tips are excellent. Which type of Chart is suitable to show student’s progress termwise.
    How can I use speedometer chart in my teaching profession. I mean what could be possible areas to use speedometer chart.


  4. 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.