A chart is a perfect tool to present data in an understandable way. But sometimes it sucks because we overload it with data.
Yes, you heard it right.
I believe that when it comes to charting it should be neat and clean and the best solution to this problem is using interactive charts.
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.
Yes, it’s a smart way. Look at the below chart where I am trying to show target vs. achievement, profit, and market share.
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.
What do you think? Are you ready to create your first interactive chart in Excel?
Steps to Make an Interactive Chart in Excel
In today’s post, I’m going to show you exact steps whcih you need to follow to create a simple interactive chart in Excel.
1. Prepare Data for Interactive Chart
- 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 and 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”.
2. Insert Option Buttons to Control Chart
So next, you have to insert option buttons to automate value in cell A1.
- Insert three option buttons and 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.
3. Insert Secondary Axis Chart to Create 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.
Congratulations! your interactive chart is ready to rock. You canalso make some formatting changes in your chart if you want.
In the end, I just want to say that with a interactive chart you can help your user to focus on one thing at a time.
And you can save a lot of space in the dashboards as well.
Sometimes you feel that it’s a lengthy process but it’s a one-time setup which can save your lot of time.
I hope this tip will help you to get better at charting, but now, tell me one thing.
What kind of interactive charts do you use?
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.
About the Author
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.