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How to decide which chart type is best for you?

Charts and graphs are not just to represent your data in a graphical manner, their primary objective is convey the intended message. These are the 5 Questions you must ask before deciding the chart type for your data


1. Do you want to compare values?

Charts are great for comparing one or many value sets, and they can easily highlight the low and high values in the data sets. To create a comparison chart, use these types of graphs:

· Column

· Bar

· Pie

· Line

· Scatter Plot


You can also watch this complete free YouTube tutorial on creating different charts in Microsoft Excel



2. Do you want to show the composition?

Sometimes your requirement is to show how individual parts make up the whole of something, such as the market share of Windows vs Mac or total sales broken down by sales rep.

To show composition, use these charts:

· Pie

· Stacked Bar

· Stacked Column

· Area

· Waterfall


3. Do you want to understand the distribution of your data?

Distribution charts are used to show how variables are distributed, helping identify outliers and trends.

Use these charts to show distribution:

· Scatter Plot

· Histogram

· Line

· Column

· Bar


4. Are you interested in analyzing trends in your data set?

If you want to know more information about how a data set performed during a specific time period, there are specific chart types that do extremely well.

You should choose a:

· Line

· Dual-Axis Line

· Column


5. Do you want to better understand the relationship between value sets?

Relationship charts are suited to showing how one variable relates to one or numerous different variables. You could use this to show how something positively effects, has no effect, or negatively effects another variable.

When trying to establish the relationship between things, use these charts:

· Scatter Plot

· Bubble

· Line


Watch this complete free YouTube tutorial on creating different charts in Microsoft Excel



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