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Graphics, images, and charts are great ways to visualize and represent the data, and Excel does exactly same thing for us by automatically creating the charts. There may be times when we would like to go beyond the basic charts that excel creates for us. This article will focus on that.

What is an advanced chart?

An advanced chart is a chart that goes beyond the basic charts created by Excel. Let's say you have more than one set of data that you would like to compare on the same chart, you can create your basic chart with one set of data then add more datasets to it and apply other items i.e. formatting to the chart. This is what advanced charts are all about.

The importance of advanced charts

  • They provide consolidated information in a single chart that makes it easier to compare more than one data set and make decisions quickly
  • They allow us to customize the look and feel of the charts

Step by step example of creating advanced charts

In this tutorial exercise, we will assume that we run a blog and have software that gives us the number of monthly visitors. We would like to see the relationship between the numbers of articles published per month vs the total month traffic. We will work with the following data set.

Month
Articles Published
Site Visitors
Jan
20
120
Feb
16
145
Mar
19
130
Apr
25
200
Jun
20
230
Jul
13
221

 

  • Create a new workbook in Excel
  • Enter the data shown above
  • Create a basic column chart as shown below. If you do not know how to create a basic chart, then read the article on charts.

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

It's now time to take our charts beyond the basics. Select the orange bars representing traffic

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

  • Click on change chart type as shown below

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

  • You will get the following dialog window

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

  1. Select Combo
  2. Click on the clustered column
  3. Select Line chart
  4. Click on OK button

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

Congratulations, you just created a chart with two types of charts in it.

Let's now add a secondary axis to our chart to make it look more presentable.

  • Select the chart
  • Click on Design under chart tools and select change chart type

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

  1. Click on Secondary Axis check box under Site Visitors
  2. Click on OK button

Let's now edit the chart, primary and secondary axis titles as shown below.

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

 

  1. Go to Add chart elements
  2. Click on Axis titles
  3. Select primary verticals
  4. Double click on the chart title and edit the title
     

Write Monthly Published Articles vs Site Traffic. Your complete chart should now look as follows

Creating Advanced Charts in Excel

As you can see from the above complete chart, we have consolidated two data sets and visualized them in such a way that it easily shows the effect of one data set onto the other.

Download the above Excel Code

Summary

Advanced charts are a great way of consolidating more than one data set and visualizing them to identity patterns, etc.

 

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