How Do I Turn Charts into Graphs?
Organizations of all kinds resort to Microsoft Excel for recording, presenting and analyzing their data. Although you can store data, raw numbers are not easy to visualize and draw conclusions from. But there are several tips and tricks that can help you to create charts and convert them into graphs for better visualization and analysis.
Excel Charts and Graphs
In Excel and other spreadsheet programs, charts and graphs give you an excellent platform for visualizing your data and communicating your insights to stakeholders. While graphs can be more basic in nature, charts can provide various formats for displaying your data. If you want to convert charts into graphs for their simplicity and ease-of-understanding, here are the steps that you can take:
1. Locate the Excel file where you have saved your data and open it.
2. Once opened, click the chart so that the Charts Tools tab become visible at the top of your Excel sheet. It will show you all the options that you need to convert your chart into graphs. Click on the design tab.
3.Go to the ‘change chart type’ group where you will find the change chart type dialogue box.
4. Once you have opened this dialogue box, you will notice several options for your graphs on the left side. Click on the graph format that suits you best. For instance, you can go for the bar graph to show simple bar graphs that are the easiest to understand for just about anyone.
5. Once you have selected the right graph format, you the most click on the OK button for completion.
The method for converting charts into graphs using Excel is simple enough. However, to make the most of this versatility, you should also know when to use these charts and graphs. Since there are so many options available in Excel for graphs and charts, it pays to know what each option is best suited for.
Chart Types That You Can Convert
Here are the various graphs and charts that you can use for visualizing your data perfectly.
- Column Charts
Column charts are very easy to follow and they help you to make easy comparisons that are simple enough for even the layperson to comprehend.
Excel provides you access to different sorts of column charts that can best represent your data like 3D, stacked, 3D 100% stacked, 3D clustered, 100% stacked, stacked and clustered. You can try and test all of these chart formats to find out which ones best facilitate value comparisons.
- Bar Charts
The key difference between bar charts and column charts is that the former is horizontal while the latter has vertical orientation. Thus, you can use bar charts for instances where it will be easier to visualize horizontally rather than vertically.
- Pie Charts
Pie charts are great for comparing relative percentages. You can have a pie chart in 3D format and even in doughnut form if you feel that is relevant.
- Line Charts
Line charts are iconic style for showing trends over time like stock market growth for instance. These charts can give you a good idea of how much change has taken place over time. You can make use of different line charts in Excel, such as stacked lines, simple lines, lines with markers, stacked lines with markers and even 3D lines.
- Scatter Charts
Scatter charts may be a better option for showing more advanced data types that change very frequently and suddenly. They basically help you to follow how variables are changing over time. You can make use of different scatter charts such as 3D bubble, bubble, scatter with straight line, scatter with lines and markers, scatter with smooth lines and others.
Here are some of the best practices that you can follow to ensure that your graphs and charts are helping your audience to visualize data the way you desire.
Most people reckon that they are not good at math. Unsurprisingly, there are many with a lingering phobia for numbers that they may not want to admit. You can make things much easier for the math averse by keeping it clean and simple. A clean format will impart an aura of simplicity and convince even the mathematically handicapped that numbers need not be a nightmare for them.
Clean formats facilitate clear thinking and confidence. Thus, as far as possible, you should try to impart a clean format while taking care to include all necessary information. If there is so much information that it might give a cluttered look, then you can divide it over different charts which are progressively more data-dense.
While charts and graphs are visualization tools, you can still use text for adding extra meaning to your data. In fact, without text, the graph can end up looking meaningless at times. So while you should try to minimize text, don’t scrape away so much of it that the graph or chart hardly makes sense.
Take care of all graphical elements that can aid in visualization like symbols, legends, keys and titles. Good placement can be difference between good charts and bad ones.
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