Introduction to charts & their usefulness

Excel is meant to handle a lot of data and it is extremely good at it. But decision makers need information (that come from such data) and this usually mean summarizing the data in visual forms (such as charts/graphs) so that the basic underlying story behind all this data stands out. The good thing is that Excel is reasonably good at visually presenting the data in the form of various charts (graphs).

Let’s understand this through an example:

Here is a 12 months data on 4 product groups that a company sells. If you see the table alone, you’ll find that it is difficult to make sense of this in a quick time.

lot of data

Some of the questions that are very basic but not straightforward to answer are: Which product group is showing most resilient growth? Which one is suffering? Which one could be the next big thing? Any month where all products suffered?

Answering this through the data table is not so easy.

These are the situations where visualization are very useful.

How a chart can transform the above table is shown below:

How Charts make data interpretation easy

As you can see, a lot of information about the data is revealed through the chart. Like, how much each product group contributes? How they stack up against each other? Trends of sales in each of them etc.

Charts & related visualizations are very powerful tools for everyday data analysis.

We at excelladder.com presents a series of easy to understand tutorials dedicated to charts in excel. You may follow our tutorials to create your first excel chart and then move on to familiarize yourself with different chart elements, lear about various chart types and how to choose the right chart for your data. We follow this up with covering different commonly used chart types (Column, Pie, and Line).

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