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How to Create Custom Charts for Better Excel Spreadsheets

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The world today has way too much data, but very little information. In today’s article we will show you how to extract information from your spreadsheet’s data and present them in custom charts.

Here at How-To Geek we’re always working really hard to produce great articles for our readers, and so we keep an eye on the number of articles and pageviews for each month. For example, here’s a list of the top 10 articles for October:

Post Title Pageviews Author
HTG Explains: Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer? 137255 thegeek
Remove Complex Backgrounds from Images in Photoshop 80187 EricGoodnight
Make Your PC Shut Down at Night (But Only When You’re Not Using It) 36851 thegeek
What’s the Difference Between HDMI and DVI? Which is Better? 30548 matthewguay
The 10 Cleverest Ways to Use Linux to Fix Your Windows PC 25712 thegeek
Today is 10/10/10 – the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything 21941 thegeek
What’s the Difference Between JPG, PNG, and GIF? 21711 EricGoodnight
How to Create a Shortcut That Nukes Every Running Windows App 21448 thegeek
Desktop Fun: Colors of Autumn Wallpaper Collection 20941 AsianAngel
What is Cloud Computing and What Does This Stupid Buzzword Mean? 16995 thegeek

We’re assuming that you’ve got some background with Microsoft Excel and how to use charts, but if you need a primer be sure and check out our article covering how to create charts in Excel.

Custom Charts in Excel

Our Chief Geek likes to keep a close watch on how well his writers perform, so to show him how productive we are, we prepared some excel charts courtesy of Juice Analytics.

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Juice Analytics gives a wide range of custom, ready-to-use Excel charts that we can download as an Excel spreadsheet or as a Powerpoint slide.

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The Excel spreadsheet comes with two components, the chart data and the chart itself, that we can modify to suit our needs.

The template itself is quite easy to work with—we just have to key in our monthly page views data into the “chart data” section and the chart will automatically update itself to display our data.

This is how the spreadsheet looks after we key in the page view data and put a little bit of cosmetic formatting to make the table look prettier. The chart definitely shows how productive the writers have been the past 2 months.

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We chose a different type of column chart to give a report of our daily page views, called the stacked column chart—it is basically the same chart, except it stacks the charts on top of one another and sums the data to give a better picture of how many page views each author’s article gets on a day-to-day basis.

We start keying in the author’s name, dates, and page views into the chart data section…

We’re also adding a total of the daily page views using the standard “sum” function.

The “sum” function aggregates each writer’s page views under the “Total” column.

Our newer articles have been steadily gaining attention for the past 5 days and hopefully for the rest of this month.

These two charts are not the only charts that we can create. Juice Analytics has a lot of different custom charts that we can use to present our data.

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We can see our Chief Geek smiling when he sees that we have been working hard producing better articles for How-To Geek.


If you’d like to learn more about how you can use Excel, be sure and check out some of our other articles about using data in our spreadsheets:

Do you have any other tips for your fellow readers who might be trying to use charts? Share them in the comments.

Zainul spends his time trying to make technology more productive, whether it’s Microsoft Office applications, or learning to use web applications to save time.

  • Published 11/9/10

Comments (3)

  1. Hatryst

    Awesome… That is really really cool :)

  2. Marfa

    Hatryst, “Awesome” is the first word that came in my head too…

    But it’ too late for me. I mean, I’ve made my annual report to my boss. I use TeeChart for this.

  3. Goyal

    Nice tip.

    You guys should also do a review of Tableau which makes superb visualizations!

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