Excel Tutorial: How To Construct Histogram In Excel


Are you looking to enhance your data analysis skills in Excel? Understanding how to construct a histogram is a crucial aspect of data visualization and analysis. In this tutorial, we will explore the basics of histograms and learn how to create one using Excel. But first, what exactly is a histogram? A histogram is a graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data. It provides a visual interpretation of data distribution and is important for identifying patterns, trends, and outliers within a dataset.

Whether you are a student, business professional, or data analyst, knowing how to use histograms in Excel can greatly improve your ability to interpret and communicate data effectively. Let's dive into the world of histograms and uncover their significance in data analysis.

Key Takeaways

  • A histogram is a graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data, providing a visual interpretation of data distribution.
  • Understanding how to use histograms in Excel can greatly improve your ability to interpret and communicate data effectively.
  • Selecting and organizing the data set in Excel is crucial for creating a clear and informative histogram.
  • Customizing the histogram, including adjusting bin size and formatting appearance, enhances clarity and understanding of the data.
  • Utilizing the histogram for decision making and communication can lead to informed decisions and effective findings.

Understanding the data

Before constructing a histogram in Excel, it is important to understand the data that will be used. This involves selecting the appropriate data set and organizing it in a way that is clear and understandable.

A. Selecting the data set for the histogram

When selecting a data set for a histogram, it is important to choose a dataset that represents the variable of interest. For example, if you are interested in analyzing the distribution of test scores, you would select the test score data for your histogram.

B. Organizing the data in Excel for clarity

Once you have selected the data set for your histogram, it is important to organize the data in Excel in a clear and understandable way. This may involve arranging the data in columns and labeling the columns appropriately.


  • Arrange the data in a single column or row.
  • Label the data with clear and descriptive headers.
  • Remove any unnecessary data or outliers that may skew the results.

Creating the histogram

Excel offers a wide range of tools and functions for data analysis, and constructing a histogram is one of them. Follow the steps below to create a histogram in Excel:

A. Opening the Excel program

To begin, open the Excel program on your computer. You can either start a new workbook or use an existing one to work on.

B. Selecting the data to be used for the histogram

Once you have your worksheet open, select the data that you want to use for the histogram. This data should be arranged in a single column or row, with each value representing a different category or range for the histogram.

C. Choosing the appropriate chart type for the histogram

After selecting your data, navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window. From the "Charts" group, click on the "Insert Statistic Chart" button. In the drop-down menu, select the "Histogram" chart type. This will automatically create a histogram based on your selected data.

Customizing the histogram

After creating a histogram in Excel, you may want to customize it to make it more visually appealing and easier to interpret. Here are some ways to customize your histogram:

  • Adjusting the bin size for the data
  • Excel automatically chooses the bin size for the histogram, but you may want to adjust it to better fit your data. To do this, right-click on the x-axis of the histogram and select "Format Axis." In the Axis Options pane, you can change the bin width to a value that makes the histogram more representative of your data.

  • Adding axis titles and data labels for clarity
  • Axis titles and data labels can provide context and clarity to your histogram. To add axis titles, click on the chart and go to Chart Tools > Layout > Axis Titles. You can then add titles for the x-axis (horizontal) and y-axis (vertical). To add data labels, click on the chart and go to Chart Tools > Layout > Data Labels. This will display the values of each data point on the histogram, making it easier to interpret.

  • Formatting the appearance of the histogram
  • Formatting the appearance of the histogram can help make it more visually appealing. You can change the color, style, and thickness of the bars by right-clicking on the bars and selecting "Format Data Series." In the Format Data Series pane, you can customize the fill and border options to achieve the desired appearance.

Analyzing the Histogram

Once you have constructed a histogram in Excel, the next step is to analyze the distribution of the data and identify any trends or patterns within the data. This will help you gain insights into the underlying characteristics of the dataset.

A. Interpreting the distribution of the data
  • Central Tendency:

    One of the first things to look for when analyzing a histogram is the central tendency of the data. This can be assessed by looking at the shape of the histogram – whether it is symmetrical, skewed to the left or right, or has multiple peaks.
  • Dispersion:

    You can also use the histogram to evaluate the dispersion or spread of the data. A wider spread of data points will result in a wider histogram, while a narrower spread will produce a narrower histogram.
  • Outliers:

    Histograms can also be used to identify any outliers in the data. These are extreme values that significantly differ from the rest of the data and can have a notable impact on the distribution.

B. Identifying any trends or patterns within the data
  • Frequency Distribution:

    One of the main purposes of a histogram is to display the frequency distribution of the data. By analyzing the histogram, you can identify any clusters or gaps in the data, as well as the relative frequency of different values.
  • Skewness and Kurtosis:

    A histogram can also help you determine if the data is skewed or has kurtosis. Skewness refers to the asymmetry of the distribution, while kurtosis relates to the peakedness of the distribution. These characteristics can provide valuable insights into the shape of the data.
  • Trends Over Time:

    If your data represents a time series, you can use the histogram to identify any trends or patterns over time. This can be particularly useful for identifying seasonality or cyclical patterns within the data.

Utilizing the histogram for decision making

When it comes to data analysis, histograms are a powerful tool that can help you make informed decisions based on the data at hand. By utilizing the histogram feature in Excel, you can effectively visualize the distribution of your data and gain valuable insights that can drive decision-making processes.

Making informed decisions based on the data analysis

One of the key benefits of using histograms in Excel is the ability to identify patterns and trends within your data. By analyzing the shape and distribution of the histogram, you can gain a better understanding of the central tendency, variability, and skewness of your data. This can be instrumental in making informed decisions, whether it's identifying potential outliers, assessing the effectiveness of a process, or determining the distribution of a particular variable.

Using the histogram to communicate findings effectively

Not only are histograms useful for data analysis, but they are also valuable for effectively communicating your findings to others. Whether it's presenting your analysis to colleagues, stakeholders, or clients, histograms provide a clear and visual representation of the data, making it easier for others to grasp the insights and make informed decisions based on the analysis.

With the ability to customize the appearance of the histogram in Excel, such as adding titles, labels, and adjusting the bin width, you can tailor the visualization to effectively communicate the key findings and insights from your data analysis.


Recap: Creating histograms in Excel is an essential skill for visualizing and analyzing data. It allows us to identify patterns, trends, and distributions within the data that may not be immediately obvious from a simple table or chart.

Encouragement: I encourage you to practice creating histograms in Excel to sharpen your data analysis skills. The more familiar you become with this tool, the more effectively you'll be able to leverage it for making informed decisions and drawing valuable insights from your data.

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